Hybrid Hospitality Enhances Experience Thinking Process

Mark Liversidge discusses the concept of hybrid hospitality and technology-enhancing CX, ahead of his CX NXT session.

Find technology that enables you to manage your space as intelligently as possible. The front-end digital experience should give as much access to the necessary administration into your customer’s hands before they get to your actual space and start to use the physical product, services, and experience,” said Mark Liversidge, Chief Technology and Experience Officer at The Student Hotel.

Ahead of his session at the CX NXT event, Liversidgetalks about the significance of hybrid hospitality and the technology that can help hospitality brands offer better customer experiences (CX). 

Excerpts from the interview

Walk us through the concept of hybrid hospitality.

We’re all very familiar with the traditional singular operating models, such as the hotel stay, the student residence, co-working and meeting space, or dining outlets. Over many decades, they were nurtured as refined and standardized processes and  CX.

Hybrid hospitality moves from that singular product thinking to an experience thinking process and thinking from an “outside-in” of a customer who will have different dimensional needs over time and how you can use your space and services to accommodate and blend those needs. 

It is about removing individual product positioning and product consumption. It’s also about community, creating positive, unplanned interactions between people, unexpected moments with groups, and curating personal journeys within collective groups to allow everyone to have the opportunity to connect, share, and grow.

Why is it important? It drives three things. From the individual customer, it grows far stronger emotional attachments to your products, your services, and your spaces, which drives brand loyalty. Second, watch human behavior. The more people interact, where one coffee turns into two coffees, two drinks turn into a meal, or one business conversation expands into a dining event. It drives revenue generation and builds customer spend and customer lifetime value. The final sphere transitions the brand into maximizing the use of space and, therefore, driving yield from the space in the physical and digital environments.

How do you look to use the space for different needs at different times? With speed and efficiency, you’re growing the yield on your built asset and your physical space. Spend more time in your space, be bonded to it, and ultimately spend more money while in it.

What technology tools do you recommend for hospitality brands to deliver better CX?

Go back to the fundamental art of hospitality. In our company, we believe in , “technology for transactions and humans for interaction.” Our use of technology is oriented toward that. We want to take away the administration process, and non-enriching activities from people and find technology to manage space as intelligently as possible. The front-end digital experience gives as much access to the necessary administration into your customer’s hands before they get to your actual space and start to use the physical product, services, and experience.

We have the challenge of the complexity of service in the hospitality space. And there’s been emergence and familiarity around the phrase middleware, but fundamentally it’s the logic layer that connects the vast, disparate architecture systems. We have partnered with Ireckonu, a company that helps grow and shape multi-product, multi-service experiences and hybrid hospitality propositions.

I also recommend PACE Systems, a revenue optimization tool, and Duetto. a revenue management system provider. 

And if anybody hasn’t started looking at robotic process automation (RPA), please do. It will be the biggest single driver of change in efficiency and improvements to operational process flows in the hospitality sector in the next two to three years. 

Tell us about your session at CX NXT, and why one shouldn’t miss it.

It is about making CX a core philosophy. I will be talking about the story of TSH with two real, significant buzz areas. 

Today, the focus has shifted to the behavior and customer demands of Gen Z and Gen Alpha groups. They behave very differently from the customers that the hospitality sector has catered to in the last two decades. 

A lot of the hospitality models have been hardcoded into serving. They are going to put massive stress on those models. TSH has been at the forefront of serving them, and I will share some of our learnings and experiences around that. 

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