Hospitality Contact Center Emergence Post-Pandemic
The pandemic outbreak caused massive devastation across multiple business sectors; one of the many worst-hit ones being the hospitalityindustry. The panic that ensued among flight cancellations, hotel closures, suddenly terminated reservations, and social restrictions; left consumers scrambling for answers and immediate live support, overloading hospitality Contact Centers. In 2021, as businesses re-open, the hospitality industry will have to revamp its Customer Support channels to redirect the much-lost customer base back towards its service offerings. Whether it is food places, tourism and travel destinations, lodging, or any other recreational facility; all could utilize the services of a seasoned Contact Center Customer Service department to expand their business.
In November 2020, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) found in a survey that 71% of hotels would be closed down in the next 6 months without Federal assistance, with 77% forced to lay off additional staff.
Now imagine if these outlets had contact centers supporting them to help ease their customer’s concerns promptly; a lot more damage to business could have been prevented. Amidst Covid-19, glaring gaps in customer service methodologies were identified worldwide, calling for a more omnichannel and universal approach to Customer Experiences, irrespective of geography.
As consumer behaviors have evolved greatly during pandemic times, so must evolve the hospitality industry’s approach to acquiring customers. This evolution will come in the form of digitization, from bookings to confirmations to support, and even the physical recreational space. The question, however, is how contact center support can help the hospitality industry reopen quickly?
Contact Center Support for Hospitality Sector in 2021
Customer Experience (CX) is the major differentiator in 2021; the same is true for running any hospitality business. As the industry adapts, more and more online options will emerge to facilitate consumers turning back towards leisure travel and recreation after vaccine releases. Mobile shopping, home delivery options, and E-commerce styled interfaces will become a customer demand to expedite processes. For this, additional background support will be necessary, which can be provided by outsourced contact centers.
Personalization goes a long way to make your customers feel welcome, something innate to both hospitality and BPO services. Contact centers can help with everything from reservations, bookings, verifications, to providing Customer Support and more. Cloud contact centers can help transition operations to ease the burden in 2021 by:
Providing multi-lingual and omnichannel solutions to service a wide audience from across the globe, on the platform of their choice (voice call, messaging, email, etc.)
Offering digitized and contactless services for hospitality arrangements (reservations, ticket confirmations, order cancellations, curbside pickups, etc.) and as Customer Support
Sending personalized marketing packages to recall old customers and acquire new ones through Lead Generation
Handling customer queries and concerns in real-time through 24/hr. support managed in different shifts across different time zones
Upselling and cross-selling to spread brand awareness to the existing customer base
Providing empathic voice interactions for customers not looking for robotic communications
Informing consumers about safety protocols regarding the outlet to ensure regulations are met
Pre-advertising for upcoming events for pre-booking and arrangements.
Offering personalized live video/chat support, email marketing for consumers to ask for their choice of services. (like a virtual concierge or manager)
2021 Hospitality Industry Outlook
2021 holds endless opportunities for contact centers to help the hospitality industry thrive and recover faster than anticipated. Depending on how much automation any business front is willing to bring into play; there would be a needed fusion of human voice/video with AI to facilitate consumers best.
According to a Travel Pulse survey, 61% of respondents are hopeful to travel again in 2021. 83% of which will may plan domestic trips, while 44% plan on traveling internationally.
According to anAHLA report, the hotel industry is unlikely to recover fully till 2024.
Considering the numbers, any business in the hospitality industry needs to revamp and face challenges with innovative solutions to sustain itself in the future. Where physical transformation will see more eco-friendly options, sustainable travel, and flexible accommodation arrangements; the digital transformation will see the use of various technologies to match changing consumer behaviors (Deloitte).
Outsourced contact centers can help provide the competitive edge needed to facilitate more contactless options for customers remotely. To learn about Premier BPO’s personalized, customer-centric Contact Center Services, and how they can help you expand your hospitality business, drop us a query at our contact page.