Travel Trade Journal
Exceeding expectations in the ever-changing hospitality business
Over the years, the evolving guest experience, expectations, and demands are ever increasing. With three generations travelling, there is a greater expectation that the service be tailored according to individual needs. Hotels are looking for ways to become more agile and responsive to their guests. Rishi Mattu, General Manager, ITC Grand Bharat, Gurugram, identifies a few touchpoints to adapt in these changing times that deliver a positive customer experience and exceed expectations.
Atribute to the glory of India and set amidst the Aravalis, ITC Grand Bharat Gurugram features 104 suites and villas, a 27-hole golf course along with exquisite culinary and wellness experiences. To showcase its splendour, the retreat offers a strong, personalised value proposition — one that connects with the guests consistently across all marketing channels. And social media plays an important role in their marketing efforts.
At ITC Grand Bharat, their marketing strategy is based on three pillars: authenticity, engagement, and personalisation. “We showcase the true essence of our Retreat, which is an unhurried luxury getaway built on the ethos of Responsible Luxury that celebrates India's rich culture and heritage. We use high-quality images and videos to highlight our unique features, such as our 27-hole signature golf course, our luxurious spa and our diverse culinary offerings among others for a holistic experience for our audience online. In addition to this, we interact with our followers regularly by promptly responding to their comments, questions and feedback. We also encourage them to share their experiences with us by using hashtags, tagging us or sharing reviews. We also collaborate with influencers and bloggers who align with our brand values and assist in amplifying our message,” states Rishi.
To build a lasting and meaningful connection with its audience, the Retreat works towards understanding its audience's interests and preferences through the engagement shown towards its content online. Then they segment them into different groups based on their demographics, location, travel purpose, and booking history. They also tailor their content and offers to suit their needs and expectations. Re-marketing tools are also used to engage with guests across different platforms and channels. Adding more Rishi says, “By following these key pillars, we aim to create a strong, personalised value proposition for our Retreat that resonates with a diverse set of travellers consistently across all marketing channels. We believe that social media marketing is not just a tool, but a way of building relationships and creating memorable experiences for our guests.”
With Generation X, Y, and Z all travelling regularly, one of the challenges that hotels face today is catering to the diverse needs and expectations of different generations of travellers. Generation X, Y, and Z have different preferences when it comes to booking, staying, and engaging with hotels. To customise their preferences individually, at ITC Grand Bharat, they adopt a multi-faceted approach. “We analyse customer feedback to understand the preferences and behaviour of each generation. For example, we have been able to identify that Generation X values convenience and loyalty programs, Generation Y values social media and personalisation, and Generation Z values sustainability and authenticity. We actively work toward creatively offering a range of curated experiences and services that appeal to each generation. This enables us to create a personalised and memorable experience for each of our guests cutting across generations. We also place great emphasis on the training of our associates to provide friendly and attentive service that makes each guest feel valued and appreciated,” asserts Rishi.
Being an uber luxury Retreat, ITC Grand Bharat Gurugram takes pride in curating unhurried luxury experiences for its guests. They believe that by providing their associates with the right tools, training, and support, they can create memorable and personalised moments for their guests. Rishi strongly believes that their associates are their greatest asset and by empowering them to drive guest experiences, they create a culture of excellence that sets them apart. Rishi mentions, “To achieve this, we have implemented a range of initiatives that focus on employee empowerment, including ongoing training and development to enhance their skills and knowledge. This includes both technical training (e.g., customer service, communication, problem-solving) and soft skills (e.g., emotional intelligence, cultural awareness, leadership). Additionally, we believe that recognition and reward are a great morale booster for the entire team and therefore, continually acknowledge our associates for their hard work and dedication. Moreover, we maintain open lines of communication within the team and encourage team members to actively share their ideas, feedback, and concerns. This helps us in identifying areas where we can improve and ensures that every member of team ITC Grand Bharat feels heard and valued.”