Digital transformation, the digitization of professions and the on-boarding of employees are determining factors for the customer experience in the hotel industry.
At the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Geneva, Yucca Conseil brought together hoteliers to focus on three major topics and one problem in particular: digitalization in the hotel industry, and how to leverage it to improve the customer experience.
The aim of the event was to answer questions from members of the hotel industry, but also to address a few popular misconceptions about digitalization that still persist:
• Only digital and e-commerce companies are affected by the digital transformation.
• The digital transformation is restricted to the marketing department and IT professions.
• The digital transformation is all about tools that replace humans.
• A business that has a Facebook page and a website is a digital business.
Digitalization is spreading increasingly rapid and not only in the IS / IT sectors but in all industries, including the hotel sector: today 22% of hotels consider themselves leaders in terms of digital interaction with customers according to a survey conducted by Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise. However, compared to professionals in other industries, hoteliers are less confident about how they can improve staff efficiency and mobility, with 28% feeling that they are lagging behind their competitors. Indeed, hotels continue to place more emphasis on improving the customer experience rather than on efficiency.
However, digital transformation is not limited to customer connectivity but also includes employee connectivity. It can only take place through the consistent and synchronized mobilization of all internal players, employees and managers of the hotel, to better meet customer expectations.
Employees are at the heart of digital transformation
According to an APEC study in 2017, 22% of staff turnover occurs during the first 45 days after starting a new job and 43% of employees find the integration process unclear and disorganized. Lack of communication and proper integration is a problem identified in many hotels.
According to Hospitality Technology magazine's study of technologies used in the hospitality sector, which was conducted in 2018, improving employee productivity ranks only fifth among hoteliers' main technological and strategic objectives.*
On-boarding: the challenge of successful integration
“In the age of millennials, it would be foolish to think that only customer expectations are changing. The expectations of employees and their behavior are part of the same dynamic. Generations X and Y, which we are recruiting today, have concerns that must be addressed in order to integrate to them", says Sabrina Lavaux, Project Director at Yucca Conseil.
For human resources staff in hotels the challenge is therefore twofold. On the one hand, they must support technological change to drive customer engagement and, on the other hand, enhance the employee experience. So what is the objective? To improve quality of service through better integration and retention of employees.
Improving the image of the hotel and the employee experience are complementary goals, from recruiting the candidate to daily management. The employee is an influencer who is able to project a positive image to customers in the hotel, but also outside of the hotel. As soon as they are brought on board, it is important to facilitate their integration and mobility in order to improve the experience and reduce the turnover rate. For this, hotels must focus on providing a dynamic and relevant form of on-boarding to support new employees in their education about the company, its processes and its people.
“Managing employees' needs for autonomy and, at the same time, their sense of responsibility in situations structured by traditions and hierarchies is difficult. Yucca Hospitality, a specialized department of the Yucca Group, offers solutions combining new technologies and human resources' support to better meet these expectations", explains Sabrina Lavaux.
Observations to improve in future
Even if players in the hotel market have not yet not placed high priority on employee mobility, the hotel industry is continuing to evolve and, by 2020, 68% of hotels will have deployed mobile applications dedicated solely to employees.
Technology partners Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Yucca Conseil are developing a solution to meet collaboration needs by improving on-boarding and communication between employees and customers. This solution brings together people and digital tools through collaboration applications.
Jean-Philippe Lenot, sales director for the hotel vertical at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, who was present at the Geneva event, shares what digital collaboration can bring to on-boarding and, ultimately, to the customer experience:
"A digital collaboration platform needs to integrate easily with traditional hotel collaboration processes in order to accelerate its adoption and the on-boarding process. This allows employees to communicate with each other effectively, and securely with customers. Staff can see their schedule, their pending tasks and can contact colleagues as well as respond to requests or questions whenever and wherever they are, which improves their productivity and the services offered by the hotel."
The Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Yucca relationship
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Yucca came together at the 2018 Food Hotel Tech event. From the start of their relationship, the two companies established mutual trust with a common objective: to support players in the hotel industry in their digital transformation through a technological partnership.
Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Yucca Conseil are currently developing an application to improve on-boarding by integrating ALE's Rainbow solutions for CPaaS and UCaaS (unified communication in the cloud). The goal of this solution is to help hotels integrate new employees by improving mobility and communication.
"The transformation of companies at an increasingly rapid pace requires the involvement of all internal players. Powerful tools combining employee support and mobile technologies are essential to generate and maintain employee and customer participation. Our mission is to help companies anticipate and manage change, internally through employee and digital support, and externally through innovative concepts and tools." Yucca Hospitality
* Improving employee productivity requires improved digital interaction, customer data analytics, security and lower maintenance costs.