There is no doubt that hospitality businesses have been struggling the recent years. The challenges do not come only from the changes in guest behavior but also come from the fierce in the industry and the application of technology.
Hotel and tourism fields have changed dramatically the recent years but consumer satisfaction is still the major concern in these fields. There are various challenges faced by hotels, requiring knowledge and effort to tackle them all.
The adoption of modern technology
Many hospitality businesses still find it struggled to adopt modern and innovative technology in their properties. Things are more about just the high cost of technology adoption and transition because one moving to new technology, they have to deal with data management. Modern hospitality technology mainly takes advantage of a customer database to fasten the service delivery process while cutting unnecessary costs.
Taking electronic check-in – the latest technology applied in the industry – as an example. If a guest books a room, the hotel will register the guest and send him a key card with his identification recognition equipped. Also, further information, including the room number, time or any details, will be sent to his mobile phone. Then, when arriving at the hotel, the guest no longer has to confirm at the Front Desk. He can directly move to his room and opens it with the key card. No waiting in a long line for confirmation will lead to a better guest experience at the hotel.
The management of reputation
Online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have been so popular these days. Guests everywhere can give online reviews, including photos, comments and ratings, through these platforms. This makes managing a hotel’s hospitality even much more important and difficult. As a result, hotels have to take every effort to establish strong relationships with their customers if they want to see an increase in reputation or at least, keep their reputation not bad.
They must acknowledge how seriously reviews and comments on the internet can affect their businesses. As everyone everywhere can get access to these platforms, their bad reputation or scandals will spread unimaginably fast, leaving them in the black-list hotels that no one wants to visit. Hospitality businesses need to take action to utilize certain popular platforms to their advantage. This is the most effective way to manage their reputation.
Retain and attract employees
Hospitality has been famous for its high job quitting level. According to a recent survey, more than 33% of staff in the industry quit their jobs after just 6 months while the percentage of staff who can hold on for an average of 2 years is 45%. Hospitality grows continuously and companies who want to win need employees with good quality, skills and knowledge. Staff expectations in hospitality are always high, changing and growing. This demands companies to keep up with the latest trends so as to attract high-quality employees.
Environmentally friendly movement
Environmental pressures are everywhere and hospitality is not an exception. While customers are paying more attention to products that do not harm the environment, in the hospitality industry, things are the same. Guests always want to see that a hospitality company follows environmentally, socially and culturally practices. If a hotel can apply sustainable practices in its daily operation, it definitely stands out from the others in the industry.
Hospitality businesses cannot move the whole organization systems and products to sustainable measures because such a task is expensive but won’t last long. Instead, they can take small steps to react to environmentally friendly trends. This will produce a lasting effect on the environment while increasing customer’s trust and companies’ reputation.
Customer experience personalization
Customers these days are more likely to be recognized as an individual rather than as a group of people. Because customers prefer personalization, hospitality should take action to personalize their experiences at the hotels. A high level of guest personalization can be achieved through consumer data collection and analysis. However, even when hotels have all the needed data on their hands, they still find it hard to transform the data and customer insights into actions.
Big customer data will give companies a look into customer buying behavior and interests, thus, enabling hospitality businesses to customize their offers and promotions to each guest. For unique customer experiences and competitive advantage, hotels need to find new methods to translate all the data collected into personalized offers.
Finding new customers is always more difficult than keeping the current customers and this is the reason why loyalty programs are mentioned as the top goal of any business. If loyalty programs are confused and inaccessible, guests will never participate in so when designing their loyalty programs, hotels should make it as appealing and simple as possible to keep loyal guests.
Hospitability is a profitable yet challenging industry. Any business that wants to survive and become successful needs to acknowledge the challenges proposing to the industry and take action to tackle them.