Creating consistency in the hospitality customer experience doesn’t have to mean creation of robots ...
There are many articles and discussions emphasising the importance of ensuring a consistent experience for the customer when building a successful brand. When discussing this with clients I often hear “but we don’t want to have robots” as when the word consistency and standards is mentioned it creates a sense of a sterile and robotic hospitality customer experience.
Obviously, it depends on the product or service being offered and the process we are talking about but when it comes to delivery of customer experience in the hospitality business it is becoming increasingly important to deliver an experience which feels like “I am special – they care about me” for the customer.
The goal should be to increase loyalty and recommendation of our service. Each message conveyed through your marketing activities is delivering a promise – is your customer experience delivering on that promise? Where are the gaps? Do you know?
Life is so busy these days – customers are searching for that special experience where they feel that personal touch. They don’t want to have to communicate the same request every morning that they come to the same restaurant and greet the same waiter – they don’t want to be asked for their name every morning that they approach the breakfast host or hostess – they look forward to their special choice of pillow being in their room when arriving at that same hotel for the third or fourth time. Every day we are in such a rush and having these very small moments during what can at times be stressful when travelling. But when we find we don’t have to think about these small details we feel valued as an “individual” and that is a critical factor in building loyalty for companies and brands.
Being consistent in “how” the customer experience is delivered has a different meaning to consistently delivering the same experience every single time. In some businesses having a robotic approach is exactly what is required with a goal to create exactly the same product every single time which looks and feels the same for every single customer.
Creating strong emotional connections through taking a “human” approach to how we deliver the customer experience is the goal we strive to achieve when working with clients to “internalise” their brand vision, values and promise. Having standards and a strong understanding of what each person’s role is in achieving this experience play an important role in achieving success. Having a culture which reinforces and inspires employees to connect with the customer when following these standards can be the difficult part. “I don’t know why we do this but it is company policy”, “sorry that is how we do it here” are words that we will hear in an organisation where employees don’t know the “why” and are just given the “do” message.
Creating a special customer experience for a guest means treating our internal workforce in the same way – make them feel an important part of your customer experience and in most instances, they will make your customer feel the same way, “important”. My mother always told me “you get what you give in life” and that applies to how you consider your goals with delivering a personalised customer experience. You need the map (training, clear understanding of the promise with your standards and procedures) to guide your team and then you give them the confidence to connect with your customers in a way that will create long lasting loyalty and success for your hospitality business.
Good luck with internalising your external messages into a memorable experience for your customers and remember consistency doesn’t have to mean having robots greet your guests.
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