Taking a peek into the hospitality and leisure industry it looks like it is in much better fettle going deeper into 2014, with customer loyalty being the number one issue to aim at, said Nicolette Kruger, general manager of NFS Technology, the software solutions company which supplies a range of software for the hotel and leisure industry.
“Travel, hospitality and leisure companies who are pressing for growth both locally and abroad will need to look at the increased challenges of a multi-channeled market, as end users increasingly use a myriad of devices to communicate and organise their travel plans. Customer loyalty will be the number one priority –and this is where the top performers in the industry will outperform the under-achievers and those companies who are merely mediocre,” said Kruger.
She said that as companies fight for increasing market share – or just to hold onto their market share –managing an employee talent pool that provides service par excellence to its customers will be critical.
Top class customer engagement and personalised experiences is where companies should be focusing a large portion of their attention.
Kruger said the hospitality industry is expected to add 70 million jobs in the next decade, with two-thirds of these jobs created in Asia, according to Deloitte LLP.
“With the growing demand, including in geographical terms, finding and retaining good talent is going to have to be high on any CEO’s agenda. Given the increased sophistication of international travelers, workers in the hospitality and leisure sector are going to need to work with different cultures, travelers with a wider list of preferences – and who are far fussier about their travel experience.
“Training and retention of talent is very likely going to require a significant investment from hospitality companies. Now is not the time to count the pennies and to cut back on employee and customer retention,” said Kruger.