Offering a personal experience in hospitality is more than just superficial personalisation.
The concept of anonymous personalisation, which upon first glance seems of an oxymoronic nature, suggests that offering a customer your personal attention does not require you to know them personally. While a ‘personal touch’ from hotel staff, such as leaving a note in your room addressing you by name, is a nice gesture, it is ultimately an administrative process of reading off a computer and regurgitating content. It does not require any further intel. True personalisation lies in perception.
Ben Davis, editor at Econsultancy, argued in a recent Marketing Week article that personalisation at a strategic level is not a one-to-one experience made explicit with trumpets and glitter. It is about improving conversion.
Davis explained that “in pursuit of a great customer experience, it’s better to be useful first, to offer great service. Because ultimately if that customer service is lacking, the bells and whistles seem just that.” He argues that a hotel guest could potentially have a more personal service by checking in via an app that issues an automated key card to open their room door on arrival, than queueing at a front desk and waiting to have that face-to-face interaction.
According to Experian’s personalisation spectrum, the most basic step a marketer can take is addressing the identity of a customer. The spectrum then escalates to using data to drive insight, and predictive optimisation using what you know about customers to anticipate future preferences and decisions.
In our current times, businesses are aware they need to stand out in order to weather the financial storm. A stronger brand and a better experience might just reduce price sensitivity or allow for a cut to advertising budgets.
So, what do great service and effective marketing have in common? Personalisation. The best hotels are those that really nail their standard of service and therefore offer a strong foundation to develop personal and authentic marketing campaigns that drive revenue and encourage customer retention.
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To read the full Marketing Week article, click here.