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Local tourism sector to focus more on customer experience management

Published:Wednesday | March 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Deryk Meany
Digicel's Jason Corrigan
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Avaya ICT expert Dennis Mullert reckons that the survival of Jamaica's tourism sector depends on its use of more effective customer experience management tools.

"Even while Jamaica is a small island, there's a lot of business here when it comes to tourism," said Mullert, engagement solutions practice leader at Avaya.

"However, studies have shown that no matter how beautiful the beaches and the sunshine, if today's customers are not able to connect to high-speed Wi-Fi when they get on the property and communicate just as easily, it's unlikely that they will return."

Deryk Meany, resident manager at the Secrets Resorts and Spa in Montego Bay, attested that since implementing a smart Wi-Fi solution on their property using fibre from Digicel Business, their customer experience ratings have increased significantly.

"At Secrets, our smart Wi-Fi solution coupled with our smartphone application have helped to increase customer satisfaction tremendously - up to 80 per cent," Meany said.

"As soon as they arrive on property, they can connect to high-speed Internet and do just about everything from their smartphones, from booking spa appointments and tours, to making free international calls to their family and friends abroad."

Meany also added that the success of these technologies in enhancing the experience for the guests has encouraged them to implement even more customer experience management technologies across their properties.

Speaking at the Digicel Business/Avaya Power of We Seminar held at the Secrets Resorts on

Tuesday, March 3, Mullert noted that for local businesses in the hospitality and BPO sectors especially, improvement of their customer engagement systems could improve their ability to compete globally while increasing their customer lifetime value by eight to 10 per cent.

"Seventy per cent of customers worldwide expect unique treatment and tailored offers from the organisations they communicate with," Mullert said. "The modern consumer wants to be able to communicate with businesses in any way they choose, so whether they prefer to text, have a web chat, video chat or talk on the phone, businesses must have the necessary means in place to facilitate this."

Mullert therefore urged the hospitality and tourism sector to get to the point where the customers can integrate their smartphones into their entire vacation experience.

"In the past, voice communication was the primary method of interaction between businesses and their customers," said Mullert.

"Today's customers want to communicate from whatever device they are using, whether this is a smartphone or a tablet. They don't want to be tied to one method."

Echoing Mullert's sentiments, general manager of Digicel Business, Jason Corrigan, said, "We have seen where the benefits of an effective customer experience management system can positively impact businesses, so from increasing profit and improving efficiency, to building stronger customer retention and relationships, businesses need to start investing in proper collaboration tools."

Corrigan added, "As an Avaya Platinum partner, Digicel Business can give local companies access to all the products and services they need to make this a reality. And that's why we are hosting this seminar in Jamaica's tourism Mecca; we want all our customers to know how important this is and make it easy for them to get access to it."