Unlocking Hospitality’s Customer Experience Journey

2 min read

Nazia Förster | July 19, 2023

If you work in the travel industry, your customers aren’t the only ones going somewhere. Your business is also on a journey: a customer experience (CX) journey that follows your customers from their first interaction with your brand to their destination and beyond.

But only some businesses are at the same stage of that journey. Some may still be in the early stages of their digital transformation. Others may be at the bleeding edge of artificial intelligence. Wherever you find yourself, any CX journey aims to meet your customers — and their expectations — where they are today.

4 Stages of Hospitality’s CX Journey

Hospitality providers typically fall into one of four stages of the CX journey: Legacy, Reality, Aspiration, and Nirvana.

Legacy Stage

Guest experiences are managed primarily through a single touchpoint, such as a toll-free number or online reservation system. At the same time, your business also manages these experiences through a single touchpoint, a property management system (PMS), or even Microsoft Office. Legacy systems are often less expensive to operate (because they’ve already been paid for) and comfortable to use. Still, they can be time-consuming to manage and challenging to integrate into marketing efforts.

Reality Stage

Most hospitality providers are currently here. Guests have a choice of multiple touchpoints to interact with your brand: online, phone, third-party sites, etc. This allows you to meet customers where they are regarding their preferred interaction channel. Older guests, for example, may prefer the assurance of making a reservation by phone with a live agent. Younger guests may book everything from a mobile device or third-party app. In any case, these channels are managed independently as separate silos on the back end. This challenges businesses that want to manage customer interactions and information from a single screen.

Did you know? Nearly three-fourths (73%) of travelers prefer to manage their hotel experience from their smartphone.

Aspiration Stage

While the Reality Stage is the reality for most businesses, many aim to reach the Aspiration Stage. This is where multiple channels and touchpoints blend seamlessly into a single experience for the customer. Likewise, businesses view these multiple touchpoints as a single CX, even though those channels may continue to be managed independently from a technology perspective. For example, when a customer contacts the front desk, the customer’s history should appear on the screen for the front desk agent, including previous interactions from various channels, so the customer feels known and heard.

Nirvana Stage

Ultimately, hospitality providers are striving for Nirvana. At this point, customer experiences transcend the channel and become part of a single brand experience. From a business perspective, hospitality providers enjoy a holistic view of the customer across the entire customer relationship, allowing them to customize offers, deliver highly personalized service, and strengthen customer loyalty. Increasingly, sustainability is more visible in brand identity, from eco-friendly toilet paper in hotel rooms to cloud-based communications systems that consume less power.

Did you know? Four out of five travelers (81%) planned to stay at an eco-friendly property in the next year.

Aspiring to Nirvana with Unified Communications

Wherever you are on your CX journey, choosing the right unified communications (UC) provider can help you reach the next stage. Communications and customer care solutions can bridge the gap between the legacy investments you’ve already made and the new features you need to adapt to the future.

If you need to improve internal communications and have small to medium properties with up to 1,500 seats, look for a solution that provides unparalleled flexibility and choice for deployment and consumption models. Keep an eye out for integration with some of the hospitality industry’s leading workflow application providers, such as Poly AI and Jazzware.

For smaller limited-service hotels and vacation properties with up to 200 rooms, choose a hospitality solution that provides an integrated communications platform that delivers applications, communications servers, phones, and back-office integration. In both cases, hospitality providers can count on communications solutions that deliver powerful next-generation features (e.g., real-time messaging, built-in security, unified voice/video/text communications, analytics) at a flexible, competitive price point in premises-based and cloud-based configurations.

Mitel’s hospitality solutions are designed to integrate seamlessly into your existing technology architecture. In other words, you don’t need to change what works — your voicemail, ticketing, call accounting, property management, etc.— to get your guest and employee communications to work better. You can add new phones, capabilities, and experiences without replacing or re-wiring everything. Like any good journey, your CX journey should be planned at your own pace.

Ready to take the next step? Get the Mitel hospitality experience today.

Categories: Industries, Product News

Nazia FörsterSenior Product Marketing Specialist, SMB and Hospitality

Nazia joined Mitel’s Product Marketing team in 2021. With eight years of copywriting, sales, and marketing experience in healthcare and hospitality, she currently manages the hospitality and SMB markets within the product marketing organization at Mitel. She supports her team with written and visual content creation. Nazia is multilingual and has a Master of Arts from the University of Antwerp.

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