Beyond Tech: The Importance of Experience Support
Supporting the massive, highly complex digital infrastructures that power cutting-edge guest experience initiatives isn’t as simple as having an IT help desk.
In the past, support personnel have tended to prioritize their efforts at solving technical problems based on their magnitude, whether the issue affected thousands of guests (“All hands on deck!”) or merely a handful (“Don’t call us. We’ll call you.”)
For our team members, either scenario demands full-attention. With backgrounds in the hospitality industry, our tech experts know that any issue, no matter how small, can damage the guest experience – and the reputations of our clients. Our Experience Operations teams are not only technically skilled but are always focused on one mission: Protecting the guest experience.
We have learned through experience, testing, observing, and studying so that we can implement technical solutions while prioritizing and optimizing the experience of our partners’ customers. In particular, we have used our hospitality industry experiences to enhance our own services.
As experts in the hospitality industry, we take our customer service standards very seriously. In fact, our resolution was to create a system where any customer issue, whether it affected one guest or hundreds or thousands, is a priority. Being specialists in the customer service domain in the cruise industry helped GEM develop its philosophy for putting the customer experience first.
THE HOSPITALITY COMPONENT OF EXPERIENCE OPERATIONS
In our work with Princess Cruises, our goal has been to empower each team member supporting the ships to escalate and prioritize a guest service issue to ensure it’s resolved properly, and quickly. Rather than assuming an “it can wait” attitude, our technical experts have the ability — with the full support of their team — to make any issue their issue and take ownership. They can utilize any means at their disposal, including GEM support teams, to tackle a problem and reach a solution in the quickest manner possible.
Our Experience Operations teams take every issue seriously, so whether it’s a crew member with a technical issue with office software or when a guest can’t access their cruise card, they receive 24/7 support. We don’t just resolve issues with services, microservices, technology or applications — we provide top-shelf, in-person support. Protecting the guest experience might mean helping out a crew member with Excel or anything that interferes with their day-to-day job. Because if it will affect the crew member’s ability to do their job, that affects the guest in one way or another.
The antithesis to our philosophy is “it’s not my job.” In fact, supporting the guest experience is everyone’s job. Whether on a cruise or in a hotel, however simple an issue — if a guest can’t find their room, or they need a restaurant recommendation, or they can’t get on the WiFi — our team members take it upon themselves to provide top-tier guest experiences. For our partners, we support all aspects of the customer journey, whether technical or non-technical. In the end, we want the guest to truthfully say, “We had the best experience ever!”
Our technology products for partners have a singular focus: the guest experience. We know it is a hot-button issue, and as customers have more and more choices as to what cruise line, hotel, or theme park they visit, the guest experience is the differentiator. If they are not happy, the whole enterprise can fail, and one negative review can turn into hundreds or thousands. When customers check out travel or tourism websites and see the reviews, customer service issues are usually the top complaints. It is worth putting the time and effort into finding a technology solution that puts your guests’ experiences at the top of your priority list.