Creating a seamless, single interface for all your guest interactions, across channels, can help you to deliver personalization that will truly set you apart.
Why do you pick one hotel or restaurant over another? Vibe? Quality? Price? Convenience? Probably. However, what’s more likely to influence your decision is the overall guest experience. And importantly, the level of personalization it delivers.
This is attested to by the fact that 86% of travelers find that personalized experiences were preferrable. In fact, a wider survey by McKinsey and Company found that 71% of consumers in general, expected, not just preferred, personalization. The same data also showed that 76% of consumers were frustrated when they didn’t find the level of convenience they expected from a brand or service provider. Meanwhile, 65% of travelers would exchange personal data for better pricing plans, further underscoring the importance of personalized guest experiences.
Therefore, any hospitality brand serious about building and retaining customer loyalty, brand recognition, market share, and any other similar metrics or KPIs, must place particular emphasis on personalized guest experiences. Today, simply having a good guest experience alone is not enough. It must be personal, it must be relatable, it must be available, 24/7.
Achieving a high level of personalization within your guest experience, however, is not easy. Brands encounter several obstacles on the journey toward personalization, and it is very much a journey and not a destination.
In this post, we’ll explore some of the major obstacles to achieving satisfactory levels of personalization, particularly in the hospitality industry, and present some of the of new, innovative, and cost-effective options available to brands and service providers of all sizes to make this process easier and more achievable. We’ll discuss the importance of Communications Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) in the quest for omnichannel, highly personalized, and responsive customer experiences.
Key Obstacles to Guest Experience Personalization
The personalization of guest experiences is never a completed project. People are constantly evolving, and so too the experiences they desire. Let us now examine some of the most common challenges you’ll face when attempting to take your guest experience to the next level.
Data Gathering and Analytics
The best personalized customer experiences have a common thread; good customer data and lots of it. That means collecting, storing, analyzing, and ultimately utilizing vast amounts of data. The more data you can collect and analyze, the better your results are likely to be. The logic here is simple; to personalize your experience you must know your customer, and to know your customer you must gather data on them. But this is tricky.
Google has revealed that the average person often switches between three devices to complete a task and may use over ten channels to communicate with their brands and service providers, and this is a growing trend.
However, at the same time, guests are more than willing to share data, with 57% of people willing to share additional personal information, such as location, top five friends, information about family and other personal data, in return for better service or financial rewards. However, up to 33% of hospitality industry respondents say they have limited to no capacity to personalize marketing messages, which brings us to the next major obstacle to personalized guest experiences.
Cost and Investment – Personnel, Technology and Scalability
One of the first points of contention in any new business development initiative is cost. Often, for smaller, and even large players, there is no way to immediately quantify the cost benefits of investing in personalized guest experiences. This is also usually not a big priority for management, particularly in the post-pandemic environment where many hospitality businesses are struggling just to survive. However, this really shouldn’t be the case, because it has been shown that personalization of the guest experience can deliver between 5x and 8x the ROI compared to conventional guest experiences.
Finding ways to substantiate and justify your plans for personalization will be crucial. According to some reports, hotels can quickly increase revenues by 6% by adopting personalized experiences. Furthermore, it has been reported that personalization can reduce customer acquisition costs by up to 50%, and increase marketing spend efficiency by up to 30%. Collecting stats like this and doing the necessary research can give you enough information to convince management that it is financially viable to invest in personalization.
One of the most significant costs will be technology, and investing in your own infrastructure can quickly break the bank. But this is where cloud services that are affordable, easily integrated, scalable, and convenient, such as Syniverse CPaaS Concierge, can help you. Cloud solutions can reduce costs of ownership by up to 40%, while also improving security, flexibility, and allowing carbon emissions reductions of up to 84%. Plus, cloud solutions often require fewer people, which reduces personnel costs too, while always being scalable, upwards or downwards, as required by demand. This is indispensable for hospitality players due to the very seasonal nature of the industry.
Delivery and Monitoring – Omnichannel, Real-Time Delivery and Tracking and Measurement
Personalizing your guest experience is one thing, but successfully delivering that experience and tracking its performance is another. This is where an omnichannel approach has been proven to be successful, with omnichannel experiences retaining 89% of customers on average, while other strategies were able to manage just 33%.
An omnichannel experience is simply a hospitality player’s ability to be available across digital and other channels, while providing a consistent and relatable experience. This allows, for instance, a guest to first discover you on, say, Facebook, but later message you with an inquiry on Instagram, and then finish the booking on WhatsApp. And, this is much more common than you think. According to Google, 98% of people switch between devices and platforms each day, multiple times, with 50% of consumers using more than four touch points to complete a purchase; contrast this with just 7% of consumers 15 years ago, with most using two or fewer.
Therefore, the biggest challenge with omnichannel delivery will be maintaining consistency and responsivity across all channels, while tracking and monitoring the effectiveness of your strategy.
How Syniverse CPaaS Concierge Can Help You Overcome These Challenges
In essence, a good CPaaS will provide your back-end people and your business with the same benefits that your customers enjoy through an omnichannel approach; the ability to be comfortable and consistent across multiple channels of communication, while always having the information you need instantly accessible. It addresses cost and investment concerns by being economical, affordable, scalable, and quickly implemented, provides unmatched data gathering and analytics tools, while also making delivery and tracking seamless, intuitive, and unified.
Syniverse CPaaS Concierge fulfills all of these requirements and has already proven itself, having enhanced engagement by up to 40%, increased revenue for a single mobile marketing campaign by over USD 1.2 million and helped a specialty retail chain achieve 34X ROI on a single SMS campaign.