Using cloud to enhance the personalised customer experience

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Customer experience has never been more important. Connected and empowered like never before, consumer expectations have skyrocketed. As a result, brands have begun to realise that personalised interactions are crucial for success.

In the hospitality industry, especially, customer experience is everything. Hotels and restaurants want to generate long-term customer loyalty, and with so much competition, it only takes one bad experience for a customer to go elsewhere. So it’s not surprising that the sector is looking for new ways to attract and retain customers through the use of pioneering technology.

You might think that technology would conflict with the hospitality industry’s core values. After all, customers will rate their experience in a restaurant, hotel or pub on skills and services offered by humans, such as the warmth and speed of service they have received or the quality of the food they have consumed, not by whether a business has devised its own app or has switched to cloud computing.

However, to win in the highly competitive hospitality industry race, the sector needs to invest in technology that has the ability to increase operational efficiency, manage distribution and collate data to give the power to deliver hyper-personalised experiences. But how exactly can this technology help the sector to gain a competitive advantage? AI and data analytics will help to tailor a seamless customer experience.

Personalised experiences have been the backbone of the hospitality industry for a long time. For an industry, which rests on service, personalisation is something that every guest looks forward to, but organisations are now being driven to go beyond simple welcome note or a celebratory bottle of bubbly.  Personalisation is now being taken to the next level with analytics helping to construct detailed customer profiles to enable hotels and restaurants to provide a better, enhanced experience for customers on each return visit. By way of example, using temperature and motion sensors, hotels can identify a guest’s in-room temperature and lighting preferences which can be set accordingly for their next visit based on past recorded sensor data. Restaurants are also able to capture insights and advanced analytics to help drive performance by capturing diner’s menu, dining times and seating preferences which is enabling them to send relevant and timely promotions.

Automation gives your customers complete control

With tech-savvy customers looking for more digital and streamlined processes everywhere they go, it only makes sense that the sector would begin moving toward automation.  Today, many hotels are now offering a digital check-in and room selection feature that allows guests to pick a preferred room the day before their stay. Guests are then able to use their smartphone as a digital room key, allowing them to bypass the front desk completely. In many cases, hotel guests can interact with artificial intelligence-generated platforms throughout the booking process.

Similarly, some major restaurant chains are now providing kiosks which can reduce the pain points that come with ordering and payments. Additionally, many restaurants are opting for integrated POS systems, such as tablets or mobile apps, that allow customers to pay at their leisure and reduce the friction associated with settling the bill.

It’s time to check-in to the cloud

Previously, silos in IT infrastructure and business functions have prevented the seamless sharing of insights across hospitality establishments.  But with cloud infrastructure serving as a single source of truth, teams can now be empowered to leverage data and hyper-personalise brand engagement to drive a unique consumer experience across channels. But to deliver these digital investments successfully, the hospitality sector must choose the right Cloud provider to not only help migrate applications to the cloud.

As the UK’s #1 Cloud Service Provider, ANS is experienced in helping the hospitality sector migrate and build their next generation of digital business applications in Azure and AWS.  Check out our latest Public Cloud Lightboard Series, hosted by ANS’ CTO, Andy Barrow to find out why Public Cloud is helping the sector to design and manage a solution to help achieve competitive advantage.