Thinking Like a Hospitality Expert to Enhance the Guest Experience
No matter how technical, any customer or guest-facing enterprise can learn something from the hospitality industry. The combination of technical expertise and a hospitality-centered mindset can provide the recipe for a stellar guest experience. In the world of software development, it’s easy to think in terms of the product first. But truly innovative products and services are based on the idea of people first. And that’s where the hospitality industry shines.
So, let’s start with the basics. The 9 principles of remarkable service, according to the Culinary Institute of America, are:
- Is welcoming, friendly, and courteous
- Is knowledgeable
- Is efficient
- Is well-timed
- Is flexible
- Is consistent
- Communicates effectively
- Instills trust
- Exceeds expectations
If that’s not a blueprint for effective guest experience design, what is?
These principles can be applied in any setting that touches people. For example, The healthcare industry, which is increasingly service-driven. Patients want safe, convenient access to healthcare services. Even before the pandemic, patients were losing their appetite for sitting in a crowded waiting room for 45 minutes past the appointment time, only to continue waiting once taken to an exam room.
What patients want when visiting a medical clinic is the same convenience that they can experience from other services in their lives, from ordering a pizza online to being able to easily schedule a service call from a plumber and stay informed about their time of arrival.
What’s at Stake
At GEM, we apply our team’s deep understanding of both technology and the hospitality industry to creating seamless, magical guest experiences. Our knowledge of hospitality informs everything we do, allowing us to build technical solutions that give our partners the power to delight their guests and customers.
The primary mission of our experience operations teams is to enhance and protect the guest experience. Any obstacles that disrupt it must be removed, no matter if they seemingly affect only a handful of people. The guest experience makes or breaks a company’s reputation. With consumers demanding radical convenience and choice, the quality of the guest experience is what sets one business apart from another. A single negative experience can have an outsized effect on perceptions of an initiative. Unhappy guests mean negative online reviews, and these begin compounding if pain points are not addressed.
As Shep Hyken writes in Forbes, the experience doesn’t just define impressions of your brand — in the eyes of guests and customers, it is your brand:
The company may define its brand promise, but it is the customer who decides whether or not the company delivered on its promise. There’s a lot riding on delivering a positive customer experience. You hire and train good people, but you must also give them the tools they need to deliver a CX that not only meets the customers’ expectations but makes them want to come back.
Our experience as customer service specialists in the cruise industry molded GEM’s mission to prioritize the customer and guest experience. We know that earning customer loyalty is not easy and that any issues that endanger that loyalty has an outsized effect on a brand’s health. Building loyalty means consistently delighting customers, eliminating pain points, and having a fanatical focus on the most minute details of the experience.
Guests want to know that they matter. Providing personalized experiences that are engaging and memorable is the foundation of success, and this means enhancing the human touch of the hospitality industry with technical know-how and innovation. Maximizing the guest experience creates lifelong customers and brand ambassadors who will return time and again.