Latest News  

TELUS International Europe: Turning a satisfied customer into a loyal customer – Q&A with a hospitality expert

Leonardo Inghilleri literally wrote the book on customer service in the hospitality industry - and an international bestseller at that.

2017-05-04 15:30:54





Grégoire Vigroux
Vice-President Marketing of TELUS International Europe

Over his career, Inghilleri has helped transform the customer service offerings of some of the world's most widely recognized travel and hospitality brands. His previous job titles have included executive vice president and brand executive for BVLGARI Hotels and Resorts, senior vice president of human resources for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and director of human resources for The Walt Disney Company in both Orlando and Paris.

Today, when he's not speaking about the latest trends in hospitality, he serves as founder and president of Inghilleri Consulting Group, Inc., which provides clients in the hospitality industry with customer service insights and expertise.

TELUS International recently caught up with Inghilleri to discuss the vital difference between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, and how contact centers play a critical role in building loyalty that lasts.

Q: Your book, Exceptional Service, Exceptional Profit, emphasizes the distinction between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. What's the difference between the two?
A: They're two dramatically different things. A satisfied customer might use your product or service for decades, but he or she is not emotionally connected to your product, brand or service, and therefore belongs to the market. A loyal customer belongs to you; he or she is emotionally connected to the brand. They're willing to spend more on your logo, because it creates a mental association. The strategic value of your business resides in loyal customers, not satisfied customers, because you can bank on them.

So how do you satisfy the customer? You give them a perfect product delivered by nice people, on time. How do you then transition that customer from being a user to being a loyal advocate for your brand? You need to understand the unique needs of the customer. Give me what's important for me, not customers in general, just me. One person. You remember those preferences, and you make use of it.

[For example], it's like going to a bar, and the bartender knows you. And as you walk in, they greet you by name and they offer you your usual drink. You say "Wow, they can read my mind," and there's no reason for you to go elsewhere. You're loyal, you're willing to pay a little more, you're going to speak positively of that experience, and you will be more willing to experiment in the future. If that bar opens a new restaurant, because of your past experience, you're willing to try it. That's the concept of brand extension.

Q: What role do call centers play in building that sort of customer loyalty?
A: When I call the best premium providers' customer service number, they call me by name when they answer the phone, and I've got a complicated name. The technology enables them to see what issue I'm calling about, and to anticipate my needs. And the quality of the interaction is flawless, because the employee is very well-trained.

The experience that I have with premium customer service providers should be the norm. Why would you want someone to answer the phone if he or she is not quite ready? Why would you not equip them with all the necessary skills and knowledge? You may need to pay them a bit more. You may need to select them more carefully. You may need to train them more. But those are relatively easy things to accomplish, and if the result is giving the customer a great experience, from my viewpoint it's a worthwhile investment.

Q: But you're only getting this personalized experience with brands you're already loyal to, and you're loyal to these brands because of that customer service. Are you saying that brands should offer premium services to the average customer?
A: Absolutely! It's not that complicated. The agents at these premium desks aren't from a different planet. They might have better training, and they might be selected differently, but that should be a mandatory condition of any good customer service organization. Make sure you hire the right people, train them well, equip them with good technology and good processes, and give them enough authority and autonomy to take care of the customer needs without going to a supervisor.

All of this is very possible and easily implemented in the first tier of the call center, not only at the highest level.

Q: Do you think technology will enable customer service providers to deliver that premium level service to every customer?
A: The system always evolves, and what was only available to the luxury customers 30 years ago is available to the average customer today. At the same time, the expectations of the luxury customer, regardless of the segment, have evolved dramatically too. I think technology will continue to deliver better, more personalized, more tailored experiences to the vast majority of consumers.

Q: So how can technology be used to improve customer service delivery?
A: Today you have systems that can help you capture the preferences of the customer. The tricky part is that they still need to be populated, they still need to be captured, and most importantly someone needs to actually read those preferences and do something about it. It's not as easy as it might sound. Technology is great, but at the end of the day, because we're talking about experiences and not transactions, they require human intervention. It's all about the human factor.

Q: So would you say that no matter how technology evolves in the future, providing the best service will always come down to the ‘human factor?'
A: Absolutely. I can't tell you how disheartening it is for a customer to call the call center and perceive that the person on the other end of the line really does not care about them, especially if they're experiencing a problem. So how do you prevent that? Invest in your people. Identify the right attributes and talents and desired behavior for those jobs and hire accordingly. Train them well, equip them well, and then give them space to use their mind. Give them a mission to please the customer, rather than make a transaction. Exceptional service is just human, nothing else.

"Keep up-to-date with the latest thinking about BPO, ITO and Contact Center solutions. Each month, TELUS International, a global provider of contact center outsourcing and BPO solutions, shares insights on the latest customer service trends."

Related articles: www.telusinternational-europe.com /
www.telusinternational.com


0 COMMENTS ^ Go back to Top
WRITE A COMMENT ^ Go back to Top
 
Your email address will not be published.
Nickname
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 
NEWS
Stefanini officially launches the office at Chisinau

IT solutions provider Stefanini announced it officially launched its office at Chisinau, in the presence of local representatives such as Sabin Gîrlea, Operations Director for Application Development division

 Read Full article »
Computaris Romania hiring over 30 engineers for Bucharest site

Computaris Romania has achieved its Q1 2017 plans to hire more than 30 software engineers, exceeding 100 people at its Bucharest site.

 Read Full article »
Zitec expands at Brasov and plans to hire 20 IT professionals by the end of this year

Romanian software company Zitec recently announced it has opened an office in the central city of Brasov, where it plans to hire 20 by the end of this year.

 Read Full article »
Ericsson and Skanska trial IoT for Smart Buildings

Skanska, the world leading project development and construction group, has initiated an Internet of Things (IoT) trial with Ericsson for Skanska Commercial Development Nordics.

 Read Full article »
Skanska started the workings at Campus 6, its newest project locally

The official ceremony joined local officials, such as Gabriel Mutu, mayor of bucharest's sixth district, Aurelia Luca, Country Manager Skanska Property România, Katarzyna Zawodna, Business Unit President Skans

 Read Full article »
Deloitte Romania: learning and career development, high up on the business and HR agenda

Driven by the frequent change of the professional competencies required to perform at work, lack of experienced candidates and employee's desire to develop professionally continuously, learning and career devel

 Read Full article »
Softelligence to hire 100 by end-2018

Romanian business software company Softelligence recently announced it plans to hire 100 developers by the end of next year in its software engineering office in Craiova.

 Read Full article »
Cosmin Pătlăgeanu, Marketing Manager, Luxoft România is the new president of ABSL

The Association of Business Service Leaders in Romania (ABSL) announces the naming of Cosmin Pătlăgeanu, Marketing Manager, Luxoft România as the organization's new president.

 Read Full article »
PIN MAP IASI: The first business map of Iasi is launched

After a team effort of over half a hear, the team of The PIN Map project announced it is launching the first map of the offices in Iasi - PIN Map Iasi (www.pinmapiasi.ro), within a press conference hosted by Ia

 Read Full article »
UiPath Automation Academy RPA-certified 500 users in April

One year ago, UiPath offered RPA free for individual users, education projects and small to medium businesses. UiPath Community Edition has been a great success, and their Community Forum now hosts a growing nu

 Read Full article »
 
MOST RECENT VIDEO
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» PIN MAP IASI: The first business map o...
» Softelligence to hire 100 by end-2018
» Cosmin Pătlăgeanu, Marketing Manager...
» UiPath Automation Academy RPA-certifie...
» Deloitte Romania: learning and career ...
» A look ahead: How artificial intellige...
» SoftOne Romania becomes operational hu...
» Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excell...
» Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excell...
» Alten opens a delivery center in Iasi
 
EDITOR CHOICE
TELUS International Europe: Three ways travel and hospitality contact centers can localize the customer experience

Flight delays. Booking or check-in problems. Regional, cultural and linguistic differences. The travel and hospitality business can be a perfect storm for contact centers offering both added challenges and uniq

 Read Full article »
Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence 2017 applauds its Winners!

Outsourcing Today, the integrated communication platform of the business services sector and The Diplomat – Bucharest is honored to praise its winners awarded at The Third Edition of Romanian Outsourcing Awar

 Read Full article »
Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence 2017 - Finalists Announcement

Outsourcing Today, the integrated communication platform of the business services sector and The Diplomat – Bucharest, present the Third Edition of Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence, on May 11, 2017

 Read Full article »
TELUS International Europe: Turning a satisfied customer into a loyal customer – Q&A with a hospitality expert

Leonardo Inghilleri literally wrote the book on customer service in the hospitality industry - and an international bestseller at that.

 Read Full article »
Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence designates the industry winners on May 11

Outsourcing Today, the integrated communication platform of the business services sector, presents the Third Edition of the annual Romanian

 Read Full article »
Latest News  
 
about us | newsletter | contact | members area
Copyright © 2015 by Diplomat Media Events Design by Diplomat Media Events