"Apple’s former CEO, Steve Jobs, had a clear goal of increasing its customer experience ratios. In a very straightforward approach, Jobs directly benchmarked with the worldwide leader amongst all industries: the iconic The Ritz – Carlton brand."
Once only related to the travel and tourism industry, hospitality is slowly (but surely) gaining its deserved space among the entire Service industry, from healthcare, to banking and retail.… In each and every business which has interactions on its basis.
Stating Michael D. Johnson, Dean, E. M. Statler Professor at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, “Hospitality is foremost the application of the golden rule, or treating others as you would expect to be treated yourself. While largely universal, every country and culture has its own unique expectations as to how to provide a friendly, welcoming and generous treatment of visitors, which is the essence of hospitality.”
In a nutshell, hospitality is the act of willingly welcoming and taking care of your guests/customers.
Believing that hospitality is related with each interaction and therefore present in all businesses, it's the set point in order to differentiate one’s offer, adding and appropriating value for the customers, increasing their benefits and hence the company’s bottom line profits – as simple as that.
Thus, to answer the question about how to either create or improve the hospitality levels for your company, it is critical to move forward and dig into the customer experience and analyze how you may positively impact it by developing a seamless interaction. From a warm welcoming, to being authentic and attentive to all the requirements but utmost important to be capable of forecasting and anticipating the customer’s wishes and needs, which can nowadays be done with the powerful ally of technology and data analytics. An economic insight on this sense, according to PWC, is that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Moreover, the more expensive the product or service, the more they are willing to pay.
It is precisely when going further into the concept of customer experience that, traditionally, we tend to fall on the misconception that this large concept of hospitality is exclusive to the travel & tourism industry as it is in this latter that stakeholders approach their businesses in a customer centricity point of view. In this context, the guest (client) is king, companies develop strategies and employee skills (through training and recruiting the best people with these set of skills) in order to deliver the finest levels of customer service and to create memorable customer experiences. This is how the high-end luxury hotels behave and act.
Fortunately, the biggest and emblematic leaders do understand this paradigm shift of the broader application of Hospitality: Apple’s former CEO, Steve Jobs, had a clear goal of increasing its customer experience ratios. In a very straightforward approach, Jobs directly benchmarked with the worldwide leader amongst all industries: the iconic The Ritz – Carlton brand. In addition, the question asked during the recruitment process for the Retail Stores was: will these people provide the same level of service as in The Ritz – Carlton?
Following this line of thought, the future trends support the organizational shift into customer-driven strategies. In the next 5 years, 45.9% of the companies will prioritize this aspect, many more than the ones that will put the product on its focus (33.6%) or Pricing (20.6%). The biggest leaders and revenues’ generators in the most varied markets such as Amazon in Retail, Google in the Internet/Software context or Walt Disney Company in Entertainment, recognize their activity as a customer experience business. Moreover, recent observations show that the ones who do not accept and adapt to this trend are not likely to have future prospects (eg. traditional taxis) losing their Market Share to newer and customer-driven companies (eg. Uber and Lyft).
How long will it then last until your firm focuses on hospitality to enhance the customer experience? Is your company ready for this change?