What Does it Mean to be Part of the Service Industry in 2020?

23 January 2020

We’ve put together the top 10 service trends that will be shaping the future of guest services in the next year.


Here’s Part 2.


6. Sustainability


The UK may have committed to reach zero emissions by 2050, but there’s still a lot of work to do to get there, particularly by businesses. Large businesses use a significant amount of energy and resources and it’s in this area that guest service can make a real impact.


In guest services, customer experiences are a priority as they can maximise long-term success and improve relationships. Creating memorable and relatable experiences requires companies to not only analyse and improve how they interact with customers, but also ensure that their culture and mission align with what customers actually want. One consumer trend is an increased focus on sustainability. Customers are increasingly expecting companies to operate in a socially and environmentally responsible way, rather than just focusing on profitability.


Sustainability should become part of a company’s culture and customer experience strategy. We have a responsibility to manage our impact on the environment and here at Portico, we’re constantly looking for ways to have a positive impact, whether that’s reducing waste, single-use plastic or carbon emissions.


Being known as a business who is committed to sustainability is extremely beneficial as it’s attractive to potential clients and employees and shows that you look after people and not just the environment.


What will you be doing in 2020 to promote sustainability?


7. Generation Y and Z


Companies have great power. They can create experiences that delight customers and even influence the way they consume. Designing for a better experience requires a clear understanding of the audience they are being designed for. Almost every business today has to face the challenge of delivering customer service and support to people from multiple generations, each with their specific wants and needs. In customer service, expectations of one generation can significantly differ from those of another.


One size does not fit all. To deliver exceptional customer service, you need to be aware of what great service looks like for various age groups and tailor what you deliver to their specific needs and expectations.


Do your support representatives interact with several generations of customers? Have you noticed how the expectations of one generation differ from another? What strategies are you putting in place to meet your audience’s needs?


8. Learning Agility


People who have high levels of learning agility seek out and learn from unfamiliar experiences and then apply those lessons to succeed in the next new situation. In guest services it’s a highly effective and valuable skill. Learning agility helps employees know what to do when they don’t know what to do. In 2020 you need to be offering training opportunities that develop these skills.


How do you know if someone is equipped with learning agility? Are they curious and interested in trying out new things? Are they able to deal with a variety of people? Are they eager to gain in-depth knowledge of others and easily adapt to different surroundings or cultures? Can they solve problems in an original or unique way? Do they have a realistic view of their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvement? These are all questions you can ask your team and character traits you can nurture to encourage learning agility.


9. Chatbots and Live Chat


Expect 2020 to be the year of the chatbot. If, like us, you spend a lot of time online, you’re likely to have interacted with one or more of these before. In hospitality and guest services they’ll become a key support channel this year. They’re a great resource and can answer questions and help guests when customer service agents are busy or off duty. Even if they can’t fully answer a question, guests will appreciate the effort to resolve an issue and feel that they’re being listened to. However, remember that chatting with a bot can be annoying and frustrating if customers are trying to resolve more complex problems, so make sure technology doesn’t replace the most important interactions – the ones that are human and personal.


10. Safety and Security


Guests should feel safe and secure, so it’s crucial that you equip your team with the right safety and security tools. If or when an incident occurs, clear, quick and discreet communication is essential. Seamless and instantaneous communication is key to maintaining safe and welcoming environments for guests. This year, you need to constantly review and monitor all of your security and safety procedures across all of your venues.


Whatever the year, great customer service never goes out of style. Personalised and adaptive service is what customers expect and require and here at Portico, that’s what we work hard to deliver every day.


Throughout 2020, we’ll be reporting on all the latest insights and developments in guest services, so keep an eye on our news page.