Latest News  

TELUS International Europe: Enhancing customer experience in the hospitality industry

In an era of growing personalization and concierge support services, a European hotel chain is doing away with doormen, concierge, room service and even the little chocolates on your hotel room pillow

2017-11-12 15:09:58





Grégoire Vigroux
Vice-President Marketing Europe at TELUS
International


citizenM, a Dutch chain with hotels in several European cities, as well as New York City's Times Square, is trying to master the art of simple customer service elegance.

The chain markets itself as providing guests with affordable luxury. What it's really done, however, is leverage Millennial consumer trends and technology to eliminate excesses and concentrate its products and services around what matters most to travelers. From minimalist yet cozy interior design, to a 24/7 bar and canteen, to free Wi-Fi throughout the entire hotel, citizenM has rethought the conventional hotel stay and rewired it for a new, younger generation of travelers and digitally savvy nomads.

Start by listening to consumers


citizenM's design evolved from listening to what travelers want and need from a hotel experience and removing the added services of little value. "We first [listened] to the customer and to their expectations," explains Michael Levie, partner and CEO of citizenM. "Meeting those expectations means reducing friction and increasing the level of their experience."

For example, a doorman or bellboy waiting for a tip are of little benefit to modern travelers. These unwanted extras can create points of friction which take away from a satisfying guest experience.

In lieu of bellboys and doormen, citizenM hires actors and baristas — chosen because they aren't trapped in the traditional hospitality mindset, and because they are open to expressing a positive brand image when interacting with hotel guests, says Levie. They're there to ensure travelers get what they want most: A good night's sleep at a reasonable price, and a quality cappuccino.

Putting the tech touch in the guest experience


The popularity of this bare-bones hotel model reveals that a focus on hiring staff for their people skills, and using technology to take care of the "little details," can be a winning formula.

For instance, the chain guarantees a one-minute check-in and check-out via its self-service terminals. Free Wi-Fi and free access to a computer café stocked with iMacs are other easy tech touches that the chain says keeps customers happy. citizenM also engages actively with its guests on social media, not only to promote their services but to also answer common questions while maintaining a distinctive and cheeky brand tone.

For citizenM, technology helps to define the brand around an elegant self-service model, but it also proves modernity and relevance. "Technology is rapidly becoming a means by which brands can show they are a) contemporary b) differentiated from competitors and c) integrated with consumers' lives, tastes, preferences and experiences when shopping, buying or reviewing," says Chris Nurko, the global chairman of FutureBrand, an agency that helps companies evolve. "Brands that adopt a customer-centric strategy — integrating technology that is simple, enjoyable and rewarding — will have a competitive advantage in service, as well as in product development," Nurko says.

Blended customer service heightens the guest experience


While citizenM might be considered a pioneer in using technology to elevate the customer experience, it isn't the only company rethinking the hospitality wheel. Henry Harteveldt, travel-industry analyst and president of the Atmosphere Research Group, points out that other travel and hospitality brands are picking up on the added value that a blended experience provides.

As an example, Harteveldt points to Hilton's OnQ enhanced customer relationship management (CRM) platform. The program helps Hilton staff recognize loyal, high-revenue customers and highlights customer feedback from previous stays. "[OnQ] enables the entire guest experience at all the Hilton brands — even [the] operational departments at the hotel," Harteveldt says. "They know who should get an upgrade when they have limited rooms. During times of peak demand, the room service delivery person knows which room to deliver to first."

This application of technology is especially useful for reinforcing the essence of hospitality when hiring and training new staff. But hiring for personality and attitude remains as important as ever. "As much as we rely on technology, it is only an enabler," says Harteveldt. "It's about using a combination of technology, managers' own smarts and common sense, then putting them together in a way which helps brands distinguish themselves," he says.

From multichannel to omnichannel customer experience


A checklist for assessing readiness to make the jump - with Everest Group
Download Everest Group study
As a trailblazer in the hospitality industry, citizenM has laid the foundation for a major hotel-business overhaul. But as the company demonstrates, technology on its own doesn't make for a great hotel stay. An exceptional guest – and customer – experience comes from a thoughtful application of high-tech tools complemented by a human touch.
*Image source: citizenM.com

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
TEDxBucharest welcomes 19 international speakers on the stage at the end of this November

The TEDxBucharest conference series reaches its tenth edition to happen between November 30 – December 1, at Auditorium Pallady, with 19 international speakers on the stage.

 Read Full article »
Office market demand in Bucharest reached 220.000 sqm in the first nine months of 2018

The office market demand is estimated to have reached 220.000 sqm in the first nine months of 2018, according to the latest study findings delivered by CBRE.

 Read Full article »
The missing link- Growing a solid entrepreneurial culture

Within a developing yet solid market where the necessary factors are on the table - investors, strong academic life, work force, skills and private companies operating countrywide - it seems that the evolution

 Read Full article »
Office leasing transactions up to 73.500 sqm in Bucharest in Q3 of 2018

The office market in Bucharest registered a total volume of 75,300 sqm of rental transactions in the third quarter of 2018, of which the new demand was 20,400 sqm. According to Colliers International real est

 Read Full article »
Violeta Luca is the new GM of Microsoft Romania

Microsoft announces the appointment of Violeta Luca as the new General Manager for the company's operations in Romania, starting November this year.

 Read Full article »
Oracle delivers personalized digital assistants for companies

Oracle announced the availability of Oracle Digital Assistant, enabling companies to build personalized digital assistants to help employees work smarter and more productively.

 Read Full article »
Verint opens cyber Research & Development center in Romania

Verint Systems announced the opening of a Cyber Intelligence Research and Development center in Romania. This new facility will offer Romanian IT professionals a unique opportunity to contribute to making the w

 Read Full article »
Microsoft leased 23.000 sqm offices in Skanska's Campus 6

Microsoft has leased 23,000 square meters of office space and 500 parking spaces in Skanska's Campus 6, in Bucharest, Romania. The start date of the lease is in the third quarter of 2020 and it is estimated to

 Read Full article »
DCA Romania expands outside Bucharest with a new call center

DCA Romania, the company's top five largest debt brokers in the country, opened in October its first call center outside Bucharest, the company announced in a press release.

 Read Full article »
Romanian fintech start-up Fintech OS was accepted into the Microsoft accelerator program in London

Fintech OS is also the first Romanian start-up that joins the Microsoft UK accelerator, after having passed a complex registration and selection process.

 Read Full article »
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» ROMANIAN OUTSOURCING AWARDS FOR EXCELL...
» Molson Coors started to grow its busin...
» Office market demand in Bucharest reac...
» Digital Transformation and Next-Genera...
» How to protect your Romanian company a...
» Capgemini to open new office at Suceav...
» Atos Romania to hire 750 more people b...
» Bombardier hires site operations direc...
» Synergy of skills
» Fortech opens its second office in Ias...
 
EDITOR CHOICE
Keep the communication channels open

The necessity of creating a functional dialogue within a company has been underlined by Denisa Panaite Casu, PwC Academy Manager, Romania, in the panel of the recently held People in Shared Services and Outsour

 Read Full article »
Digital Transformation and Next-Generation Talent Development

To what extent will robotics, chat bots and other cognitive technologies change the makeup of our future workforce? With customizable software and cloud-based tools which promote automation, the low skill secto

 Read Full article »
Building an efficient business-wise ecosystem

The Romanian employees are well-seen and appreciated by foreign investors, top managers of large corporations and, as Vivek Bakshi General Manager International Operations (Europe), Wipro Technologies considers

 Read Full article »
How to achieve a solid culture of work?

The plenary session of the recently held People in Shared Services and Outsourcing Forum brought together the industry stakeholders and the authorities in an open dialogue panel, with the aim at identifying the

 Read Full article »
People in Shared Services and Outsourcing Forum, 2018: What kind of future, tomorrow will bring?

We have just concluded the fourth edition of our annual event People in Shared Services and Outsourcing Forum, the get-together of the Who's Who in the industry of business shared services in Romania.

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