“Putting the customer first” is one expression that has been around hospitality for a long time. However, now we enter an era of being “customer-obsessed”. This has become more than a trend and has turned into a key mindset that hoteliers must not be unaware of.
But what exactly does it mean to be customer-obsessed?
Customer obsession refers to a business approach that puts customers’ needs, preferences, and satisfaction at the centre of its operations. It involves building strong relationships, delivering exceptional experiences, and fostering long-term loyalty.
It involves not only aiming at increasing your guests’ satisfaction but actually using your guest data to make decisions that drive revenue. To breathe, eat and sleep customer’s expectations and needs, in order to come up with real solutions that truly elevate their experience and foster loyalty.
But why customer-obsessed?
Research by Deloitte found that companies that are customer-centric are 60% more profitable. You cannot make a brand successful if they are not designed for customers and having customers in mind. And the same principles apply to accommodation brands.
Whether a hotel, hostel, resort, serviced apartments or any other, your guests should be the ones driving the decision.
How to be more customer-obsessed or customer-centric?
If you see the potential of starting to put your customers first (but for real this time) but don’t know where to start, here are some ways to kick-start your customer obsession:
1. Start with your data to understand your guests
The first thing that you need to address is how much knowledge you have of your guests. Who are they? Where are the majority of them coming from? What are their preferred services? What is their feedback?
If you look at your guest data, you will be able to draw powerful conclusions and understand more about their pain points as well as what still needs to be fixed on your part.
For example, if you pay attention to feedback and reviews, what do the bad comments have in common? And how can that be approached by your team?
You don’t need to run a full project to be able to understand your data. If you are using a hotel CRM, you already have all this information stored in your customer data platform. There, you can easily visualise the reports and other representations.
2. Aim to anticipate your customer needs
Once you have understood your data and gathered relevant insights, you can start acting upon it. One important point to think about is how to anticipate your guests’ needs.
Is there something they are always asking for? A piece of information that seems to be always missing? If something happens more than twice, it is not a coincidence anymore and it shows you that some leaks have to be fixed.
Consistency is the key to delivering exceptional customer experience! There are various ways you can set the bar high for your guests and stand out from your competitors, here are 8 pre-stay communication ideas to increase guest satisfaction before they arrive.
3. Review your processes and put guests at the centre
Being customer-obsessed also implies that whenever developing a new strategy, process or project, your guests are at the centre of it.
One key aspect relies on your existing processes. For example, take a look at the booking process for your company. Is it really a smooth and easy process for them? Does it create any kind of confusion? Is there anything that can be done simpler?
Now take a look at your check-in and check-out processes. Is it a truly easy experience that delivers value? Just like that, each process should be evaluated (or at least the main ones), in order to understand how you can improve it.
To sum it up
Being customer-obsessed in the hotel industry is not just a trend; it’s a philosophy that can lead to sustained success, growth, and a reputation that stands the test of time.
In a world where competition in the hospitality industry is fierce, hotels that prioritise customer obsession will not only stay ahead but thrive in the ever-evolving landscape.