Travel Trade Journal

Exceeding expectatio­ns in the ever-changing hospitalit­y business

- Prashant Nayak

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.”

 ?? ?? ▲ Rishi Mattu
▲ Rishi Mattu

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