This article is part of the Hotel Digital Transformer newsletter on LinkedIn. Subscribe to my LinkedIn newsletter where I’ll share tips, ideas, and strategies to help your hotel open its digital gateways.
“To me hospitality and digital transformation are art. It is like a painter that uses a combination of colors to create a picture. And we all will have a different perspective on how we view the finished product. The key is to bring out the commonalities that tell us that this is an experience we want to share with others.”
Digital transformation can be complex at several levels.
The biggest challenge is typically about mindsets. Often people don’t resist change, but they resist being changed. Digital transformation is not just about technology, but also about identifying the commonalities where people and technology work in harmony.
Digital transformation is nothing new it is a process that many brands have utilized over the years. Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit digital transformation was neither urgent nor important. COVID-19 ignited digital transformation for both consumers and brands. This digital evolution created a shift for hotels from being in the service industry to now being in the experience industry. During the COVID-19 consumers discovered how digital tools were their friends helping them achieve any task while they were confined at home.
This radically changed the consumer’s perspectives. They no longer want brands to work for them, but they want brands to work with them.
What matters today to the consumer is their digital experience. In the past when hotels worked for the consumers it happened in a traditional transaction window. The consumers paid for a given service alternative, and the hotel delivered within that framework.
The primary control of these transactions was perceived to be in the hands of the hotel.
And if something went wrong within this framework the hotel initiated its customer service recovery steps. The reputation of the hotel was two-dimensional. One dimension reflected the transaction process, while the second dimension reflected the customer service recovery process. Reviews on TripAdvisor in most cases reflect the difference between a smooth customer service recovery or a broken customer service recovery process.
Today consumers are seeking a partnership with hotels. This is why hotels have to start with building relationships and making friends first. Consumers expect to create an amazing experience together with the hotel. And the key is doing this together as neither part could do it by themselves.
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS NOT URGENT, YET
Digital transformation is important today, and it will help your hotel move from data silos to data lakes. It is not urgent, yet. But the longer you wait closer it will get to become urgent. With digital transformation, you don’t have to do everything, but you have to do something. You want to start focusing on what will help your hotel with short-term growth and long-term resilience.
Take on one data silo at the time and figure out what consumer behaviors and insights are most relevant to your hotel.
Since you start with building relationships and making friends first it is ok to experiment and ask what is working and what is not. Just be transparent!
WORK AS A TEAM PLAY AS A TEAM
Start co-creating your hotel’s digital transformation process with employees is an essential success factor. Brands that don’t include employees in the process either fail or have a low success rate.
Include your employees and they will take care of the customers, and help your hotel identify the best ways to work with your customers.
Over to you
The hotel industry is always changing, especially during a time of crisis. Make sure to future-proof your business and continue attracting new guests by investing in these solutions.
Hi, I am Are Morch.
As your digital transformation experience partner, I will educate your hotel on digital transformation frameworks that create a new culture of happy employees and inspire customers to make more direct bookings without competing with online travel agencies.