As featured in HOSPA Overview Magazine, Tristan Gadsby, CEO of Alliants discusses how hoteliers can respond to the current crisis leveraging technology.
Sadly, there is no simple answer to this. What we can do is try and learn as many lessons from the past as possible and make clear decisions. The Harvard Business Review published an article in 2010 (Roaring Out of Recession) which assessed the performance of 4,700 companies following the past 3 economic recessions and concluded that those deploying an optimised combination of defensive (mainly cost cutting) and offensive moves (spending on marketing, R&D and new assets) have the highest probability of breaking away from the pack post recession.
In practical terms this means that hoteliers not only need to cut costs to make it through the periods of closure or single digit occupancy, but also focus on building agility into the business model and making targeted investments that will fuel the recovery and drive growth. There are three areas where we think hoteliers can leverage technology and lay foundations to position themselves for the future:
There is significant business value hidden in the data that hoteliers collect on a continual basis. We help a number of hotels and chains connect data from many different sources to allow for better decision making. This includes breaking down the demand signals by market using web traffic and sources of competitor information to sentiment and intent analysis on request data. That data is not only valuable during business as usual, it is also invaluable at times like this to help to:
To uncover this value, hoteliers can make relatively small investments, leveraging cloud solutions to enhance their business intelligence capabilities and better answer these key questions.
Developing relationships is the heart of hospitality and technology will never replace the fundamentals. It can however facilitate and reduce the amount of effort to develop meaningful relationships with your guests. McKinsey recently published their guide to Connecting with customers in times of crisis that lays out seven actions that companies can take. In many ways, these points will be the ‘new normal.’ Technology can assist with a number of these:
Source: McKinsey & Company, 2020
Hoteliers can achieve this by setting up online stores and adopting omni-channel communication platforms.
There are many elements of the customer journey that can be digitised whilst either maintaining or improving the guest experience. These include:
Some of these exist today, but to truly transform to a digital guest experience these solutions should be:
To support this, hoteliers should be looking at how they integrate their systems to optimise processes and leverage technology to automate ordinary and repetitive tasks using bots and artificial intelligence. Using technology this way allows valuable staff to focus on complex tasks and deliver extraordinary experiences.
Clearly these are difficult times. Take stock and look ahead to review how technology could help to reduce operational costs, become data driven, help efficiency, especially with limited resources. By automating non-value added activities more time can be spent engaging with guests from pre-arrival to post-stay and fostering connections through the use of technology.
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To view the article in The Overview magazine, visit https://issuu.com/hospa/docs/the_overview_may_280420_v5_web_ready/s/10480249
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