Will hotel business become a commodity? (GA 2010)

With so much technology enabling customers to book our hotels directly at any time, the risk of becoming a commodity is a reality.  However the industry must do everything possible to avoid this and retain some controls.

The best prevention is to put the customer at the very center (customer-centered) of all what we do and exceed his / her needs and involve him emotionally in our products.  Perfect the art of consistency in welcoming our guest and provide a total experience.

Customers should feel that they are buying more than a room in a hotel for the night, but they are buying a friendly, efficient and consistent product that makes him return time after time.  We must create (business) intimate connections with our customers.  Operators must be very careful to prevent over-standardization.  It has been proved that customers expect service consistency but also local products, ambiance, decors and local food.

Creating and maintaining meaningful, lasting customer connection needs to be at the top of everyone’s agenda regardless of what is their role in the organization.  Customers remember experiences.

We should also remember that our system / product / service need to be continually monitored and frequently tweaked.  Merely being different isn’t enough for lasting success.

“A successful formula yesterday will not guarantee success tomorrow.”

If we apply all these, hotel business will not become a commodity in the near medium term, but an emotional choice by the customers and this is what the successful operator wants.