Improving the Guest Experience

Accommodation providers are under pressure to deliver customer service experiences that differentiate them in a competitive market, writes Kenneth Rogers.

Kenneth Rogers low resBy Kenneth Rogers

Accommodation providers are under pressure to deliver customer service experiences that differentiate them in a competitive market.

 Whether travelling for business or pleasure, guests expect a certain level of customer service when staying in a hotel or serviced apartment. The standard of customer service a guest receives often determines whether or not they choose to stay with the brand again and how they speak of it within their extended networks and on social media.

Traditionally, customer service is mainly in the hands of front office staff, employees from the concierge desk, reservation departments, as well as cleaners and room service operators. They are expected to be polite, helpful, knowledgeable, and accessible at every interaction. But excellence in this area of customer service is not enough to set you apart from your competitors in the current market.

Recent customer service innovations in the accommodation industry have come in a
myriad of forms; from the implementation of self-service facilities, smart technology in rooms, and specially curated lifestyle programs. 

 Lifestyle programs are an ancillary offering focused on providing guests with exemplary customer service by taking the concierge concept to the next level with the provision of specially curated itineraries. 

The Ascott Limited recently launched the Ascott Lifestyle program which is an example of how the company is responding to customer requirements. The program offers guests a selection of tailored experiences such as cultural and gastronomical activities, allowing guests to explore the cities they are staying in with activities that have been tailored to their interests, attitudes and lifestyles.

One such example of the Lifestyle program is the Citadines on Bourke Melbourne’s microsite which features a section on things to do in Melbourne, as well as an interactive map which shows guests how to get around the city using the apartment hotel as a base.

The microsite is just one example of how The Ascott Limited is embracing digital technologies to improve the customer service offering. It makes finding information about the city easy for guests, with links to sightseeing tours, shopping, restaurants, bars and major events.

In other states in Australia, the Ascott Lifestyle program also extends to offering discounts at restaurants and major tourism attractions, and complimentary access to state-of-the-art gyms.

Guests and travel professionals can view a collection of featured experiences on The Ascott Lifestyle website to improve their knowledge of selected cities before their arrival. All activities are regularly updated so that guests can make the most of their stay.

Lifestyle programs deliver customer service at a level above and beyond the traditional concierge offering. They are also an example of how leaders in the industry are looking for new ways to engage existing and potential guests through unique services.

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