Hospitality refers to the cordial and bountiful reception and entertainment of visitors, guests, or strangers. This industry is more wider in comparison of other industries. Its main aim is to satisfy customers and increase revenue by providing different services (Ariffin and Maghzi, 2012). Hospitality sector involves various types of businesses which includes – food and beverages, accommodation services, lodging, travel and tourism, entertainment, recreation, etc. Intercontinental London – The O2 which is a five star hotel located in London has been taken in this report. Effective customer service management strategies which should be used in businesses to improve customer management is explained in this project. Further, how these strategies help in meeting business and customer standards is also mentioned.
P1 Customer service and customer experience management strategies in service sector
Customers experience management is the process of designing and enactment to customer interactions to exceed, meet, or increase customer satisfaction, advocacy and loyalty. It is a strategy which needs numerous technologies and operation change to complete. There are different customer experience management strategies used by businesses. In context to Intercontinental London – The O2, following strategies are used which are described under.
Assessing the market needs:- It is one of the important strategy of customer experience management. Assessing market needs is very crucial for any businesses, in order to serve customers effectively and for its growth and success. It assist in determining various buying patterns, customer segments, economic environment, competition, new entrants, etc. in the market. In context to Intercontinental London it help in identifying customers needs or requirements and making proper investment of resources and time to capture the overall market. The hotel manager should consider different elements such as segmentation and demographics, market needs, regulation, target market, competition , etc. to analyse the market (Cook, Hsu and Marqua, 2014). Considering all these points before assessing the market needs will help in knowing about effective customer experiences.
Experience mapping:- Experience mapping refers to the strategic process which help in communicating and capturing tangled customer interactions. The mapping activity increase knowledge and solidarity in the administration, and the map assist in building smooth consumer experiences. It is also one of the effective strategy for customer experience management. It provide better understanding about customers feelings and thinking for the organisation and its services. In context to Intercontinental London the manger should use this strategy for better customers experience. objectives must be defined that what the organisation want to attain before starting. Collect all the information relevant to the customers such as – their needs, behaviours, preferences,etc. Different channels must be identified which are used by customers to engage with the organisation. Important stages related to customers experience mus be outlined and then start the mapping process (Law, Buhalis and Cobanoglu, 2014). By this way experience mapping will be valuable for the organisation to determine and improve consumer experiences in the hospitality sector.
Touch point analysis:- Touch point analysis is one of the another approach to amend customer experiences in hotel industry. Customer is more important for any businesses or companies, as customers is said to be the king of market. In context to Intercontinental London the touchpoint analysis can be very valuable for better customer experiences. Customers touch points are the interaction points which gives information about themselves and the brand. These interactions can be offline and online and at different places. By using this approach sales, relationships with customers, short-term requirements, long-term requirements of consumers, etc. can be easily improved. Overall it will help in providing better customer experience in hotel industry.
Customer service management strategies
Customer service management strategy refers to those practices, efforts, technologies, and schemes used by businesses to analyse and manage consumer interactions and information throughout their lifecycle, with the objective of rising customer service relations and aid in customer possession and driving sales development (Leung and et. al., 2013). Different strategies are used by businesses to improve customer services. In context to Intercontinental London strategies used by the hotel are explained under.
Go beyond standard operating procedures:- Standard operating procedures are very important to provide effective customer services and they are valuable, as they provide framework for running business. In intercontinental London the manger should be well-known with these frameworks, in order to meet the customers needs. It will help in reducing stress and creating pleasing atmosphere in the hotel.
Good listener:- It is also very crucial for any organisation, managers, or its members to be a good listener. In context to Intercontinental London the managers should take time to determine consumers requirements by communicating properly to them, asking questions and concentrate on what they are speaking (Line and Runyan, 2012). Proper listening and attention given to customers assist in reducing danger of pre occupancy in the hotel.
Prioritise personalisation:- It is also one of the important strategy to improve customer services. In Intercontinental London the manager should give priority to personalisation in customer involvement strategies. Various technologies can be used like marketing automation and CRM software to raise customer tracking expectations. These techniques can be used to provide effective suggestions to customers regarding their requirements.
Attentive to customer's needs:- It is one of the important strategies for effective customer service management. In context to Intercontinental London the manager should provide proper attention to their customers requirements, that actually what they want and like. After understanding client's requirements rough sketch should be presented in front of them with perfect attributes, substantial and finishing to them as service proof.
Engage customers with compassion:- Compassion is very vital element in providing customer services. In context to Intercontinental London involving in customers interaction with service intent and fellow feeling will assist in creating excellent customer experience. It will make ripple outcome and help in maintaining customers for long time.
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Concentrate on employee engagement:- Engage employees are more productive and leave a great presence in any business or organisation (Lub and et. al., 2012). In context to Intercontinental London the manager should focus on employees involvement in business operations, as it develops a better customer experience in the hotel. Employees should have proper understanding and information about about mission, vision, values, brand, roles and their responsibilities towards the organisation.
So, these are the strategies or approaches which can be be used by management to provide effective customer services and for better experience with clients in hospitality industry.
P2 How customer service strategies assist in developing customer experience and meeting business standards
Customer service strategies are very crucial, as they are effective tools for better customer services. It is a collection of organisational scheme, systems, information, technology, and efforts made by any business to serve customers effectively by creating good relationships with them. It can be done by effectively utilising the consumer database information system. It main purpose is to get new customers, continue the right present clients and thriving relationship with active customers of organisation (Medlik, 2012). Customer service management is also reasoned as a corporate scheme because it is a central approach for running a business in hospitality industry. Its goal is to concentrate on customers and running all prospects of concern to satisfy the clients by addressing their needs for products and by giving responsive, good quality services. In Intercontinental London adopting these approaches aid in excellent consumer services, growth and success of business.
Importance of customer service strategies in meeting business and customer standards
Customer service management strategies are useful for both small and large scale businesses, as they help in determining, organising, collecting and managing information about customers. In context to Intercontinental London it benefits in meeting customers requirements and expansion of business by different ways, which are explained under.
Better customer relations:- It is one of the essential element in any organisation. In context to Intercontinental London it is very important to have good relationships with customers. By using customer service management strategies different dealings such as – marketing, servicing and selling services or products to customers can be done effectively and in a systematic manner. The manager can serve clients properly by better understanding about their problems or issues, which will result in decreasing customer turbulence and accelerating loyalty towards their brand. By this way it assist in providing constant customer services in the hotel.
Gain customer revenues:- By using customer service approaches in Intercontinental London, the hotel can easily increase their revenue and profits to a large extent. It can be done with the help of data collected through information systems. This information assist the hotel in popularising marketing campaigns in effective manner (Mok, Sparks and Kadampully, 2013). It will help in creating new customers, improve brand image and thus, it will increase customer revenue. Overall it will satisfy customers and build a sustainable advantage for the hotel.
Good internal communication:- Applying customer service strategies in the organisation will assist in effective communication between employees and the customers. In context to Intercontinental London sharing information about customers among various departments will encourage the employees to work together as a team. It will result in one of many advantages of customer service strategies. It is one of the advantageous example of good listening – which is described above – a good customer service strategy. In Intercontinental London it fills the communication gap among the organisation and serve clients effectively.
Increase cross-selling and upselling:- Effective customer service management strategies allows up-selling – the process of providing superior products to customers which fall into the identical collection of their purchase (Verma, Stock and McCarthy, 2012). It also increase cross-selling – the process of providing complementary products to clients according to their previous purchases basis. It can be possible only with the help of interaction with customers and collecting information like – needs, demands, patterns, etc. By this way it maximises cross-selling and up-selling in the hotel.
Optimising marketing:- With the use of customers service strategies and its advantages, it is easy to understand customer's demands, behaviours and needs. In context to Intercontinental London it enables to identify the proper time to market the product to their clients. It also give ideas about paid customer groups and utilising this information will assist in targeting related potential groups at proper time. It enables in making optimum and effective utilisation of marketing resources. It also reduces wastage of time on less profitable clients in hospitality industry.
Higher staff satisfaction:- Having more information about customers, their needs, requirements, etc. will be beneficial for the employees, as they can serve effectively to customers. In context to Intercontinental London it can be possible only with the use of customer service approaches. It make employees empowered and involved in client services. By this way customers problems can be easily solved and make both client and employees satisfy.
By this way these strategies help in creating and developing great customer experience sand fulfilling customer requirements and business standards in Intercontinental London.
Negative touchpoints of customer service strategies
Providing better customer services is essential for every business or organisation. It can be done through effective customer service strategies (Wang, Tsai and Tsai, 2014). Not applying these strategies in Intercontinental London will lead to negative impact on both customers and hotel. If the hotel is not providing better service to clients it will increase dissatisfaction among them, which will affect the overall organisation negatively, because customers want full satisfaction if they are paying for the services and they will move to another hotel to fulfil their needs. As a result it will decrease profits or growth of hotel and affect their financial system. Less income and profits demotivate the employees and the overall organisation. By this way the organisation will suffer (Medlik, 2012).
It is concluded from the above project report that hospitality industry provides effective services to guests, travellers or visitors through different businesses in this sector. Customer experience management is the way to determine customer needs, requirements, etc. and their experience towards any organisation or for various services or products. Further, different strategies – touch point analysis, experience mapping analysing the market, etc. for consumer experience management can be used by businesses to create better customer experience. Customer service strategies are vital in any organisation to provide better service to their clients and building good experience with them. Various customers service strategies assist in improving relationships with clients and increasing sales and profitability in the hospitality industry.
- Ariffin, A.A.M. and Maghzi, A., 2012. A preliminary study on customer expectations of hotel hospitality: Influences of personal and hotel factors. International Journal of Hospitality Management. 31(1). pp.191-198.
- Cook, R.A., Hsu, C.H. and Marqua, J.J., 2014. Tourism: the business of hospitality and travel. Boston, MA: Pearson.
- Law, R., Buhalis, D. and Cobanoglu, C., 2014. Progress on information and communication technologies in hospitality and tourism. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management. 26(5). pp.727-750.
- Leung, D., and et. al., 2013. Social media in tourism and hospitality: A literature review. Journal of travel & tourism marketing. 30(1-2). pp.3-22.
- Line, N.D. and Runyan, R.C., 2012. Hospitality marketing research: Recent trends and future directions. International Journal of Hospitality Management. 31(2). pp.477-488.