Customer Experience Management 2.0
( This article was originally posted in hotelier India Magazine, July 2016 issue. This is a recreated version for digital read. You can view the original article here (page-82).)
The prime aim of customer experience management is the transition of customers from satisfied to loyal and, ultimately, brand advocates. If we delve deeper into the subject, it will be evident that ORM (online reputation management) is a subset of CEM (customer Experience management). It is about understanding your customers completely to be able to create and deliver personalized experiences. This will not only ensure that your customers remain loyal to you, but will also lead them to talk good about your hotel to others. That is the most valuable asset that a hotelier can earn. Customer Experience 2.0 is the examination of the customer experience initiative in a disciplined manner, taking into considerations all the required factors for success.
Practices of the hotel industry: Too little data, too complicated tools
- Satisfying customers is not a nice-to-have practice but a must-have. When businesses go above and beyond this threshold, customers notice it. As the hotel industry exemplifies, exceeding customer expectations can be accomplished by the little things that we do for them. Customers expect solid service.
- It is a well known fact that hotels are only able to collect less than 1% of guest reviews on public platforms and 6-7% reviews from their feedback system. This is not a true representation of the actual guest experience. Due to the low number of reviews, hotels are unable to understand the true picture of guest satisfaction. To get real value from customer experiences, the amount of data has to be much higher. According to Repup’s analysis of thousands of hotels, the percentage of data should be within the range of 37-42%.
- The current Natural Language Processing (NLP) implementation in ORM tools have a very low accuracy which is a major setback to these platforms. Many platforms that provide ORM solution have low accuracy due to in their data. New age solutions have to look beyond lexical semantics to achieve higher accuracy. At RepUp, we use Deep Learning over Lexical Semantics to achieve up to 88% accuracy.
Benefits of understanding guest experience from review platforms.
There are various advantages that hotels can gain via guest reviews. All the more, travellers worldwide are carefully checking reviews before deciding to book hotels. About 87% of people who are looking for hotels are influenced by reviews. Here are some of the benefits listed below.
- Good Reviews improve hotel reputation: In cases where hotels offer equal prices, travelers are 3.9 times more likely to choose the one with higher positive review scores. However, that does not mean that we delete bad reviews as it could have a boomerang effect on a hotel’s reputation. Removing a bad review will only annoy the writer more, and might make you look bad, especially if people have already read it. Travellers are using reviews as part of trip planning and sharing, which means that response to a positive reputation is more important than ever to the success of hotels.
- Good Reviews increase conversion rates: Reviews can help in reassuring guests as well as compel them to make a booking for a hotel. When hotel prices are increased for hotels with better review scores, travelers are more likely to book the hotel with the higher score despite the higher rate. According to a 2014 study by Trustyou, 76% of travelers were willing to pay more for a hotel with higher review scores.
- Reviews affect rankings: Hotels ranking is one of the most important factor for booking a hotel. Bad reviews can suddenly dip your ranking online. It is important to get more positive reviews to improve ranking. According to a study conducted by TripAdvisor, 53% of its users said they would not book a property that has no reviews.
Pranjal Prashar, founder and CEO, Repup.co
Pranjal Prashar is a tech entrepreneur with vast experience in big data analytics and web security, Pranjal is the founder & CEO of RepUp.co, an aIl focused hospitality technology firm based out of Gurgaon.
Customer feedback is a marketing term that describes the process of obtaining a customer’s opinion about a business, product or service. Customer feedback is so important because it provides marketers and business owners with insight that they can use to improve their business, products and/or overall customer experience.
The rate of customer feedback received via email is about 7%. However with the introduction of new feedback collection techniques this number can be substantially higher. We have been testing new feedback collection techniques ourselves for some of our customers which has given us a collection rate of as high as 40%.
No single method of collecting guest feedback works with all guests.If you want to hear from all your customers, you need to tune into the channels where they’re comfortable. By using a combination of feedback methods – email, chat and mobile surveys, contacts during the guest stay, facility usage data and even simple observation – your company can get a complete picture of your entire customer mix. There are several methods that work together to create a comprehensive feedback collection strategy.
- Direct Guest Surveys
- Mobile Surveys
- Online Reviews and Social Media
- Other Data Sources/Passive Data
More sophisticated approaches can combine feedback to yield new insight into customer behaviors and preferences. New technology is giving customers more choices about how they interact and communicate. This makes the process of collecting guest feedback and figuring out what to pay attention to, more complicated.
To understand all your guests you must tune into the feedback and communication channels where they are willing to engage – online surveys, social media, online reviews, mobile devices, and even by observation. Putting all these sources together not only ensures you hear from all your guests, but it can add a new dimension to your understanding. The result will lead to better experiences and customers with a much deeper connection to your brand.
A New age Solution
Today’s requirements for managing customer experience has changed. It has become more complex because of multiple channels on which your online reputation depends. It is not possible to monitor all these channels and this is where an efficient software solution comes into the picture.
To get an accurate picture of your hotel guest satisfaction level, it is necessary to collect enough data. As per our analysis of thousands of hotels, 30% reviews are enough to derive valuable analytics. This data can give valuable insights if used effectively.
Data can be analysed in many different ways. Modern ORM tools use text based analysis through semantic technology to give relevant insights. This can be used by the hotelier to make an informed decision. Not having enough data may also lead to analysis paralysis. Hoteliers sometimes try to extrapolate information based on the little information that they have, which may lead to inaccurate analysis.
However the journey will be incomplete if all the stakeholders and other technology platforms in the industry do not work hand in hand to better hotel processes that may ultimately lead to better customer experience.