We spoke with Marko Ćorić, business consultant at Comping, who will give a presentation about importance of continuous and interactive customer relationship.

When talking about fulfilling guests’ expectations in a luxury tourism market, what would you say is the most important thing to look after?

Luxury travel industry faces disruption from a new generation of well educated, highly demanding travel consumers. To respond, the hospitality industry has been forced to redefine both the definition of luxury and its role as a service. There are some suggestions in literature that this rethinking revolves around “the 5 C’s of Luxury Travel,” a group of principles that engage consumers emotionally and physically before, during, and after a travel experience. Those 5 C’s of Luxury Travel are: Culture, Cuisine, Community, Content and Customization. Regardless of the actual travel product or destination, these five combined elements are the primary drivers of engagement in luxury travel worldwide.

What do you think about the current state of luxury tourism in Croatia and the region?

In the foreign markets, Croatia is still not seen as a destination for luxury tourism, although there are many tourist facilities that cater to such tourists. It is not easy for them to operate in Croatia, due to high seasonality and poor airline links with markets such as the US and UK, where there is a large number of potential guests. Croatia belongs to the list of countries that attracts visitors more with the quality of its natural environment and the richness of its cultural and historical heritage, than the quality, availability and diversity of its new generation tourist attractions. In contrast to the situation with the wealth of natural and cultural heritage, Croatia is exceptionally poor in newly built tourist attractions, such as contemporary congress centers, theme and fun parks, golf courses, visitor centers, carefully thought-through themed tourist routes and similar tourist offers. Without this kind of content, it is difficult to widen the internationally already recognizable mix, to activate tourism in continental Croatia, including the inland areas behind the coast, and to prolong the tourist season.

Relationship with guests is a foundation of hospitality. How do Comping’s solutions help hotels in development of guest loyalty?

Travel companies need to get up close and personal with customers. But there must also be a two-way exchange, just like in any relationship, where personal information that is shared, is consequently rewarded. There needs to be trust, and from trust comes loyalty.

CRM is a dynamic process of company-client relations management, oriented to the continuation of a mutually beneficial trade and deflection from participation in the trades unprofitable for the company. It is an infrastructure that enables characterization of clients and increasing their value for the company and provides it with the ways of motivating valuable clients for repeated purchase – in other words, of stimulating their loyalty. Comping Loyalty program is an extended functionality of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system. The system provides detailed data on buyers. The solution itself enables managing of various activities that can additionally increase customer loyalty. It keeps track of the cost-effectiveness of such activities and the success factors of the loyalty program.

What do Comping’s business solutions provide hotels with in terms of CRM and guest satisfaction?

Today it has been recognized that the underpinning critical success for the tourism industry is building customer loyalty through the creation of the total customer experience. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) indicate that loyalty-building is found in the customer’s experience with the product/service, hence it is perceived that a fundamental key to building customer loyalty is the successful management of each individual customer’s experience. Being present in hotel industry has led us to conclusion that seamless luxury services require the establishment of up-to-date real-time interaction with all stakeholders servicing all stage of the passenger journey. Comping hospitality focused solutions range from traditional CRM to Social CRM in order to encompass the whole customer journey. Unique element of our service is our continuous journey with clients – we provide business consulting services to our clients so they can improve their service to final customers.

How do you think ICT solutions will impact the development of luxury tourism?

In the future, the hospitality industry will need to address challenges resulting from the transition into the information age, in which the convergence of computer technology and telecommunications is changing the way people work and live. This will affect the relationships between employees and their guests. The exchange process will be reshaped between service providers and well-informed guests, whose service expectations are steadily growing. In addition to guest segmentation, service providers in the future will be expected to know many more details about their guests and to design their services in accordance with the specific wants and needs of guests. Technology is changing the marketing practice of the hospitality industry, redefining the guest as a segment on whom a hospitality facility possesses a great volume of information systematically gathered and stored in databases, containing real information system data for the purpose of using this information to design a hospitality offering. ICT development has enabled the development of micromarketing, the philosophy of which is based on guest data, while adjustable software make it possible to handle guest data for a variety of purposes.

What Comping solutions would you say are the most beneficial in developing continuous guest relationships?

The primary goal of a hospitality establishment is to collect as much information as possible in the shortest time possible on the greatest number of customers (guests) possible. This goal, together with the activities it requires, is becoming a determining factor in the growing competitive struggle among hospitality establishments, through which they seek to retain guests in their hospitality facilities while preventing them from defecting to rivals. The future will belong to those hospitality establishments that have recognized the fact that these data are a major asset for their future successful performance. In Comping we are dealing big data; we know how to collect them, analyze them, and make predictions.

What are you most looking forward to in attending Best Stay 2017?

The thing that I’m most looking forward to is the chance to share experiences at this one-of-a-kind event with people from hospitality industry and being able to demonstrate Comping solutions as well our knowledge from previous Hospitality related implementations. What is also interesting is to hear about new trends that are shaping luxury tourism, challenges that hoteliers are facing as well as all other interesting information from travel industry. This is also a very good opportunity for Comping to show our strengths and represent our solutions that support hospitality industry.