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Digital Customer Centricity in Hospitality

Head: Manuela De Carlo

Year 2017

This report was designed to provide the basis for an initial understanding of the impact of CRM Hoxell within the hotels that are adopting the solution.

Four properties were, in fact, considered eligible for this study. Selection criteria included: (i) properties using Hoxell (back-end and front-end) for at least one year (the data of the installation of the last component was chosen as indication of a 'pre-Hoxell' and 'post-Hoxell' periods); (ii) management willing to engage in a qualitative phase with semi-structured interviews; (iii) organizations willing to share relevant data with the research team.

The research design was then built around the perception of customer centricity of each single organization, which should be reflected in customer assessment on TripAdvisor.com, and access to the Hoxell platform (from the organization perspective) and a higher customer value perception. The study uses a mixed-method approach (qualitative interviews, statistical analysis on average guest ratings, automated text analysis on reviews, reputation analysis - thanks to the partnership with Travelappeal.com - and analytics analysis) towards the definition of impact as a multidimensional construct.

Results from the interviews show that guests appreciate the personalization options (front-end) offered by the tool to make their holiday unique; staff members are made more accountable for the overall customer experience and the organization is perceived to be more efficient. Looking at the average rating of the properties, there is a clear increase in customer ratings after the adoption of Hoxell and, in some cases, there is a clear shift of the discussions in social media towards staff excellence. Additionally, the study of analytics sheds light on the relationship between Hoxell usage in the hotels analysed and the commitment towards customer centricity of the organization and the customers' average ratings on TripAdvisor.com