How Hotels Can Be Accessible for People with Disabilities and Why That Matters

People with disabilities spend billions in the tourism industry.

Accessible tourism is as important as anything else in the hotel industry. Wheelchair accessibility, in particular, is important to keep in mind. Wheelchair users face numerous challenges in hotels, including limited access to amenities, lack of adequate facilities, and barriers to movement.

Research from MMGY Global, a travel marketing group, found that 81 percent of disabled travelers have had to deal with inaccessible tubs/showers. Over half have also dealt with beds that were too high to access.

Providing wheelchair accessibility in hotels is also a human rights issue. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities emphasizes the importance of ensuring equal access to all areas of life, including tourism and travel.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that hotels and other places of public accommodation remove architectural barriers and make their facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities. If you don’t comply with these regulations there could be legal consequences, such as fines and lawsuits.

Being accessible is the right thing to do regardless, but it also has monetary importance.

MMGY also concluded that “travelers with mobility disabilities spend $58.2 billion per year on travel” and travel with almost the same frequency as able-bodied adults.

How can hotels attract people with disabilities?

  • 84 percent said by making information about accessibility available prior to booking
  • 83 percent said maintenance to sidewalks and ramps
  • 81 percent said accessibility promotion

But you can’t promote what you don’t have. Here are some ways you can make your hotel accessible to everyone.

1. Make entrances and exits accessible

Wheelchair users require flat pathways to enter and exit the hotel, as well as elevators and ramps. Hotels should install ramps and handrails that are easy to use.

2. Create wheelchair-friendly parking spaces

Parking spots for individuals with disabilities should be close to the entrance, have enough space to accommodate larger vehicles, and be designed with a slope that allows wheelchairs to move with ease.

3. Design accessible guest rooms

Guest rooms must be spacious enough for wheelchair users to move around comfortably. The bathroom should have a roll-in shower, adjustable showerhead, grab bars, and an accessible toilet. Furniture and fittings should be arranged to provide ample space for wheelchair users.

4. Provide assistive devices and equipment

Hotels should provide assistive devices and equipment such as ramps, wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and other mobility aids that can be rented or borrowed by guests. This can be arranged in advance or upon check-in.

5. Train hotel staff

Staff members should be trained on how to interact with guests with disabilities, understand their needs, and provide appropriate assistance. This includes training on how to operate mobility aids and how to communicate effectively with guests with hearing or visual impairments.

Providing Cutting Edge Customer Service in Surgical Practices

In and out of the operating room, the process of surgery should be as painless for patients as possible.

Cutting the stress out of going under the knife can make a world of difference for patients.

Preparing for elective surgery is a very involved process, from dealing with insurance to getting ready to heal, which can mean speaking with a case worker and getting support from family and close ones. There’s a lot of communication with several parties going on for each patient. That’s why providing premier customer service can make the process feel infinitely less stressful.

And because the most a surgeon will see of their patient is while they’re under, even more of the responsibility of creating an excellent environment falls on the support team.

I went through two surgeries last year at two different hospitals, and the experiences were polar opposites of each other.

For my first surgery, the patient coordinator rescheduled my surgery multiple times due to her own scheduling mistakes, put me down for the wrong surgery, and spoke down to me for going to other staff for help. When she once again booked me for an appointment at a time when the surgeon was unavailable, I did not follow up and have not been contacted since.

My more recent surgery was entirely stress-free. The nurse and the social worker assigned to me walked me through every step and let nothing slip through the cracks. I was able to feel confident that I was being taken care of.

The differences between these two hospitals go deep. There’s a lot to learn there on how to make sure things go right and why that’s critical for your patient.

Why it’s important

Trust between the patient and provider is undeniably vital in healthcare. Providing good customer service is how to start cultivating that trust.

A patient who is more comfortable with their care team will also be more cooperative. That can mean following instructions, making and showing up to appointments on time, and paying in a timely manner.

Forming that bond with patients is also key to retention. An unhappy patient can mean lost business.

I gave up on making appointments with a hospital that kept rescheduling me. Avoid pushing your patient away from the practice.

What patients look for

Communication happens in two directions. Patients want their healthcare team to listen to them with an open mind and speak to them with empathy and professionalism.

Part of expressing empathy is accepting your own mistakes. When something goes wrong, take ownership of it and correct it as quickly as possible. Showing an ability to repair mistakes is just as impressive to patients as getting it right the first time.

Efficiency is also a key trait that patients are looking for. This can look like answering the phone promptly, more appointment slots, and less time spent in the waiting room.

Digitization has led to a big effort in increasing efficiency in healthcare in recent years. The popularization of platforms like MyChart make connecting with providers even easier, and patients expect a faster response.

According to hiver, 70% of patients want to be able to connect with their healthcare provider instantly, either over email or phone.

As a patient, I will continue going to my primary care team because of their display of empathy and drive to help me as quickly as possible.

Putting it into practice

Customer service falls on the shoulders of employees. That means good staffing is paramount.

Hire staff that will put patients first. Applicants with previous healthcare experience and customer service experience should be put ahead.

Good training is also essential to having a good staff. Even after introductory training, work alongside your employees so that you can provide additional pointers and ensure that they’re understanding the hospital’s goals.

Listen to patients, too. Complaints can be an opportunity to do right by the patient and build loyalty.

Do your best to cover all of your bases. Being over-prepared will feel better for everyone involved. Patients will feel more secure and confident in choosing you as a provider.

In my experience, healthcare works best when everyone is working together towards the common goal of providing the best possible care for the patient.

Many dread having to see a doctor, but that reputation can be broken down. True hospitality will set a hospital apart.

How Hotels Can Use Psychology to Better Serve Business Travelers

Understanding the wants and needs of corporate guests can help you improve their stays and keep them coming back.

Business travelers are flooding back to hotels in the wake of the pandemic. As they return, it’s worth taking a new look at the ever-changing makeup of business travel and how you can use psychology to better serve these guests.

“Corporate travel budgets are recovering to pre-COVID levels,” a new Morgan Stanley report, “2023 Outlook: Business Travel Bounces Back,” states. In fact, 2023 budgets are expected to hit 98 percent of 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, according to the report.

Here are four ways to use psychology to better serve these returning business travelers and to provide the experiences that will make them feel welcome:

  1. Make them feel at home. Business travelers may be traveling solo or with colleagues, but one thing is sure: they’re likely missing their home, their loved ones and maybe their dog or cat. One study found that 75 percent of business travelers experience high levels of stress. Warmth and friendliness can go a long way toward making a business traveler feel that they’re not in a strange, cold place but a welcoming “home away from home.” Data can be helpful here, allowing staff to greet business travelers with familiarity and to offer personalized service. For example, instead of a generic greeting, “Hello Mr. Green. Good to see you again. We put a yoga mat in your room, as usual. Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do to make your stay more comfortable.”
  2. Keep generational psychology in mind. The makeup of business traveler demographics is constantly changing, and millennials now make up around half  of all corporate travelers. That means that it’s important to think not just of the psychology of business travelers in general, but specifically of business travelers by generation. Hotels can better serve millennials by embracing technology, providing information about the hotel surroundings and offering curated experiences. Keep in mind that millennials also prize sustainability.
  3. Emphasize the sleep experience. Business travel can be exciting but also exhausting. A study published in the Journal of Vacation Marketing, “The psychology of vacationers’ hotel brand choice in a post-pandemic world,” found that business travelers pay special attention to the quality of the bed and the bedding with the aim of getting a “good night’s sleep.” It’s worth focusing on ways you can both improve the quality of sleep guests get at your hotel and communicate these advantages to guests. Some hotels are investing in luxe beds and offering amenities such as weighted blankets and melatonin gummies, according to Travel Weekly.
  4. Help them focus. Business travelers have a lot on their minds: they may be attending an important conference, giving a speech or wining and dining prospective clients in an effort to land a lucrative deal. In order to best serve business travelers, it’s important to provide the services and support they need to keep their minds on the task ahead. “Above all, business travelers just want to focus on their visit,” Svenja Ullrich, a business traveler of 30 years and a senior manager for BCD Travel states. This means offering free, fast Wi-Fi, jumping to solve problems that arise and offering extra support when needed, so the guest can focus on the task at hand and not on, say, troubleshooting a hotel Wi-Fi connectivity problem that’s keeping them from finishing a report.

“Modern corporate travelers are highly responsive to hospitable behavior,” HospitalityNet states. “They want the best ecosystem to handle their work during their stay.”

5 Important “During the Purchase” Guest Experience Touch Points to Consider

Understanding customer touch points that take place during the purchase can help your brand understand and improve the customer experience.

The customer experience journey is filled with many customer touch points — any interactions that a customer has with your brand — that define the customer experience. If your brand isn’t mapping what the customer journey is like for the typical customer, you’re missing out on ways to enhance and improve the customer experience with your business.

“It’s impossible to improve the customer experience if you don’t know the moments that they go through to make that experience,” according to Qualtrics, a customer experience technology provider. “These moments – the touchpoints in which the customer interacts with the brand – define the experience that customers have.”

The many customer touch points along the way on the total customer experience with your brand occur primarily in three buckets:

  • Before the purchase
  • During the purchase
  • After the purchase

“Multiple touchpoints create a journey,” says Qualtrics. “If brands are to successfully influence the customer – to buy, renew or recommend to a family, friend or coworker – then the experience in the moments that matter [must] meet their needs.

Once your customers are drawn to your products with the “before the purchase” phase, a new road of touch points begins with the “during the purchase” phase.

Here are five customer experience touch points that take place during the purchase on a customer journey and why they’re important.

1. Company representative interactions

The most direct point of contact you have with customers is your in-person interactions, says inbound marketing specialist HubSpot. Customer conversations with call center reps, salespersons and in-store employees have an “immediate impact” on the customer’s purchase decision, says HubSpot.

2. Product catalogs

Online or hard copy catalogs are an “excellent medium” for showcasing your products, says HubSpot:  “An image of the product, coupled with an enticing description, gives the customer everything they need to know before making a purchase.”

3. E-commerce

The most effective way for many businesses to get new customers and close deals is through e-commerce, says HubSpot.

“That’s because websites can be accessed globally, making it possible for an SMB in one location to provide products and services to a customer on the other side of the world,” says HubSpot. “Understanding the various touch points within e-commerce can dramatically improve the customer experience for SaaS and other online companies.”

4. Product reviews

“Product reviews are no longer a pre-purchase touch point,” says HubSpot. “Now customers have smart devices that can call up product reviews while they’re shopping in your stores.

“Additionally, some online retailers include reviews on the listing page, so you can see what other customers think without navigating away from the page.”

5. Point of sale

The point of sale is a “momentous step” in the customer journey and the last touch point a customer reaches before making a purchase, says HubSpot.

How to get started on your customer journey map

A customer journey map is a visual depiction of each interaction the typical customer has with your business on the entire customer journey. To get started on mapping out your brand’s customer journey, consider downloading HubSpot’s or another marketing or software company’s customer journey template for guidance.

5 Crucial Onboarding Tips to Build a Happy and Productive Staff

Retain your employees by starting off on the right foot.

Onboarding new employees in the hospitality industry is a critical process. Properly introducing new hires into your organization can help them feel valued, motivated, and prepared to perform their duties with confidence. So, it’s important to get it right.

Proper onboarding can be key to employee retention. Good onboarding practices can improve employee retention by helping new hires feel valued. Employees who feel connected to their workplace are more likely to stay with the organization long-term.

Nearly 9 in 10 employees decide if they’ll be staying with a company within the first month of being employed. But only 12 percent agree that their employers do a good job in the onboarding process.

“Instead of using the experience as an opportunity to connect emotionally with new hires,” the Society for Human Resource Management writes, “HR professionals often overwhelm them with boatloads of materials and information at the new employee orientation.”

Here’s how to make that connection and keep your employees around for the long haul.

Create a detailed onboarding plan

The first step in onboarding hospitality employees is to create a plan that outlines the key steps, timelines, and responsibilities. The plan should include everything from an introduction to your company culture to the specific training and development required for their role.

Provide a warm welcome

This is essential for making a positive first impression on your new employees. Make sure that someone from your management team is there to greet them on their first day and give them a tour of the workplace. Additionally, consider providing a welcome kit or gift, such as a branded t-shirt or water bottle, to show your appreciation for their decision to join your team.

Provide comprehensive training

Good training is essential for ensuring that your new employees have the necessary skills to perform their job effectively. This training should cover everything from basic customer service to specific job-related tasks. Maybe ask new employees what learning style works best for them and provide a mix of in-person, online, and hands-on training.

Set clear expectations

Setting clear expectations is important for ensuring that your new employees understand what is expected of them. This includes their job duties, work schedule, performance goals, and company policies. Consider providing an employee handbook or other written materials that outline these expectations in detail, and make sure to discuss them during the onboarding process. This way they aren’t surprised by anything a month into the job.

Provide ongoing support and feedback

This helps new hires feel valued and supported throughout their onboarding process. Schedule regular check-ins with new employees to see how they are adjusting and provide feedback on their performance. Make sure that they know who to turn to if they have any questions or concerns.

Celebrating milestones and achievements, at least at first, helps new employees feel valued and appreciated for their contributions. This can be as simple as recognizing an employee’s first week or month on the job, or as elaborate as organizing a team outing or celebration for reaching a specific goal.

Showing your appreciation for your employees’ hard work and dedication can go a long way toward building a positive work culture and promoting employee retention.

It’s 2023, Should You Bother with COVID Precautions?

Many major hotels still have social distancing and other measures in place.

Many Americans don’t believe that the pandemic is over and many still value COVID precautions when traveling and seek out hotels that have implemented safety measures. Recent surveys have shown that travelers are prioritizing health and safety when making travel decisions and are willing to pay extra for COVID-related safety measures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends that travelers take precautions to protect themselves and others from COVID-19, such as wearing masks in public settings, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing hands or using hand sanitizer.

A December 2022 study from Ipsos, a market research company, found that 56 percent don’t think that it’s time to “move on.” Nearly 70 percent also say that the government should continue funding prevention measures. And if they think the government should, they probably think you should too.

Major hotels are catering to that. The following still implement social distancing measures and contactless check-in:

  • Marriot
  • Hilton
  • Omni
  • Best Western
  • Hyatt
  • Wyndham

And there are more. They also offer “advanced cleaning.” Good. Enhanced cleaning practices rank as No. 2 in guests’ hotel priorities, next to pricing.

Many of them also ask unvaccinated guests to use facemasks when in public areas of the hotel –  though this can vary by location.

Here are some common precautions that many hotels are still taking…

1. Thorough cleaning and disinfection

Many hotels have increased their cleaning frequency and are using enhanced disinfection protocols to ensure that guest rooms and public areas are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

2. Social distancing measures

They’ve also implemented measures to promote social distancing, such as reducing occupancy limits in elevators and public areas, placing markers on the floor to indicate safe distances, and reconfiguring furniture in public areas to promote distancing.

3. Contactless check-in and check-out

You could offer contactless check-in and check-out options, such as mobile check-in and keyless entry, to reduce physical contact between guests and staff.

Plus this can make the process super easy and convenient for travelers, so they’ll probably appreciate it no matter their thoughts on post-pandemic precautions.

4. Health screenings

Some hotels may conduct health screenings, such as temperature checks, for guests and staff upon arrival.

5. Limited services

Many hotels may have modified or limited services, such as reduced hours for restaurants and amenities, to reduce the risk of exposure. Some have even changed up their breakfast options, opting for packaged grab-and-go items rather than buffets.

It’s important to note that specific COVID precautions can vary depending on the individual hotel because of local laws.

How Great Hotel Service Can Increase Revenue

Hoteliers may find personalized service can be profitable.

Providing the best customer service isn’t cheap: you must hire the right staff members, train them meticulously and give them the authority to fix problems for customers. But it can be counterproductive to look at customer service as a cost center.

New technology and data-gathering tools make it easier to provide great service while improving the bottom line. “With recent advances in technology, hotel CTOs have an opportunity to transform customer service from a reactive cost center to a proactive revenue driver,” Hospitality Technology states.

Switching the way you look at top-notch customer service, from a cost to a profit center, can help you to transform the service you provide. Here’s how great customer service can help increase revenue at your hotel:

  1. Increase your chances of getting a customer in the door. Excellent service may start with helping prospective guests get their questions answered quickly and easily on their own, Sathya Raghavendran writes in Hospitality Technology. In fact, two out of three customers will search for information on their own before contacting your hotel. For example, Raghavendran was recently trying to find out if a Miami hotel had parking and how much it cost. “I couldn’t find it in the FAQ page, and the chatbot couldn’t answer it for me,” he writes. “It’s likely that if I found another comparable hotel where that information was more easily accessible, I would probably book the other hotel.” Making use of technology and AI to anticipate customer questions and provide the full answers they seek can help you win bookings.
  2. Keep customers coming back. “Research has irrefutably proven that customers will pay more for a better experience. Research also has irrefutably proven that customers will leave you for your competition if you don’t give them the service they expect,” states Shep Hyken, a speaker and author who consults with companies to help increase customer loyalty. It costs much more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. And repeat customers are far more profitable, HospitalityNet points out. For example, research shows the top 10 percent of customers spend three times more than the other 90 percent.
  3. Turn customers into raving fans. Great customer service has the ability to turn a loyal customer into a “raving fan” or unofficial brand ambassador, essentially providing free word-of-mouth marketing for you when talking to their friends, relatives and colleagues, as well as sharing with scores of strangers online. Word-of-mouth advertising results in five times more sales than a paid advertisement, according to marketing firm Invesp. “The guest voice is a powerful marketing tool – foster it,” writes hospitality writer Alix Dougherty.
  4. Give you a chance to upsell. Focusing on personalized customer service allows you to use customer data to better understand wants, needs and past behavior. This in turn allows you to upsell without seeming “salesy” because you’re actually offering customers something they want, that will take their stay to the next level. In this way, sales becomes another form of customer service since you’re anticipating and providing their desires.
  5. Help you to build a lifelong relationship. By making use of technology and gathering data on loyal customers, you can truly take your relationship to the next level by getting to know them, understanding their needs and deepening this relationship over time. This type of customer service can help you to nurture a long-lasting relationship that may result in a lifetime of loyalty and ever-improving service.

Customer service should not be seen as a cost but as a revenue generator. When done well, it has the ability to win bookings, build loyalty, bring in other customers and build lucrative lifelong relationships.

5 Ways to Help Hotel Guests Get Back to Nature

Giving travelers a taste of nature can help them de-stress and truly enjoy their stay at your hotel.

Being “at one with nature” is one of the top 10 global hotel spa trends this year, and it doesn’t need to stop at the doors of the spa. As a hotelier, you can offer personalized service by helping your guests get back to nature throughout their stay.

“Regular contact with nature has recently become a proven way of combating stress and promoting wellbeing,” health and wellness consultant Louis de Vilmorin states in a Hotel Online piece about this trend.

From the spa environment and services to in-room amenities to arranging for classes and tours, hotels can provide better service by helping guests get what they crave: the wellness benefits of nature. Here are 5 ways  to provide better service by helping guests to connect to nature:

  1. Add natural elements to your design. The use of “biophilic design” is one way to help guests enjoy the natural environment. “New research suggests that properties that incorporate plants and natural elements into their spaces see more guests using those spaces and returning to them,” Lodging Magazine digital editor Robin McLaughlin states. One of the great things about biophilic design is that it can fit into every hotel budget, with no major remodel needed. Examples of biophilic design include: adding plants, using furnishings in organic shapes, employing natural materials like wood and stone.
  2. Play the sounds of nature. Many of your guests probably use the sounds of nature at home to relax and unwind, relying on apps or white noise machines to go to sleep to the thrum of raindrops or wake to the whisper of leaves blowing in the wind. You can also incorporate nature into the auditory environment at your hotel. You could play the sounds of a thunderstorm or ocean waves in your spa or add white noise machines to your guest rooms to help guests drift off to sleep.
  3. Create a serene outdoor environment. Fitness centers have been a standard hotel amenity for decades. But many guests now want to get their daily exercise (and relaxation) while taking in a breath of fresh air and some natural beauty. In response to this wellness trend, many hotels are adding outdoor wellness spaces, according to Hotel Management. Consider incorporating local materials and native plants in the design, offering guests an outdoor walking or seating area where they can enjoy nature.
  4. Bring nature into your hotel spa. The hotel spa is a natural fit for elements such as wood, rocks, plants and waterfalls. For example, Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa, in Malta, recently added an outdoor spa space that includes a “secret garden” and a “Mediterranean oasis,” according to Hotel Management. “For the spas of the future, architects should integrate as many natural features as possible,” de Vilmorin states. Natural experiences and discovery excursions should be made available in the vicinity. Time spent in natural outdoor spaces has physiological and psychological benefits, such as reduced stress responses and improved mood.” De Vilmorin suggests expanding beyond traditional spa offerings to incorporate “nature trails, wild nature therapy and outdoor massage.”
  5. Promote local natural attractions. The benefits of staying at your property extend to the area, and all that it has to offer. You can attract guests and help them enjoy nature by making them aware of what your region has to offer. Hotel marketing ideas from InnQuest include: partnering with local attractions, highlighting local natural areas on your app and website, and creating packages around local attractions such as lakes, waterfalls and nature reserves.hotel

In this digital age, your guests are craving a chance to reconnect with nature. By providing them with that opportunity, you’re offering excellent service, helping them to truly relax and unwind.

5 Lawn and Landscape Business Mistakes

Grow your lawn and landscaping business by offering excellent service.

Running a lawn and landscaping business isn’t always easy, and you face challenges such as hiring issues, flaky customers and competition from everyone with a lawn mower. But providing top-notch service is one way to stand out above all the rest.

If you ask many customers, finding and hiring a good lawn or landscaping company is no easy task. I’ve been in that position as a customer, and have seen the full gamut of service issues in the past year. I had to hire a company to maintain my property while I was out of the country for a year, and I’m in the processing of hiring a company to remove a large tree.

Based on my many experiences getting bids and working with lawn, landscaping and tree companies, here are five lawn and landscape customer service mistakes, and the service lessons they offer:

Having a wonky website

As I’ve gone through the process of getting bids for removal of an overmature hackberry tree in my yard, I’ve encountered many weird websites. Some tree removal company websites have an online form that asks the customer to submit their information, but then they fail to respond to inquiries. In one case, I submitted my information and got a strange follow-up email that didn’t name the company and mentioned electrical services. I imagine the company hired a cheap or inexperienced website provider that slapped up a site and forgot to change the copy from a previous client.

Service lesson: If you’re going to use a website for lead generation, invest the time and money to make sure it’s done correctly and maintained well. And always respond quickly to inquiries.

Complaining to prospective clients

Showing up to take a look at a property and make a bid offers a chance for your service to shine. But too many lawn and landscape providers throw away this valuable opportunity by complaining about the state of the industry, offering too much information or failing to provide a written bid. One service provider I spoke to talked for 20 minutes about hiring woes, which made me doubt his ability to provide consistent lawn service for the year I was going to be out of the country. I wondered what would happen if his workers quit or got sick.

Service lesson: Think of the bidding process as your chance to make a great first impression on a customer. Show up when you say you will, keep the conversation focused on what needs to be done, stay positive and provide a written bid promptly.

Not having the right equipment

I recently got a bid from a highly rated tree service. The owner of the company, while looking at my tree, mentioned that the job really required a crane. He then told me he no longer has a crane, because he sold it, which morphed into a story about some personal issues that led to the sale of said crane. He then told me he still thought he could do the job, but I already had decided not to hire him due to doubts about his having the proper tools.

Service lesson: Make sure you have the right equipment to do a job before you head out to make a bid. If you’re unsure you can do a job, tell the customer you’ll need time to check availability of equipment and that you’ll get back to them promptly.

Ripping out plants “willy nilly”

Before leaving the country, I hired a landscaping company to do a yard cleanup to get my home ready to list on Airbnb. I initially talked with the owner, who seemed knowledgeable and competent. But then he sent inexperienced workers who randomly ripped out several plants I loved. It was very odd: they ripped out sky pencils and camellias on one side of my yard, but left the ones on the other side. And they mowed down an entire bed of lantanas in full bloom on one side of my fence, but left the bed on the other side. That experience was enough to make me part ways and seek out yet another company.

Service lesson: Make sure your employees have enough training to identify plants, and that they go into a job with clear instructions.

Leaving customers in the lurch

I finally hired a company to maintain my lawn while I was out of the country, and all seemed to be going well. I had a neighbor caring for my home, and she occasionally talked to the lawn care workers to make sure they avoided the lantanas and trimmed the holly properly. One day I received an angry email from the wife of the company owner, stating they were quitting. Apparently, they’d been annoyed with my neighbor but had never told me about the issue. The way they handled the personality conflict struck me as extremely unprofessional since I was never told there was a problem.

Service lesson: If you have issues with a customer, be mature and professional. Address the problem calmly and never quit in a huff. If you need to part ways, give notice.

Even if you have more work than you can handle, providing top-notch service will set you apart from many other providers and allow you to be choosy about the customers and jobs you accept so you’re left with the cream of the crop.

What is Customer Experience Management?

Customer experience management is key to offering a superior customer experience.

When creating and following your brand’s strategies to offer superior customer service, customer experience management is essential for success.

Microsoft defines customer experience management — also known as CXM or CEM — as a “system of marketing strategies and technologies that focus on customer engagement, satisfaction, and experience.”

“CXM is an approach to relationships with customers that goes beyond just marketing tools and software—with the goal of achieving a digital transformation that truly puts customers at the center of the business,” says Microsoft.

“A customer experience management mindset prioritizes the orchestration and personalization of the entire end-to-end customer experience and helps to do it at scale, on any channel, in real time.”

How does CXM differ from CRM?

Customer experience management (CXM) is often confused with customer relationship management (CRM), since they share some basic functionality aspects, says Microsoft.

Although certain aspects of CXM and CRM overlap, CXM takes further steps when it comes to managing customer relationships, says Microsoft:

“Where CRM mostly deals with optimizing the internal processes of a business, CXM offers an even more customer-centric approach in several ways—with new technologies, as well as processes, strategies, and customer-centric design.”

Customer experience technologies also differ from those used for customer relationship management in another important way.

“While CRMs gather data through manual or batch entry, a true CXM will enable a real-time flow of data to offer deeper insights into customer preferences and behavior,” says Microsoft.

“The CXM mindset also goes beyond a traditional CRM in its strategy and processes. A company who wants to become more customer-centric uses CXM to put processes in place to track, oversee, and orchestrate interactions and engagements with customers.”

For a better understanding of the differences between CXM and CRM, Microsoft offers the explanations of the two terms in the table below.

Customer Experience Management (CXM) Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Provides qualitative insights combining relationship data from the full customer lifecycle and prioritizing customer experiences Provides quantitative insights via relatively impersonal data analysis, viewing  customers through statistics, data, and trends
Focuses on customer engagement to drive profitability Focuses on operational business improvements
Uses artificial intelligence (AI) and CRM data for “real-time impact” on the customer experience, anticipating and responding faster to customer needs Improves customer service by employing different integrations across channels


“Because CXM is both a set of technologies and a set of processes, and data doesn’t get siloed, CXM allows you to deliver a true cross-channel customer experience,” says Microsoft.

4 ways customer experience management benefits your brand and customers

Customer experience is a “critical differentiator” for many businesses and industries, according to Microsoft, resulting in the following benefits:

  • Achieve a deeper understanding of customers
  • Drive customer loyalty and retention
  • Maintain a competitive edge
  • Measure the success of your company’s customer experience strategies and initiatives

“Effective customer experience management is more than just good optics or good PR. By centering your customers’ experiences and making technology feel more human, you create win-win scenarios for you and your customers alike,” says Microsoft.

“While the end result for a business might be seen in lead generation, conversions, or long-term brand loyalty, the customer also comes out a winner with rich, personalized experiences, increased satisfaction, and a rewarding relationship with the brand.”