Customer service has always been at the forefront of the hospitality industry, and it is important that companies pay attention to the specific needs of each and every guest who walks through their door. One size does not fit all, and to build loyalty, it’s crucial that organizations make sure they’re catering, as appropriate, to their customers’ desires. As such, we’re somewhat expected in the industry to be mind readers. Although that isn’t technically possible, we can rely on technology to help fill in the gaps, as well as discover new trends, foster creative ideas for programs and tailor experiences for our guests.
Identifying the Right Data to Create Better Experiences
With the amount of available information multiplying by the moment – as well as the ever looming data security threat – knowing how to begin analyzing the data can be overwhelming. It’s imperative to understand where to start and which details to gather, to make sure it aligns with company goals. To start, we ask ourselves two major questions:
- How does this information benefit the company (short- and long-term)?
- How will this knowledge enhance our key stakeholders’ experience?
The answers we’ve received typically encompass three key elements that vacationers seek:
However, it’s once this information is known that the true journey and unique challenge begins: transforming that data into meaningful actions.
Instituting a Winning Strategy
Technology has introduced a variety of ways to streamline tasks, and as we’ve seen recently, there has been an increase in the integration of voice activated commands and AI products in the travel industry. Today’s vacationer is a mobile traveler, who wants access to services and experiences at their fingertips. To keep pace with expectations, the hospitality industry is now finding ways to incorporate technology into hotel rooms and the booking process. For example, at Diamond, we’re piloting online concierge services and different SMS capabilities to simplify communication for our guests. These tests will eventually yield data to tell us how many people made live or in-person requests versus online or app-driven requests. Once we know that, we can customize the check-in experience for our guests based on their preferences.
Tailoring to the Guest
The travel industry has turned into such a competitive atmosphere, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience of our members, owners and guests. One of the best methods to gauge their sentiments is to keep a close-eye on customer reviews. Our team takes a complete 360-degree approach at monitoring third party sites, including social media, and online rating sites, to track insights on what our members and guests enjoy. We then use that information to determine where we can make changes. For example, we will roll out an event at several of our resorts, and learn that the experience only finds success in select regions. We can then revise our approach and tailor new events moving forward.
Incorporating a Personal Touch
By reviewing the data, we’re able to personalize each guest’s experience when they vacation with us and can focus on even the smallest details to go above and beyond, making every experience unforgettable. For example, if we know a guest is celebrating their birthday or anniversary, our team will be sure to do something special, such as deliver a bottle of wine to their room. Knowing a customer appreciates our attention to detail is what drives us to continue exceeding expectations whenever we can.
Data analysis has become an integral tool in helping us enhance the customer experience, and more importantly, in keeping our members, owners and guests happy. Technology has allowed us to tap into their needs and wants, and for new members, it allows us to utilize predictive analytics to customize vacations that fit their unique lifestyle.
Bio: Mike Flaskey, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Resorts, has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in public and privately-held companies, with a key focus on growth-oriented companies within the vacation ownership industry. He previously held the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Diamond Resorts from 2014 to 2016, and Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, North America for Diamond Resorts from 2010 to 2014. Throughout Mr. Flaskey’s tenure at Diamond Resorts, the Company has achieved unprecedented growth both organically and through strategic acquisition integration.