Hotels respond to demand for better Customer Experience

By Karen Small

Hotel guests are focusing more on customer experience when they consider their stays and the sector has been responding.

Creating an emotional connection with guests drives true loyalty and strengthens the relationship between hotel and customer but is difficult to achieve without rigorous monitoring.

Customer experience has a substantial impact upon business. The return on investment - cumulated over the past 10 years - of leading companies in the CX field is three times higher[1] than that of companies that are lagging behind in this field, with 86%[2] of buyers saying they are willing to pay more for a good customer experience. Companies have responded to this and 88% want to make customer experience a priority[3].

There remains a gap between aspiration and achievement. BVA BDRC has developed a tool that can help hotels design unforgettable customer experiences, focused around the idea that people judge an experience based on how they felt at its peak moments rather than the sum or average of every moment of the experience.

The EPIC framework addresses the importance of going beyond the routine and the expected, ensuring visitors feel recognised and valued, enabling visitors to discover something new or find new inspiration and create a sense of belonging.

Fabienne Galzin, CX leader, BVA Group, said: “According to a McKinsey study, 75% of American consumers have tried new brands or new distribution channels as a result of the health crisis.

“It is up to companies to capitalise on these developments and to use them as a springboard to speed up the transformation of their model and to ensure complementarity between offline and online models.

“Creating moving and special moments will strengthen your relationships with customers in any situation.

“It is essential to identify the right emotional drivers, to measure the right level of EPICness for customers, and to do the same also for employees in order to inspire them.

“It is up to companies to define these new horizons, to define their ambition with the right KPIs, and to go beyond customer satisfaction, to deliver lasting positive memories.

“Customer experience has become one of the major differentiators for companies to build sustainable business models. A Walker study reveals that customer experience is even on the verge of surpassing price and product features as the main differentiating factor for brands.”

Earlier this month BVA BDRC’S VenueVerdict CX Awards saw Hand Picked Hotels named as the Most Recommended Brand, closely followed by etc.venues winning Silver and JW Marriott Bronze. LGH Hotels Management were given the gold award for Best Service Delivery - Large Group, followed by  RBH Hospitality Management taking Silver and Valor Hospitality Partners bronze.  Make Venues won gold for Best Service Delivery - Small & Mid-Sized Group, with Exclusive Collection taking Silver and glh Hotels Management & IHG Managed Hotels jointly accepting bronze.

Karen Small, Director, BVA BDRC, said: “The last 18 months have been incredibly challenging for the meetings and events industry. Groups and venues have experienced something we could never have imagined and responded with tremendous amounts of resilience and generosity. The announcement of the VenueVerdict CX award winners demonstrates the huge steps forward the industry has already taken.”

Adam Simpson, Director of Marketing at etc.venues says: “For our brand to be recommended by so many event professionals without being prompted is a testament to the quality customer experience we are delivering.

“Our organisation is dedicated to inspiring each guest to achieve their best. Our teams have a ‘can-do’ attitude and are empowered to make each client feel great. It brings existing customers back and, through recommendation, wins us many new clients.”

BVA BDRC’s VenueVerdict reporting platform is migrating to BVA’s CX’s Insights platform during Q1 2022 offering subscribers some powerful new innovations including customisable surveys and the ability to run internal staff surveys.

The VenueVerdict CX awards were determined entirely by the customer and given to the venues and groups with the highest Net Promoter Score results from their assessments from July 2019 through to June 2021.

James Bland, Director, BVA BDRC, said: “For a venue to achieve high NPS it has to be on its game from dusk-til-dawn – and a few hours either side for that matter.

“NPS is neither the end nor the beginning, it has to be eternal and everlasting, within you and without you. Tracking it for the sake of tracking it is not enough.  Benchmarking it is important, but that isn’t enough either. To get it to really work for you, you need to understand what drives it and how you can influence it. What you use it with is as important – more important – than simply using it or not.”

Venue Verdict combines Mystery Shopper with Feedback to help clients understand what turns a satisfactory experience into an EPIC one.

To learn more about VenueVerdict or BVA BDRC's approach to CX, contact me at karen.small@bva-bdrc.com.

[1] Watermark Consulting

[2] PwC

[3] Adobe

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