The Hilton chain of hotel brands is hoping that a number of digital innovations will “enhance the customer experience”, as explained in this article. It has designed an app to support its HHonours loyalty programme that enables customers to choose their own room, check in online and use a digital key to open doors to their room. Supported by a marketing programme, it seems that customers have been signing up to the programme every three seconds.
Hilton is also rolling out across its brands its Concierge app. This enables guests to contact an operative to report any problems or concerns they may have at any time during their stay. Guests should be responded to within 5 minutes of using the app.
This is a good example of how smart phones and apps are enabling key aspects of operations to be managed more effectively at relatively low cost. The first concept is mass customisation (page 375) i.e. enabling an individual customer to have a product or experience that is customised to their need, but at low cost. Enabling a guest to choose their own room when they make a booking is an example of this. The second concept is service failure and recovery (page 210). Operations often do not pick up ‘failures’ because customers do not report them, either because they do not regards it as significant enough to do so or because they cannot be bothered. Nonetheless such unreported failure do detract from customer satisfaction. Moreover they do not enable the operator to identify failure points nor enable them to strive to remove these from their operations. Hopefully the Concierge app will overcome this problem.