Today, customers expect more from hospitality and travel companies, including more tailored services and faster response times. Because of the restrictions that were in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies must now catch up to customer expectations. By making the customer experience a top priority, hospitality companies can gain the trust and loyalty of customers and help ensure their businesses will have stability and success into the future. In this blog, we discuss customer experience challenges in the hospitality and travel industries.
Digitizing the Customer Experience
Customers want the ability to communicate with businesses using their preferred method, and they expect great customer experience. Digitizing the experience so that it functions in a cohesive and seamless way, and in ways that customers prefer, is one of the challenges for the hospitality and travel industries. According to Uniphore:
“Even companies that have implemented digital initiatives, like self-service portals and FAQ chatbots still largely operate in a siloed or departmental manner. This inflexibility and lack of end-to-end communication frustrates customers who are used to the unified experiences they’ve come to expect from other digital service providers.”
Meeting Technology Needs
Due to the pandemic, the resources of hospitality businesses have been reduced, making it imperative to invest in technology that optimizes operations with reduced staff and budgets. Creating seamless end-to-end systems can be costly, but adding automation into the customer journey, where possible, can reduce costs. Using conversational AI is another good option.
Technology helps to reduce repetitive tasks and increases efficiency, allowing hospitality companies to do more with less. For instance, an intelligent virtual assistant (IVA), which can identify the intention of customers, is better able to direct a call to the right place. The right technology also helps reduce friction in the customer journey and offers more convenience to customers. In addition, it can reduce hold and handle times and enable faster updates and enhancements.
Increasing Convenience and Transparency
By increasing convenience and transparency, hospitality companies can increase customer satisfaction and boost their competitiveness. Here are some things to consider:
- Automated CX can make CX systems and processes more efficient and lower costs. Automated customer experience testing can more quickly find issues in the customer journey so that they can be addressed.
- To increase transparency, agents need to be upfront about wait times for things such as resolving issues or giving refunds.
- Increasing consistency in customer experience across products and services will increase customer convenience and satisfaction.
- With language technology, the sentiment of customers can be analyzed and predicted so that customers don’t need to be asked directly about their sentiment.
Employees who are satisfied and engaged have higher levels of performance and efficiency. They also communicate better with customers and show more care and empathy. Hospitality businesses must consider how they can empower their employees to provide a high level of service and customer satisfaction. In addition to providing effective training and onboarding to employees, giving them the right tools and technology is essential.
Agent tasks can be supported by manual backend task automation and artificial intelligence. This helps free up time so agents can focus more on complex tasks and be more efficient and effective when communicating with customers. According to the Uniphore, 60% of agents say they need better tools to handle the rise in complex customer interactions. Which means this is an area that needs to be seriously considered by hospitality companies.
ASK helps hospitality businesses improve customer experience in several ways, from identifying gaps and opportunities, to streamlining processes such as CRM and WFM, providing warm and knowledgeable customer support agents and much more. Find out how we can help your business leverage the power of amazing CX to boost sales and loyalty. Visit asktelemarketing.com or call Ray Monasterski at 334.386.3458.