Digitalization has brought in a sea of changes in our life and has raised the comfort level to a significantly high level. But it is this elevated comfort level that has altered the expectations of users, and this applies to the hospitality industry as well. In this article today, we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, will shed light on how digital tech innovations have worked towards transforming both online and offline expectations of the guests.
- Increased access to customer data driving innovations in the hospitality sector
- Leveraging data can help in customizing services as per customer expectations
- A combination of tech innovations and employee proficiency can enhance guest experiences
- Digital tech to enable both high-touch and low-touch customer services in the sector
Technological evolution has become the name of the game since the past decade, with digital advancements affecting every aspect of our lives. Right from easing out our household chores to changing the way we do business, digitalization has brought in a complete transformation in our way of living. And, though there’s no denying the fact that this is an exciting feat, we also need to remember that such continuous tech innovations come with their own set of pros and cons.
In terms of doing business in this digital era, the modern opportunities have also led to a considerable change in consumer demands. With businesses getting to connect with consumers in a more effective and genuine manner, the consumers are also expecting more from the businesses. And, the change is the most noticeable in the hospitality sector.
We have to remember that hospitality is an industry that is based on the provision of offering curated and high-end provisions to the guests. So, even though digitalization has reduced the workload on the staff, it has also led to newer guest touch-points and increased expectations. In fact, this is an era where 67% of consumers claim to have raised their standards of expectation, but 51% of consumers feel that the companies fail to meet those expectations.
So, how is digitalization changing the online and offline expectations of guests? What can the hospitality industry do in response to these changes? Here’s what we, at Avlon Shiksha Niketan, recognized as the Best College for Hotel Management in Kolkata, have to say in the matter!
Bringing personalized engagement in online interactions
With increased reliance on the online platforms to effectively optimize business processes, there is a possibility of customer interactions becoming impersonal and detached. However, this is exactly what hospitality businesses should strive to prevent. After all, streamlining processes through technology shouldn’t amount to sacrificing genuine customer care.
The guests might be using their mobiles to book the rooms or the tables, but they still place a premium on personalized interaction and engagement. They still seek instant gratification of their demands and expect to have a memorable experience at your establishment. And, there’s no reason to think that online interactions cannot create humanized experiences. In fact, using digital platforms should ensure better responsiveness from businesses.
At the end of the day, it is about combining advanced technology with great staff to deliver an exceptional and super-responsive guest service. So, whenever a hospitality business considers the introduction of new tech to its processes, it has to ask some critical questions to itself. Do you think the new tech entrant will help your employees to curate a better guest experience? Does it add to your existing capabilities of connecting with your guests in a personalized way?
The big responsibility of effectively handling big data
There is hardly anyone in the current business world who hasn’t heard of big data and its amazing capabilities. But, the most important thing to realize here is that effective management of big data is also a major responsibility.
Studies show that 57 percent of consumers don’t mind sharing their personal information to receive personalized discounts and offers. The increase in digital access for the guests and the businesses has established a stronger connection between the two, where the consumers expect to be heard, and their demands met. And an increase in access to consumer data also means more touch-points for the hoteliers. They get the opportunity to change their operational models, create better apps, and train their staff to deliver a highly personalized experience for each guest. However, besides the opportunities, their responsibility now extends to ensuring that the data is kept secure and protected, which also forms a significant aspect of employee training.
Delivering a personalized experience both online and offline through greater access to guest data has become a crucial aspect in streamlining the customer’s journey and curating an unforgettable experience.
Making the most out of the hybrid service demands
It’s important to realize that guests come with their unique set of expectations. When one group prefers a traditional, high-touch experience, the other might be more comfortable with a self-service, low-touch experience. This offers an opportunity for hotels to modify their guest service processes to accommodate the respective needs and interaction preferences of each guest.
So, for the guests who are more into self-service experiences, there has to be a greater emphasis on delivering fast and mobile services. On the other hand, the ones craving a high-touch experience receive instant attention from the staff. This is a win-win situation in all regards because the guests get the kind of services that they look for, and the staff can dedicate their energy to where it’s needed the most.
The hospitality sector understands the value of manpower as its most important resource, and the hybrid service structure enables the best use of that resource.
Avlon Shiksha Niketan preparing future professionals to meet industry demands
At Avlon Shiksha Niketan, we believe that this is an exciting era for the hospitality sector; thanks to the widespread attention being given to digitalization. Businesses within the country and beyond have become more open to tech innovations in bringing major changes in guest experiences. However, with the guest service models witnessing such a complete digital makeover, the industry is in dire need of professionals who can keep up with the demands of the times. And, this is exactly where we, at Avlon, come into the picture as a leading hospitality management college in Kolkata, known for grooming and preparing the future professionals for the ever-advancing hospitality industry. A progressive and innovative approach to learning, which is the key element of education impartation at Avlon, resonates across all our educational institutions, including Cooch Behar College, Alipurduar Mahila Maha Vidyalaya, Prasannadeb Women’s College, Sarojini Naidu College for Women, and Siliguri College.
Our aim, at Avlon, has always been to ensure that we train our students for the real-world aspects of the industry they will be joining soon, and that involves arming them with practical knowledge about the technological revolution sweeping the sector. Through their coursework and hands-on projects, the students get to sharpen their skills and enhance their know-how in all the facets of offline and online guest services. This enables them to put their best foot forward when they finally step into the professional realm.
Being the only institute for the Aviation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management category in India, we, at Avlon, are here to instill the highest level of innovation, exceptionality, and commitment in our budding professionals that makes them stand out in the crowd.