Applying technology ‘for the sake of it’ will harm hospitality brands

Hospitality brands have been advised to put a “strong emphasis on the human touch” by strategic brand, marketing and digital consultancy CAB Studios.

The consultancy firm say that whilst disruptive technology has “huge potential to transform” customer experience, hospitality brands need to “exercise caution” when applying it.

The company also suggest that a survey found that at hotels, 60% of guests “still prefer having a conversation with someone on the reception desk when they arrive”.

This is according to CAB’s new White Paper ‘Power to the Customer’, which explores how brands must evolve in the customer age, and what marketers need to do to keep pace.

CAB Studios, whose hospitality client list includes Exclusive Hotels and Venues, PizzaExpress, Jamie’s Italian and Côte Brasserie, commissioned the White Paper to explore the evolving relationship brands have with their customers.

In addition to exploring the challenges of managing big data, the importance of peer to peer reviews and the intricacies of managing multiple channels and customer touchpoints, CAB also looked at emerging forms of technology and the impact they could have on customer experience.

Luke Battye, strategy director at CAB Studios, said: “It’s no surprise that service industries like hospitality feel a particular pressure to deliver the most engaging tech enabled experiences.

“Hotels are a good example; customers now expect things like the ability to control the aircon in their room via smartphone, or be presented with ‘extras’ tailored to their interests and needs such as gym passes, or allergy friendly refreshments in their room.”

He added: “It’s impossible for a hotel brand to deliver this without continued investment in technology, but it needs to be done with caution.

“With technology now capable of powering many steps on the customer journey, the human interaction part is more important than it was before. Hospitality brands must keep a sharp focus on this.”

CAB’s White Paper, Power to the Customer is available to download from their website here.

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