Data as Differentiator

By Dorothy Creamer, Editor | December 20, 2016

My husband and I occasionally order sushi from a local Japanese restaurant. Generally, he is the one to place the order and go get it One night, I took on the task. While I was waiting, a little boy emerged from the kitchen and asked “are you Gary?” I answered in the affirmative before remembering that I hadn’t given my husband’s name and I had used my own credit card, so why would the connection be made? Are we so unwavering in our habitual rolls and calamari appetizer that even though we only patronize the restaurant at the most five times a year, they know this is the “Gary order?”

I’m sure this little boy wasn’t checking out POS analytics or a loyalty dashboard so he could come out and greet me personally, but it was a good reminder of how technology can help businesses “see” customers on a more personal level. This will prove to be vital as the hospitality industry has to do battle with disruptive competitors that are meeting customers where, how and when they want – to great success.  

It is up to organizations to invest in the analysis of the vast amount of available data in order to take appropriate action. This issue of HT calls out the conundrum and highlights solutions. In an article on social data analytics we hear how Firehouse Subs and Marriott are mining social channels for insights and in the 2017 Lodging Technology Study as analytics emerged as a top area of investment in order for hotels to provide frictionless experiences to guests.
If you aren’t addressing this area, others will and you will be left behind. Don’t leave data on the table. It will be the differentiator in this new era of service and customer experience.

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