Data alone cannot provoke change – rather accessibility, acting on it, customer support, training, incentivizing employees and ending up with the development of a customer-centric culture is key, says RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro.
Data is one weapon that is playing an integral part in hotels’ quest to embrace customer-centricity, and combat several challenges, be it for taking on the sharing economy model/ private rentals or even capitalizing on the association with online intermediaries.
But this journey isn’t a straightforward one, considering the fact that it takes so many different systems to run a hotel, and collating, integrating disparate sources of data and turning all of this into actionable insight is easier said than done.
At a time when one remark on WeChat or a picture on TripAdvisor can spoil a hotel brand’s image, acting on this in real-time data – what was the operational issue, who was the customer etc. – can be of immense utility.
Data is important, but only data isn’t enough
For a hotel to act in entirety on such third-party data, just having information isn’t enough. “Everything starts with information. You need to have right data, best information if a hotel organization intends to be more responsive, guest-centric. Look beyond averages (average score of a brand or a property across online travel sites), and rather data needs to be based on what’s impacting the business today.
And like in any business, it is not easy to engage employees and make them use new tools/ technology,” says RJ Friedlander, CEO of ReviewPro, a specialist in guest intelligence for hotels, encompassing online reputation management and guest satisfaction surveys.
For their part, the team at ReviewPro has built a simple interface via a web-based tool and a mobile app, and has automated reports for the entire organization, but as Friedlander asserts, this is just part of the story.
“Data alone cannot provoke change – rather accessibility, acting on it, customer support, training, incentivizingstaff and ending up with the development of a customer-centric culture within the organization (is the key),” recommended Friedlander. He spoke to ChinaTravelNews.com in an interview post Shiji’s decision to acquire a majority stake in ReviewPro.