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Leverage Synergy to Drive Experiential Moments in Travel
By Widhadh Waheed, Director of eBusiness, Shangri- La Hotels and Resorts
“Transcendent companies are looking beyond the now at the seemingly impossible or inane and adopting it as their own, embodying the future with their undeniable foresight and building a community that believes in their vision. Fulfilling needs before they are perceived, anticipating wants and desires, eliciting spontaneous moments of awe and at the same time providing a bedrock of consistency, this is the nature of the transcendent startup. These companies understand the future trends; that we want to be well connected with the least amount of effort. We want that gennie in a bottle that grants our every wish. What do these transcendent companies do for me? They inspire me, they give me magic, I trust them and on top of all of that, I rave about them.” I wrote this back in 2012 when I was running a startup. Dissecting it now I firmly believe that this applies not just to startups but to all companies and any industry.
To truly become transcendent, we need synergy. The biggest challenge we have is when we don’t embrace synergy. Synergy within our systems and technology, our processes and our people.
Integrated systems allow us to mine data to understand the customer lifecycle and touch points. To forecast more efficient servicing, purchasing, planning, energy savings and even staffing. Utilizing technology across a mobile on-the-move workforce and providing actionable data at the fingertips of the right employee can streamline processes immensely. With data driving our systems—for example building heating and cooling, lighting, and so forth—we can drive cost-saving efficiencies. Boeing uses thousands of data points to make flying more efficient in real time. In hospitality, as in so many industries, there are many moving parts that need to be synchronized operationally. We can automate and embed technologies to enable synchronization.
“True hospitality is giving the best of yourself to create amazing moments for every guest.”
Aligning and integrating systems requires a unified vision across the organization, across a core leadership team. When our global, regional and local teams are playing like Pele’s team when Brazil won its first World Cup that is when we have synergy, and this synergy needs to be passed from player to player with skill and ease of effort. This starts from a central core that pulses out the mission and vision in a concerted and coordinated effort that involves a core group of people that are aligned as one without fractures and consists of functional and inspirational leaders within the organization.
When an organization achieves synergy in mission and vision while embracing future trends to elicit spontaneous moments of awe that really speaks to an individual – that is when we touch people to their core. We all know that when a company gives us that magic, it is a hard thing for us to go to a competitor all things being relatively equal. From 2012 to now technology has evolved and it is our responsibility especially in an industry of service to leverage technology to not only speak to each person individually – to personalize and individualize interactions but to find those moments to evoke amazing emotions. A friend told me "true hospitality is giving the best of yourself to create amazing moments for every guest" and for us that translates to "providing hospitality from the heart to enable people to find their unique and personal experiences". Leveraging data, people, and process synergies for every customer touch point across the guest life cycle will help us achieve this vision.