Things to Expect for Businesses in 2021

🕒 7 mins

No one knew that 2020 will be so unpredictable. With Covid-19 in play, companies had to make quick transformation of their working dynamics. The shift may have taken us all by surprise, but the adaptability came easily to those who have been anticipating the next big thing in customer service and experience to align with the changing habits of their customers. As with most hospitality industry, the business have to be open rain or shine. This means that the hospitality industry have to be well-prepared for any form of adversity the economy throws at them.

To stay ambitious in this new business and economic climate requires changes. Generally, here are some things ATIOM believe will help aid your hospitality business in 2021:

  • Focusing on new approaches without changing the fundamentals of your company.
  • Gathering insights and listen to feedbacks
  • Providing a consistent and reliable experience across digital channels.

Let's look at it in greater detail.

1. Understanding the Goals of Your Hospitality Organization

In the hospitality industry, customer experience is number one. It is what makes or breaks any hospitality organization. Customer experience strategy is a blueprint of how you envision what your customers’ experience should be. Having it empowers you to communicate your vision to your organization so that every member of your team understands the goals of your hospitality organization. And that is half the battle. Sometimes, it is more than half. So start 2021 with this work, and you will have a great year.

If you aimed to do business the way you were doing it before, you could have gotten away without a customer experience strategy. But that is not the case in the coming year. Next year, all business leaders need to redesign spaces, policies, procedures and services without changing their brand fundamentals. It’s the only way to prevent financial demise and to achieve the success we all want in 2021.

To start, organizations must have a context in which to build seamless journeys. So take the time to gather smart people you respect. Together, do some soul-searching to understand what you and your brand can do differently and what commitments you can realistically make to your 2021 customers.

2. Successful Hospitality Business Leaders Hear Voices!

With 2020 ending and 2021 beginning, there’s one thing we can say with absolute certainty – our customers’ needs and expectations have changed dramatically. In every country, for every product or service, the world we live in is much different from what it was at the start of 2020.

So, what does this mean going forward? Ensure you are in touch with your customers, gathering your Voice of Customer by listening to what they think and need across channels and interactions, doing so at key moments and stages across their journey. For a hospitality industry, this is extremely crucial as your entire business is shaped around your customer's opinions. Customer is king.

Gathering customer insights isn’t just about email surveys and web satisfaction forms but also incorporates insights from digital platforms like web and mobile, analysis of inbound emails, contact center calls, social media and even environmental signals. We refer to this as Voice of Analytics .

These Voice of Customers and Voice of Analytics sources are complemented with Voice of Employees , Voice of Partners and other key audiences, such as your community, investors, or regulators.

Likewise, listening to the voices of your employees is equally important to that of your customers. ATIOM helps get feedbacks from your employees after every training session, track their training progress and spot gaps in knowledge to help them learn at a comfortable pace! Since your employees are the face of your company, it is extremely important to train them to perfection in case of any adversity when facing customers. The hospitality industry needs to ensure that their staffs are updated with key information in order to serve their customers well.

Furthermore, a pop-up notification allowing employees to rate their well-being level will be featured at the end of each training. Mental health is extremely important given the greater amount of stress employees feel due to the impact Covid-19 has on the workforce.

The bottom line is you need to know who you should listen to - and then you need to listen.

3. Digital customer service for Hospitality industry

For a hospitality industry, there will be frequent contact between staffs and customers - and we want to minimize that due to Covid-19. Yet, as an employer, you still want to garner feedbacks of your service. Here's how:

Many more consumers are asking for support through digital channels. Consequently, hotels had suddenly faced volume peaks of incoming queries via social media, live chat, and messaging apps with their customer service departments. As we’re stepping into 2021 we’re moving towards a new hybrid model of working and living, so that we can’t ignore that. Even though this path is yet unexplored one thing is certain: Digital Customer Service is here to stay and is going to become a standard for consumers’ expectations. For this very reason, the smartest brands are already focussing their attention on a new area to stand out from competitors: digital conversations. Taking care of each of them in detail, just like it was the first and last one.

4. Support Staff Upskilling Will Become a Priority

If you want to provide an excellent and consistent customer experience over digital channels you need to invest in upskilling, either for customer service managers and front line staff (agents, cs representatives). The main reasons are:

  1. Good phone and email communication skills are definitely not enough to do the same great job through digital channels.
  2. Digital Customer Service is a new sport where improvisation does not pay off.

Digital channels vary from each other as they have their own different engagement rules and tone of voice to be set up. The good news for 2021 is that more and more organizations are feeling the urgency to get their customer service teams upskilled. This can be done through having a one-stop digital training and compliance platform such as ATIOM. ATIOM is at the forefront of technology where we can train and upskill your employees anytime and anywhere without compromising anything. Upskilling your employees digitally will be more popular as HR managers will soon realise that training digitally lowers the cost and time needed for employee training and onboarding.

5. Digital Self-Service in the Hospitality Sector Will Evolve in New Forms

Beyond the website’s help pages and knowledge bases, there’s something more developed up on the hill. As voice assistants (e.g. Siri, Alexa) are literally invading our homes like the first PCs in the ’90s, brands are paying attention to them. In fact, some of them are already considering using voice assistants as self-service support channels in new ways. Voice assisstant will be a blessing for customers.

Imagine you're in a hotel with hands filled with luggages trying to check in. Having a voice assistant self-service support channel bring so much convenience since all you have to do is talk. Clearly, this is extremely beneficial for a hospitality industry that values customer's experience.

The integration between systems based on AI-voice and already existing tools such as messaging apps (e.g. WhatsApp, Telegram) opens new interesting Digital Customer Service scenarios. Whatever the innovation to come, let’s maintain focus on the customer’s experience and experience though!

To Conclude...

These are some trends to look out for in 2021. Clearly, the digital trend is here to stay and many companies have already kick start their digital journey after realising its benefits through working from home. If you'd like to save time and money by going digital, training your employees online and having an organised platform for your SOPs, ATIOM is the perfect choice for you!

ATIOM is a mobile based training solution that speeds up communication and real-time learning with your frontline teams. Request Your Demo Here.

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