In a world full of advancing tech, robots and AI, there’s something that will always remain at the heart of hospitality: it’s people.
While technology can be a great enabler for an efficient and streamlined serviced accommodation programme, we must not underestimate the role human connection plays in the delivery of an exceptional guest experience.
From choosing the right apartment to creating an environment in which travellers can thrive at work, to quelling the anxiety and distractions that can sometimes accompany global business travel, the power of human connection really is second to none when dealing with the complex nuances associated with building a showstopping corporate housing solution.
In this article, we’ll explore what serviced accommodations are and why the value of human connection is so crucial in building and sustaining a memorable and outstanding guest experience.
Serviced Accommodation and Guest Experience—What You Need to Know
The serviced accommodation product by its very nature provides the capability to substantially enhance the guest experience when compared to other forms of solutions within the hospitality industry, such as hotels. This popular accommodation type typically comes as a self-contained, fully furnished apartment within a residential or hotel-like establishment, and offers a wide range of amenities such as a fully-equipped kitchen, laundry facilities and larger living spaces.
Access to such amenities empowers travellers to live just as comfortably, independently and flexibly as they would at home, and provides guests with access to the little luxuries we don’t realise we take for granted until we’re stuck in a small hotel room. This could be anything from the ability to put a cycle of washing on after you spill your morning coffee, or the space and privacy to catch up with friends over a bottle of wine—it’s the little conveniences that make a home, a home.
4 Reasons The Power of Human Connection in Customer Service Is So Vital
We’ve dipped our toes into how the serviced accommodation product itself can enhance the guest experience, and we can’t stress enough the value such a product can add to a business travel or global mobility programme, but we know it’s really the service, personal touch and careful consideration behind the scenes that makes the magic happen.
Below we’ve compiled 4 reasons why the power of human connection is so important in customer service, alongside some tips and tricks you’ll need to consider if you want to take guest satisfaction to new heights.
The Power of Human Connection Goes Way Beyond Mere Transactions
The power of human connection goes way beyond mere transactions and enables service providers to truly see and address the unique challenges, circumstances and emotions of the individuals they serve.
Why should this approach to customer service be such an important element for travel managers to consider? Well, because a successful travel programme needs to go way beyond a one-size-fits-all approach.
While online filter tools can help promote a more personalised approach, these types of tools also typically lack the ability to detail sufficient information about how certain nuances of a city or country might impact on a guests’ overall experience. And with each guest coming with their own unique set of preferences, requirements and personal circumstances, it is paramount travellers have access to a hospitality industry expert who can ask the right questions to ensure guests stay in the optimal apartment for them that meets their requirements.
A great example of where this is important is in Paris where buildings are old and typically don’t have elevators. Many international travellers are unaware of this local nuance and may therefore not consider such a factor when utilising online booking tools. For example, while an apartment on a high floor in such a property may be suitable for a young, solo traveller, the same option may not be as appropriate for an older traveller or a family with young children.
First Impressions Count
First impressions count—especially when guests have just arrived from a long and tiring flight.
Picture this: you arrive at your destination after a long flight, tired and mentally preparing for the next day’s critical presentation. You notice there’s a water leak in your AirBnb when you arrive, it’s 11pm at night and you can’t get a hold of your host. What now?
Ok, now picture this: you arrive to your apartment and a guest experience team have already checked your accommodation is move-in ready, every detail has been meticulously arranged and you have a phone number on hand you know someone will answer in the event you need support. That’s the power of human connection—it’s the unconscious knowledge that someone is there to help in the event you require support.
Working with an accommodation management company who requires property partners and housekeeping teams to conduct vigilant apartment vetting prior to a guest’s arrival plays a very important role in catching service challenges before they happen and can help deliver a seamless transition from travel stress to comfort. Programme managers, like Synergy, will also be able to deliver access to round-the-clock guest services support in the event challenges arise, helping to set the tone for a relaxed and productive trip.
Human Connection Has the Power to Address the Sense of Anxiety and Unfamiliarity
Human connection has the power to address the sense of anxiety and unfamiliarity that can come with travelling away from home.
Travelling away from home can be a stressful experience for many travellers—and there’s something so incredibly comforting about knowing someone is on the other end of the line to help when support is required.
Having an empathetic, guest experience representative on hand to help, who can not only dive into each individual’s personal requirements, but answer questions specific to the guests’ concerns before, during or after their trip, will ensure guests feel heard, seen, safe and supported before they’ve even moved in.
A great example of when this is so important might be where the traveller in question has specific accessibility requirements. Travellers who utilise online booking tools typically have the benefit of being able to filter searches to show accessibility friendly apartment types—such as apartments with auditory guidance, visual aids or adapted bathroom amenities—but the same travellers often cite their anxiety surrounding limited information about the suitability of wider property amenities and surrounding areas in relation to their own personal requirements.
In such a scenario, an accommodation management company would be able to work with its property partners and on-the-ground teams to provide additional information about the property and surrounding areas, such as the safety of their route to the office in relation to their individual requirements. This personal touch can substantially enhance guest satisfaction by ensuring guests feel in control of their decisions, safety and overall guest experience.
When Business Travellers Feel Well Taken Care Of, They Can Be More Productive at Work.
Exceptional guest satisfaction doesn’t stop at a comfortable bed and clean apartment. When we create an environment in which business travellers feel truly supported, and potential stressors are eliminated, guests are free to fully immerse themselves into their work commitments—and this is the whole point of the trip, right?
The objective for guest services teams is to shift traveller focus from worrying about logistics—internet connection, maintenance, housekeeping etc.—and onto fostering an environment which promotes wellbeing. Accommodation management companies offer many types of solutions to promote guest productivity during business travel, which could be anything from building a fully ergonomic workspace to sourcing apartments which offer wellbeing amenities such as co-working spaces, gyms, outdoor areas and more.
Well cared for travellers are not only empowered to achieve their best and get the most out of their trip, but their experience will likely reflect very positively onto their satisfaction at work as a whole. Such satisfaction can reap exceptional overall organisational benefits including long-term associate satisfaction at work, increased productivity and retention.
How Synergy Can Help
At Synergy, we specialise in managing the end-to-end management of serviced accommodation programmes, wherever in the world our clients need us to be, and for however long.
By combining technology with a personalised and human approach, our goal is to make it easy for you to achieve your business travel objectives through the delivery of a cost-effective corporate housing solution, without any compromise on guest experience. More specifically, Synergy can provide:
• Consultative, end-to-end programme management which targets your specific business travel and overall organisational objectives
• Access to over 165,000 fully vetted serviced apartments, spanning 85+ countries and 2,000 cities
• Access to award-winning, high touch service teams who will go above and beyond to deliver your business travel objectives
• A consistent guest experience wherever in the world your travellers are
• Innovative and flexible corporate housing solutions to meet the ever-evolving requirements of the modern day business traveller
Ready to learn more about how Synergy can enhance your travel programme? Tell us what you need and our local teams will be happy to support you.