Guest service is constantly changing and it’s becoming more and more important to keep up to date with customer service trends. In a digitally-led, fast-paced and increasingly personalised world, guest service providers need to be adaptable. Fall behind and customers can easily turn to another brand or service. We’ve put together our top ten trends that will be shaping the world of guest services in 2020. Here’s Part 1.
1. Get PersonalWhen it comes to delivering great customer service, personalisation has been top of the agenda for some time. At Portico, we understand that ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t create the best service experience - service needs to be fully bespoke to best meet an individual’s needs. In 2020, a personalised approach will need to be a priority and be delivered in an intelligent and applicable way to build trust and confidence, and create long-lasting relationships. But how do you achieve this? You need to know your guests. American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie once said that “a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”. You need to have up to date and detailed information that’s accessible and easy to use. You need to share the smallest details with your entire team so the service you deliver is smooth, seamless and consistent. If a guest has a particular need that requires extra attention, you need to know about it to ensure that they feel valued. And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the process - people are complex and interesting. Daily positive human interactions are priceless.
2. Time to Get TechyIn 2020, tech will continue to be at the heart of great guest services. There's a lot of excitement about new technology in customer service, support, and success. The progress of video, real-time messaging, chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI), face recognition, self-service, and even customer success itself, all present the potential for big changes in the industry. But will technology replace customer service? The short answer is no. Using technology doesn’t mean that your business no longer needs personable customer service to nurture customer relationships. Building one-on-one relationships is more important than ever, and technology can help to make it even more effective. New tech will only serve to help customer-facing professionals to do their jobs more efficiently. Implement tech that helps your people do what they're best at. Use technology that significantly improves the customer experience because it allows your people to provide more personalised interactions - tech that facilitates you in making things quicker and doing the everyday tasks so your team can concentrate on delivering the harder stuff.
3. Create Virtual CommunitiesSocial media continues to open up new outlets for customer reviews and companies will need to engage with these consumers. Used in the right way, social networks can encourage more transparency and improved service. If you create a supportive environment that will compliment your team’s personality, a community that is exciting and valuable to be a part of, your guests will feel confident that there’s a go-to community with which to engage and feel connected with. Join our conversation on LinkedIn where we regularly post all our latest news, insights and respond to your questions and problems.
4. The Local Feel2020 will be all about destination-specific experiences, so don't be afraid to let your personality shine through. Guests are looking for memorable experiences - something that makes their day stand out from the norm. They may have traveled from far afield to your business so why not show off everything that’s great about your location? Introduce guests to new landmark venues and off-the-grid attractions that they never knew existed. Let guests benefit from your local expertise and introduce them to experiences that are unique. Where are the best places to eat? Drink? Shop? Offer opportunities to sample local produce and showcase local specialties. Essentially you need to create more positive and human experiences so when guests return home, they’re changed and their visit has really made a lasting impression on them.
5. Listen Up
“I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.” - Larry KingThe ability to listen is not as easy as it sounds. Listening is a powerful tool in being able to deliver what our guests really need and want - not just what we assume they need. Whether it’s positive or negative, feedback is key to development and is a celebrated method of improving customer service. Being a good listener fosters meaningful relationships with those around you and is crucial to maintaining productive communication. A good place to start on your way to becoming a better listener is to think about the difference between listening and hearing. Hearing is a sense – it happens when sound hits our ears and involves the processing of sound in the brain. Listening, on the other hand, is an action we consciously take. When we listen, we go beyond simply hearing words by giving our attention to what is being said. The key takeaway being if you listen to your guests - they’ll keep talking to you. Liked Part 1? Keep an eye out for Part 2 of '2020: What trends are shaping the world of guest services?'