When checking into Seattle’s Hyatt the desk clerks made a point to ask if I’d stayed before. When I answered yes, they welcomed me back. Seem a strange sequence to you? Shouldn’t Hyatt have known about me first, and then greeted me appropriately? I appreciated the gesture, but it seemed hollow.
Here are some customer experience lessons for Hyatt. They have a real opportunity to improve how they use (and the value of) their customer information which should ultimately benefit:
- The Business – Hyatt loses points for “knowing” me but treating me like a stranger. Sure, they welcomed me back, but only after I told them I’ve returned. If you aren’t going to leverage the information, you shouldn’t even collect it. Conversely, if you have information, use it.
- The Customer – If customers go to the trouble to provide information, it should benefit them in some way. Rewards points may be Hyatt’s answer but they have an opportunity to do so much more. My rewards number should provide insights into my preferences and enable Hyatt to customize their services to my needs (e.g. determine whether if I’m a newcomer to the location or whether I normally eat in the restaurant, or order room service, etc).
When used, centralized information adds value by providing a personalized touch. For companies that have rewards programs, it shouldn’t be too difficult to note the last location/date a customer gave you business. (e.g. “I see that you stayed with us in City X, thanks for visiting again.”) Hyatt has the right idea and if it works out the kinks can have service that differentiates it from the competition.
The pivot point is that investing in using customer analytics/data can illuminate ways to differentiate service. It is easy to see how Hyatt could implement a few relatively simply changes and connect a few more dots to really improve the customer experience, gain market share, and grow their business.