Customer loyalty: Let’s have a data-driven conversation

The drive to become data-driven pervades so many conversations we have with travel and hospitality clients today. Marriott International is a great example – here’s what their head of Global Digital & Sales had to say about leveraging data to earn customer loyalty: 

“Marriott’s vision is to be the world’s favorite travel company. The best way to reach that goal is to employ a best-in-breed, global customer recognition platform that connects our guests at every possible touchpoint to our team of expert hospitality professionals who strive to delight our guests every stay.” 

Here’s the sobering reality every travel & hospitality company should pay attention to: Globally, companies lose more than $300 billion yearly due to poor customer experiences. What’s worse is that two-thirds of that are snatched up by competitors of the losing brands – meaning if you’re not providing the experiences your customers demand, you’re effectively handing them over on a platter to the enemy. 

Re-engineering your first customer touchpoints 

While it’s true that we have increasingly gained enormous access to customer data – which should theoretically mean that now more than ever we have the tools to provide a killer customer experience (CX) – 80% of data is “dark and untouched”. This means it’s never actually used to make improvements to the customer experience – and often goes to waste. 

Imagine transforming your contact centers from monolithic, transaction-based “warehouses” to CX centers of excellence. With a strong quality assurance team and integrated technology in place, you will get regular feedback on which script approaches do and don’t work for your different customer segments.  

Your agents, coached in the myriad of questions they might encounter (“Can my dog stay in the hotel?”), should be ready. Answering this question might require probing to determine the size of the dog. 

Alternatively, when an agent has rich customer profile information, a question that’s likely to ramp up the loyalty quotient with a customer who has previously traveled with her dog would be, “Will Daisy be staying with you on this visit?” 

To compete today, your customer contact centers can no longer simply be transactional and reactive; they must be proactive, data-driven hubs where service issues are identified, solutions are tested, and customer delight and loyalty are accessible objectives.

Three hospitality trends to inform your 2019

Are loyalty programs a waste of time - and money?

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