The paper “ Changes in the Hotel Industry, Summer Palace's CRM Strategies, Practices, and Loyalty Programs” is a forceful example of a case study on marketing. Since the 1990s, the hotel industry has witnessed a growing complexity in the interactions between customers and employees, driven by rapid technological changes and the emergence of the information age. Today’ s customers are armed with more information and expect frontline and other hotel staff to be as muck knowledgeable about a firm’ s offerings as they are themselves (Kristin, 2001). This can, however, be difficult in the hotel industry, which is generally characterized by low paid, low skilled personnel and a high degree of behavioral and cultural diversity among employees.
Another important aspect of the change that has occurred in the hotel industry relates to the manner in which employees are treated. For effective service delivery and interaction with customers, today’ s hotel industry workers expect more freedom and may not tolerate the rigid leadership styles of the past. Instead, workers want to be treated as free agents, be valued for their contributions and compensated fairly. In the modern era, customers are valued as the most important source of competitive advantages necessary for the hotel industry to grow.
As such, human resources in the industry have been transformed and equipped with the capabilities necessary to handle new customer interests. One of the most important changes that have occurred in the hotel industry as pertains to market place relates to the manner in which businesses are marketed. Before 1990, hotels relied more on the TV, radio and print advertisements to market their products and services. However, with the advent of the internet, major paradigm shifts in the perception of the role and importance of marketing have occurred.
As a result, the internet has become the most important tool and medium for advertising, with many hotels developing their own websites or using social media to reach potential customers (Jeffrey, 2002). Because of the stiff competition in the industry, hotels are finding it difficult to continue relying on the traditional methods of marketing to attract customers. It is for this reason that hotels have resorted to the new technologies as a safe avenue for increasing market presence.
Hotels have also diversified the range and variety of their products and services. Generally, the modern hotel industry is characterized by strategic partnerships and collaborations in the areas of catering, hospitality, and tourism. This has increased the market presence of a hotel and the growing globalization of the industry (Barton, 2008). Impact on CRMWhile most of the changes that have occurred in the hotel industry impact differently on different hotel companies, their impacts are always related to an individual company’ s customer relationship management strategies. As such, some of the factors that contribute to CRM failure or success can apply to most organizations and can be viewed more universally.
Undeniably, most of the changes which have occurred in the hotel and tourism industry have had profound effects on Summer Palace’ CRM’ s strategies and practices. In a way, these changes have forced the Summer Palace hotels to enhance business cohesion and understanding among stakeholders (chiefly customers and employees) so as to make CRM implementation a success (Lakshman, 2008). Without a clear CRM strategy and understanding of the business model and business practices, it can be difficult for the company to implement a successful CRM strategy.
As a result of the changes taking place in the industry, Summer Palace has responded to the demands being imposed on it by utilizing appropriate information technology applications with the objective of improving value to customers and addressing certain business problems.