The 1400s saw the introduction of legislation in France that required hotels and innkeepers to maintain a guest registry. This was, in essence, the first example of customer relationship management in the hospitality industry. We’ve come a long, long way since then, and each year, technology plays a progressively important role in the industry. Within that universe is the microcosm of goSTOPS, where similarly, each passing year has seen the integration of technology behind the scenes. By driving efficiencies through technology, we aim to give our GenZ customers better value for each Rupee they spend, and a flawless experience from the start to the end of their journey with us.
The First Step
Establishing a brand name and utilizing the boon and bane that is SEO are just the initial steps to attracting a target audience. Channel management systems form an essential part of that initial step, which is why goSTOPS uses a merge of direct and indirect channels for online distribution.
Whether it’s on our website or through one of the indirect channels, booking a stay involves a few simple clicks of a mouse. This is where our website booking engines whir into action, leading the process of acquiring a new customer by ensuring the booking channels are no-fuss, direct, and easy to use. goSTOPS utilizes multiple payment gateway integrations and offline charging processes to make the payment process as smooth as possible for customers. Penny testing or small value tests are automated, checking the boxes on integration functionality for us and letting us know when the process goes awry.
Speaking of credit cards, the advancements in technology from swindlers need to be met with equal vigilance from our end. Automated solutions to detect credit or debit fraud shield us from potentially messy situations, and also kickstart the enforcement of a cancellation policy.
All of this gets topped off with a few basic yet essential steps, like having a mobile-friendly site by utilizing tools like viewport meta tags.
“Have A Pleasant Stay”
Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, as the pandemic has led us all to adopt technology in ways that make travel a safe experience. We’re in the process of launching our goSTOPS App, that among other things, acts on this need for safety. Once downloaded, guests can take the advantage of a completely contactless and efficiently quick check-in and check-out process through the app. The app also augments the social experience of the hostel in multiple ways, from giving travelers a platform to interact with each other to being able to share their own goSTOPS adventures.
Supply chain management steps in next, helping us keep track of our properties. This is where property management and F&B management come in. The number of beds in our dorms and private rooms is digitized, as is our F&B inventory. Paired with revenue recognition, the digitization makes for an effective inventory management system. The better grip we have on our inventory, the better our service can be.
Whether during the stay, on the way to the hostel, or just for general inquiries, an automated IVR can come to their aid. Pair this up with a telephonic conversation and email to ensure maximum customer satisfaction on all fronts. Our main target is GenZ, who today are more tech-savvy than ever before, and they expect interactions that are seamless no matter what device or channel they use. Keeping that in mind, goSTOPS’ customer support is omnichannel to ensure better integration. This helps our customer service reps get a steady grasp of things so that customers get the responses they need no matter how they get in touch with us.
The End Game
Their stay may have ended, but it’s far from the end for us. After all, a guest’s journey doesn’t end when they exit the premises. This is, in fact, the beginning, and the responsibility of drawing them back continues from here on. This is also where customer experience comes into play in a capacity that equals, if not exceeds, that of while their stay is on. Our goSTOPS app comes into play once again, giving our travelers a way to stay in touch with the new friends they’ve made, and continue being part of the goSTOPS community even when they’re not on a trip.
We use energy management systems to optimize energy efficiency and ensure energy doesn’t go to waste, while ML/AI models predict revenue leakages in our system. An efficient Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system lends a helping hand by handling end-to-end workflow so that onboarding, transforming, and readying new destinations or properties is a smooth, swift process.
Apart from automated IVR and the other channels of communication, goSTOPS has a trouble ticket system to easily and effortlessly track and monitor tickets from across channels, better helping us serve our customers and potential customers. A robust online reputation management system acts as the first-mate to the captaining customer experience management, ensuring our customers’ opinions are brought to our notice no matter what they are or which platform they’re on. Customer reviews across platforms are aggregated and collated, eventually translating into insights on service satisfaction.
All of this combines into comprehensive Customer Relationship Management, through which our customers are segmented into sub-groups, beneficial for when we’re promoting sales or targeting marketing strategies. In this way, our CRM ensures we also get an insight into our customers and their demands, affordability, and preferences. Consequently, this helps us better understand and improve our pricing and distribution, furthering our position as one of the leading youth hostel brands in the country.
Tech And The Hospitality Industry
From chatbots and AI-enabled customer engagement to the promise that blockchain holds, technology and the hospitality industry are seeing more and more integrations. It’ll be interesting to see how technology’s role evolves in the travel and hospitality industries, both of which depend in part on very real, tangible, human experiences. In either case, there’s no doubt that as technology helps us gain deeper insights and perform better, we as members of the industry should be flexible enough to adapt to the changes, and through that, improve our connection with our travelers.