Customer experience lessons from the hospitality industry

3 Minutes
Why do you like your favourite restaurant?

Most of us have our favourite restaurant. A place we return to regularly, despite fierce competition and hundreds of special deals elsewhere. Think about yours—why is it your favourite? Is it because of the food? Because of the price? Ordinarily, it is because of the hospitality experience. It is often said in the hospitality trade that if you eat great food in a restaurant but have a poor overall experience, you’re unlikely to return. However, if you have ordinary food but a great experience, you will return. Makes sense, huh? Chips are chips, cheesecake is cheesecake—it may taste slightly better elsewhere, but most would trade a slight downgrade in taste for a more pleasing experience.

These user experience principles are applicable to all industries. You may not have the best product in the market but your brand experience can help level the playing field. This is certainly true online. A competitor may have a slightly lower price point, but if a customer can’t find a product on the website fast, they will give up. A careers section may boast about being an ‘employer of choice’, but if the page is filled with columns of text, spouting corporate jargon, it will make talent think twice about applying.

Returning to the topic of your favourite restaurant, I bet you like it because the experience is:
- simple (you know where to sit and how to order); 
- quick (you don’t wait ages for food); 
- user-friendly (service staff are responsive, and you receive what you had expected) and;
- personal (they remember your name and preferences)

To give you the competitive edge, you need to ensure your brand experience is the best it can be: simple, quick and user-friendly.

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