In our fully connected online social world, we have become used to dealing with problems through technology – as opposed to confronting an issue with someone face-to-face or over the telephone.
The same thing is happening with the hospitality sector. According to a new survey by AppyHotel.com, in an effort to avoid confrontation, almost half of hotel guests prefer using technology to communicate with a hotelier when an issue arises, rather than speaking directly with hotel staff.
The survey revealed that 49 percent of guests favor using technology to voice their concerns or queries and 23 percent would rather go online to chat with a hotel representative than do so in person.
“It’s a clear indication that technology is not only providing hotel guests with a variety of platforms to express their views to management, but is also becoming an integral part of a hotel’s customer service offering,” said Isabella Glendinning, Vice President of Marketing for Appy Hotel.
Thanks to the rise of mobile technologies and the empowerment that the Internet provides to users for expressing their anger and frustrations – such as the heated arguments that arise in the comment sections of article or on LinkedIn – consumers are simply more used to offering blatant commentary behind the safety of a screen.
What does this mean for hotels? We believe that it reinforces the need to offer key innovations for both communicating with guests, and offering services that will enhance the travel experience. It also underscores the need to use innovation to minimize any friction when a guest comes in contact with a brand online or in a mobile environment.
People simply don’t like face-to-face confrontations. As technology has enabled guests to further express their true feelings in a digital environment, hoteliers have the unique opportunity to adjust their guest engagement approaches. As always, this should be coupled with providing outstanding services, which can be also delivered and communicated in an online environment.
Innovation is the foundation for pleasing guests and by creating the right solutions and strategies for connecting with travelers, it is possible to work in a comfortable medium for guests so complaints can ultimately be minimized.