AccorHotels is planning its digital transformation amidst virtual disruptions in the hospitality industry. How can AccorHotels improve its feedback processes and online presence and potentially use these to help generate new content?
David Dubois, Chae InYoung, Joerg Niessing, Jean Wee
Harvard Business Review (IN1251-PDF-ENG)
August 26, 2016
Case questions answered:
- What does the typical Accor customer journey look like? Use the customer journey activity done in class to construct a similar map for Accor.
- Using dataset D1a as a basis for discussion, which online channels generate the most reviews about Accor Hotels? To what extent is this problem, and if it is, what other channels should Accor focus on when deciding to create or co-create content?
- Using the TRUSTYOU examples and metrics, put yourself in the Hotel manager’s shoes. Focus on 2-3 social media channels that you listed as important and diagnose how well or badly your hotel delivers in customer reviews as compared to competitors.
- How can you encourage systematic content creation about AccorHotels? Consider customers’ motivation when sharing content and come up with strategies that can motivate customers to share their experiences. What can be done to improve the presence of Accorhotel across social media?
- Looking at supporting material D4, consider how AccorHotels can improve its feedback processes and potentially use these to help generate new content. Then, with the content generated, where and how should UGC be leveraged?
- You are the manager of the social media team at Sofitel Sydney. Suppose a customer posted a negative review on Facebook or Instagram (Exhibit 1). Would you respond to it, and if so, how?
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AccorHotels and the Digital Transformation: Enriching Experiences through Content Strategies along the Customer Journey Case Answers
1.) What does the typical AccorHotels customer journey look like? Use the customer journey activity done in class to construct a similar map for Accor.
2.) Using dataset D1a as a basis for discussion, which online channels generate the most reviews about AccorHotels? To what extent is this problematic, and if it is, what other channels should Accor focus on when deciding to create or co-create content?
Most “Review”-Generating Channels
Booking.com, which comes under the category of OTA (Online Travels Agents), generates 26.33% of annual average reviews (Fig 1.).
With a cumulative sum of 35.25%, OTAs (including AGODA, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Holiday Check, and HRS.de) make the higher portion of online reviews. It is followed by TripAdvisor, which falls under the category of Aggregators. It generates 10.58% of total reviews.
In the era of digital advancement, a higher number of travelers conduct an online search for bookings. The OTAs, the strongest channel for generating reviews, make AccorHotels visible to potential guests. Such sites help visitors search, compare, review, and make reservations at available hotels. Therefore, it is crucial to earn maximum positive reviews on these platforms.
How OTAs are Problematic
Higher Commission fee: OTAs like Booking.com charge commissions from the hotels listed with them. In other words, for every reservation made by the customer, the hotel will have to pay a certain percentage of that reservation amount to Booking.com.
The commission may vary from 15% to 25% at Booking.com compared to only 3% at Airbnb and TripAdvisor (Byrne, 2019). It is problematic for AccorHotel because 15% – 25% of commission means letting go of this much portion of their revenues.
Less control: Booking.com and TripAdvisor can also be problematic because the listed hotels have less control over the content that is being shared and displayed about them on these platforms. Since these platforms attract a greater percentage of potential customers, the content must reflect the positive image of the hotel.
Other channels to create or co-create content
To address the problem of higher commission fees at Booking.com, AccorHotels should rely entirely on company-owned channels. These channels can be the hotel’s website, the hotel’s mobile Application, and the hotel’s run and owned social media accounts.
At present, social media sites have the most significant number of users ever recorded, but AccorHotels, clearly not aligned with the modern digital transformation, generates only 3.30% of reviews from Facebook (Fig 1.).
The underperformance on social media sites is indeed a significant threat to the future performance and profitability of AccorHotels. Therefore, it is about time for AccorHotels to ensure personalized content creation on social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.).
Company-controlled professional-made content (videos, photographs, etc.) on social media will also address the problem of lesser control over the shared content. It will also help AccorHotel to be visible to its potential customers.
AccorHotels can also look forward to…
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