To: Olivier Arnoux
From: Ashish Kharbanda, Gulabi Rajasekar, Sagar Baviskar, Taruna Vardha
Subject: Digitization Strategy for Accor Hotels
Date: January 21, 2018
The business of Accor Hotels is getting impacted heavily due to the snowballing of online content. It has revamped the customer’s decision making. In all the three customer segments, luxury, midscale as well as in budget, the competitors are very puissant. Moreover, collaborators such as airlines, food & beverages, travel agents, cruise lines have significant influence on hotel brand. The new players such as online travel agents (OTA), metasearch sites, social media have enlarged the purview of customers. Now, as we know managing online content is very vital, the question is how to strategize online content, how to percolate digital transformation through organizational structure and how to make use of the online content data effectively to increase the revenue.
For managing online content, it is pivotal to keep customer’s penchant in mind. Establishing a strong foothold in social media plays a big role in targeting new customers. Engaging customers throughout their journey is a must to-do task to retain existing and attract new customers. (See Appendix C for Customer Journey). Also, digital transformation has to be applied to every layer of organization to make use of it to its full potential. The data collected from various partners and social media can be extensively used to predict customers behavior. From the data we can get the customer lifetime value of our customers and decrease the churn rate. Moreover, clustering customers and using association mining would help understand the customer segments more, therefore increasing the booking rate.
Content strategy for online content (customer journey)
Social Media Listening(SML) is an indispensable part of hotel business. Centralizing SML would be the recommended approach, as it is applicable to hospitality industry and it is a tried and tested model by various industries. It will give a huge advantage to captivate customers as 95% of the customers check reviews and research about hotel. It will help to supervise the content and respond to potential attacks. Furthermore, data gathered can be wisely utilized in optimization of value chain. Partnering with celebrities for branding and making creative content online will allure customers. Moreover, asking customers after their stay to put their pictures on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and taking their permission for their testimonials to be published on website or any form on online content will give an authentic feel to prospective customers. (See appendix B Gap analysis).
Assessing organizational structure to embrace digital transformation
Considering Accor Hotels has a good mix of budget, midrange and upscale hotels , the target customers for each of the tier of the hotels vary. Setting up social media listening for each of the brands in a given tier can increase the information about the brand and can cater as a form of feedback for their business. Additionally, hiring social media professionals can serve as a catalyst to improving their online presence and managing their online content. Moreover, hiring data analytics professionals can help the company analyse the data from their reviews and other sources which can help them gauge their branding and reputation. The information gathered from this process can also be used to train employees on the importance of reviews and online reputation. To promote good service, Accor Hotels can also assign a reward system to employees tied to reviews.
Use of online content to increase bookings
Online content would play a key role in increasing the number of bookings. Value chain (See Appendix E for Value Chain) explains the process flow of data in the hierarchy and can help the management to change the policies according to changing customer needs. Information about the areas of concern can be identified from the customer reviews by analyzing data from various blogs and forums. The hotel can specifically target these problem areas and advertise accordingly. Data analysis would help to subcategorize the customer reviews according to their segments (budget, mid-scale and luxury). This will help the management to change their policies and action plans that will best fit the customer needs. Predictive analysis can be used to calculate CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) by analyzing various parameters like the number of bookings, frequency, etc. and help the customer relations department to connect with the customer approaching the average CLV. A mechanism can be deployed to track the incomplete online bookings and send latest discount coupons and promotional offers to the intended customers to motivate them to complete their bookings.