Customer first or technology first? How the mindset of an entire industry needs to change

In a world where innovation is driving technology and demands of our everyday lives, especially in the midst of a pandemic, it is sometimes hard to keep up that personal touch with our friends, family, or colleagues. Looking at the hospitality industry and all the changes it has gone through, keeping a balance between technology, innovation, and creating that unforgettable experience for a guest is a major issue. In an industry where the human connection matters most, relying on technology has proven to be a safe way to move forward. But not all hotels and guests are equally open to the idea that innovation is the key to success. Sometimes survey solutions, live experience or messaging tools can be overwhelming to a hotelier whose main priority is to personally cater to their guests. 


Hotel technology providers need to take a step back, especially in this difficult time for the entire travel industry, and focus on what matters most: the human connection.


Therefore, hotel technology providers need to take a step back, especially in this difficult time for the entire travel industry and focus on what matters most: the human connection. Be it from the solution provider to the hotel or from the hotel to the guest - there are always people and emotions behind a brand, software, or hotel. 

It is one of TrustYou’s main goals to make sure that customers know that they are not just one of many: we want to build relationships. We want to understand where the core of problems is, create solutions to meet the demands of the hotelier and the demands of the guests. Especially in the last two years, it has proven that our customer-centric approach is the way to help hotels succeed - we call it “relationship innovation”, putting the people and their needs first, solutions second. While our full Guest Experience Platform is a tailored, integrated, modern solution that we have been working on dedicatedly over the last two years, for us it really starts with how we serve our clients on a day-to-day basis.


It has proven that our customer-centric approach is the way to help hotels succeed - we call it “relationship innovation”, putting the people and their needs first, solutions second.


AccorHotels, as an example, uses the TrustYou Live Experience platform to be close to the guests in times of social distancing using messaging and survey tools. TrustYou sat down with Accor, helped them define their needs in order to implement the solution to match their own custom approach to safety standards, and made this change happen for a better guest experience in times of a crisis. It all started with an honest conversation and ended with a pandemic success story based on a strong relationship.


“Using the Live Chat functionality to collect on-site feedback during a guest’s stay helps to continuously improve our ALLSAFE standards, anticipate the post-stay feedback, and allows for taking immediate action if needed. It is an easy, user-friendly tool that enables an instant guest response and a fast hotel reaction. We are delighted with the first results.”

Alison Broussy, VP Global Customer Experience, Accor


“Real-time communication is the safest means of connecting with guests during the pandemic. Using the Live Chat functionality to collect on-site feedback during a guest’s stay helps to continuously improve our ALLSAFE standards, anticipate the post-stay feedback, and allows for taking immediate action if needed. It is an easy, user-friendly tool that enables an instant guest response and a fast hotel reaction. We are delighted with the first results.” Alison Broussy, VP Global Customer Experience, Accor. Read the full success story here

For Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai, keeping a close-to-perfect score is the main goal to showcase at all times that a guest can expect the highest of standards with them during their stay. Using guest feedback as a hard data point to establish a benchmark through TrustYou’s data is the way to success. “Consistency and continuous learning and development are key in being able to recognize and inspire every guest throughout the full hotel experience, as well as a hotel team with an extraordinary focus.” Again technical innovation here is used to make a personal experience better, build a relationship, put people first, technology second. 


“Consistency and continuous learning and development are key in being able to recognize and inspire every guest throughout the full hotel experience, as well as a hotel team with an extraordinary focus.”

Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai


This shows that the hospitality technology industry needs to rethink its approach to developing and distributing innovation, asking themselves questions like: 

1. Is it us who want this innovation or is it the customer? 
2. Do we really cater to the needs of the client here or is it our focus to make our own technology better so that we can compete with the market? 
3. Just because the competitor has this feature, does this mean we need it too? 

In order to define what is truly valuable in the hotel tech industry, we need to talk to people and find out what makes them feel something. Innovation only has meaning when it makes life better for our clients and our guests. 

It becomes clear that in a still struggling travel and tourism industry, a shift of the mindset towards tech innovation needs to happen. What worked before Covid for hotel tech companies has proven to no longer be valid. It is, of course, essential for any tech company to be innovative and to improve their products and services but at what cost? Should it always be the number one priority? 

If you missed the first article in our series, you can read it here.

Our upcoming third article will provide the answers to these questions and how the industry needs to shift to become successful again. Check back soon - only on the TrustYou blog.

Katharina Heitmann

Katharina loves the tourism and hospitality industry. In the past decade, she has done it all - from graduate studies, working at Disneyland, and climbing the hotel ladder, to marketing, PR, and communications. At TrustYou, her goal is to show how ORM and review marketing lead to a hotel’s success.

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