Author:
Tristan Gadsby
Published:

June 22, 2020

Hospitality Service 4.0

Technology and digital innovation can transform hotel operations and guest experiences, delivering on the true promise of hospitality, improving customer satisfaction and employee efficiency

Meeting customer expectations is harder every day. Today, customers expect their service interactions to be:

  • Unique, with access to distinctive content and experiences 
  • Personalised, with experiences tailored to them
  • Seamless, with frictionless interactions
  • Real-Time, with service available on demand

Service 4.0

Research from BCG has identified that companies adopting Service 4.0 principles have delivered significant benefits including greater flexibility, faster speed, higher productivity, and better quality. Service 4.0 champions have achieved 60-percentage-point increase in customer satisfaction scores and a 40% reduction in costs. 

Service 4.0 principles


So what does Service 4.0 mean for Hospitality companies?

There are a number of areas where Hospitality companies can employ Service 4.0 principles. These include:

Area Description Technologies
Data-Driven Marketing Understanding your guests interactions and their interests can transform your marketing campaigns. Making them highly relevant and targeted drives conversion improvements and significantly reduces acquisition costs. Data Analytics, Integrated CRM Profiles, Marketing Automation
Helpful Sales Messages Sales messages can be helpful if sent at the right time with the right proposition. Using data insights and proactive messaging, the guest experience can be significantly improved. Simple examples include messaging guests 3 days prior to arrival at an urban hotel… “Can I make arrangements to pick you up at the airport at 5.30pm meeting your flight from…?” Data Analytics, Cognitive Computing
Guest Recognition Knowing your guests is now expected and by employing technologies, hotels can significantly improve guest recognition and satisfaction scores, from profiles of guests available at the point of need to highlighting VIPs and recovering from service failures. Data Analytics, Integrated CRM Profiles, Cognitive Computing, Smart Devices
Connected Customer Journey Understanding the customers entire journey and not just the hotel component is now expected by guests trying to create an experience. Smart Devices, Integrated CRM, Guest Itineraries
Seamless Omni-Channel Service Guests expect every interaction with the hotel to count across every touchpoint. A single view of their communications, across all channels and in their language of choice is essential to deliver on their expectations. Even though hospitality is a people based business, staff can be empowered with smart devices and intelligent routing to get requests dealt with more efficiently than ever before. Smart Devices, Integrated CRM, Data Analytics, Whisper Bots
Retain and Win Back Identifying guests that may be lost and proactively targeting them with recovery actions are techniques that have been used in other service based industries. Although it is harder to apply in hospitality, it is still possible to improve retention with these techniques. Data Analytics
Proactive Servicing Proactively servicing guests by proactively preventing service failures and seamlessly anticipating service requests. Examples include, messaging guests that have put out the do-not disturb sign but have left their room to see if they want the room made up. Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation
Predictive Maintenance Predictive room maintenance to ensure WiFi is available and that the in-room technology including TV and Streaming is working properly. Internet of Things, Remote Monitoring, Robotic Process Automation
Mobile Operations Mobile solutions for staff giving them access to the information required at the point of need can significantly improve efficiency. Smart Devices
Efficient Technology Management Virtualization of applications and use of cloud infrastructure to remove reliance on on-premise technology and provide scalability and adaptability. Virtualization, Cloud Computing

There are a number of examples where Service 4.0 principles have been employed with great effect, but on the whole the Hospitality industry has a long way to go.

See Service 4.0 in action with Four Seasons

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, the world’s leading luxury hospitality company, is enabling guests to seamlessly plan their travel through an industry-first update to its award-winning Four Seasons App.  A new trip planning itinerary feature, alongside a complete App design refresh, means it is simpler than ever for Four Seasons guests to customise a stay exactly to their preferences, all in the palm of their hand.

Every moment of a Four Seasons stay can now be seamlessly curated in one place from start to finish using the Four Seasons App, from ordering an in-room meal to requesting a morning newspaper, reserving a spa treatment, booking once-in-a-lifetime adventures in the world’s most captivating locales, arranging transport or securing a hard-to-come-by dinner reservation. All while in contact with a concierge on-call.  A new elegant and modern App layout also makes arranging activities (on-or-off-property) simple and intuitive, with scheduled items conveniently displayed on the in-App itinerary.

“We know from guest feedback that now, more than ever, the luxury traveller is looking for digital tools that can make their lives easier,” says Christian Clerc, President, Worldwide Hotel Operations. “This is why we are choosing to invest in thoughtful technology where it matters most to our guests, using an intuitive and relevant mobile-first approach.”

The App design refresh also includes increased integration with Four Seasons Chat.  The company’s best-in-class industry leading Chat offering is available on nine platforms globally, including the Four Seasons App, and enables guests to communicate in real-time with property teams in 100+ languages before, during and after their stay. Using Chat alongside trip planning means guests can connect with Four Seasons at any time, for any need while making travel arrangements. Instant translation and best-in-class global response times give travellers the peace of mind that no matter how they choose to travel, planning is made easy with legendary Four Seasons service at their fingertips.

Source:

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, 2019

More reading:

BCG Article - Service 4.0 transforming customer interactions