Resorts and luxury hotels: Balancing Customer Service and Customer Experience

In managing resorts and luxury hotels, there’s often confusion between two fundamental concepts: “customer service” and “customer experience.” While they might seem synonymous at first glance, they carry distinct meanings in practice. Hospitality projects aiming for guest loyalty understand the importance of creating memorable moments that leave a lasting positive impact. Achieving this goal requires constant improvement of existing services. To examine this topic more closely, let’s first clarify these concepts.

What is Customer Service in a luxury hotel?

Customer Service (CS) entails providing high-quality, professional, and helpful assistance from the moment a customer begins their interaction with us, throughout their stay, and after their departure. CS managers strive to meet guests’ needs and desires at every step.

A common mistake is viewing this strategy solely through a profit-driven lens, focusing on the sales it can generate. Instead, the focus should shift towards both individual and collective efforts to build an excellent reputation while addressing concerns and resolving issues. It’s not just about identifying the reasons behind guest dissatisfaction or frustration in specific situations; it’s also about fostering a corporate culture centred around ensuring guest satisfaction and delivering exceptional experiences.

What characterises Customer Experience?

Customer Experience (CX) encompasses all interactions with our hotel strategy. From a customer’s initial encounter with our website or social media to the conclusion of their stay, potential guests are already forming impressions and expectations that may be influenced by customer service. The experience is centred on how the customer feels throughout the entire purchasing journey.

How do CS and CX differ?

The primary distinction lies in the frequency of interactions between the customer and the company. Customer service comes into play when customers actively reach out to us via various channels like email, phone, social media, or chat. Conversely, customer experience focuses on anticipating customer needs. Hotel operators shouldn’t wait for concerns to arise but should proactively address them. Customers expect companies to be intuitive, proactive, learn from past issues, and understand their expectations. Analysing interaction histories can help improve experience preemptively.

While CS managers assist customers directly, CX involves all resort staff, including marketing, sales, and product development teams, impacting customer perception and loyalty despite not interacting directly.

Which is more important, customer service or customer experience?

Customer Service and Customer Experience are both essential for a luxury resort or hotel’s reputation and sales. Customer experience should guide all brand actions, representing more than just a trend in the industry. It is essential for all teams to share this corporate culture and reflect it positively in customer interactions. Meanwhile, customer service remains the main goal in making guests happy throughout their stay.

At Arum Group, our extensive experience in conceptualising and positioning resorts and luxury hotels allows us to shape customised CS and CX strategies for each brand, ensuring exceptional hotel development and management.