Responding to Change and Guest Expectations
By Patrick Connolly Chief Customer Officer, Orange Lake Resorts | March 24, 2019
Hospitality is changing more rapidly now than ever before. Although some is driven by the technological advances that enable us to streamline operations and provide better consumer experiences, most has to do with major shifts in consumer tastes and expectations. This constantly evolving baseline is, for the foreseeable future, the new norm.
It's clear that highly personalized service is becoming a standard expectation. With the advent of the internet and so many choices, more and more consumers are saying this is what I want from my stay. A good example is the growing popularity of bringing comfort animals on vacation. This is a trend many of us didn't see only a few years back, but we have to learn to respond positively.
Guests also expect you to know who they are and what they want-especially if they stayed with you in the past. What keeps my team up at night is a business model that includes satisfying owners who buy timeshare, guests who trade into the resorts from exchange partners and rental (virtual hotel) guests.
In one respect, this gives our organization a distinct advantage over traditional hoteliers. We have, and should know our owners and their past experiences with our products. But with the different types of guests we service, each can require different outcomes to satisfy them. While certain rental guests may look for monetary compensation to correct an issue, our owners are looking for us to fix the situation to provide them a better vacation experience.
Hitting Key Targets
A big part of our service success starts with our four key goals and targets: People, Guest Engagement, Responsible Business and Financial Results. These are integral to our service culture and are constantly reinforced. Financial results are purposely listed last, because when you do the first three well, you'll get the financial results you expect.