Hotel chain says recruit behavioural analysts, not sales people

Jumeirah has predicted a revolution in the way travel organisations should be organising themselves in future to meet the demands of their customers.

Kristie Goshow, group director of e-commerce and customer development at the luxury Dubai-based brand, speaking at the Travolution Conference this week, suggested leading online travel organisations should consider appointing new ‘directors of opportunity or engagement’.

They will also adopt more intense integration across channels; focus on analytics; adopt Web 3.0, dubbed ‘the Semantic Web’ which provides added ‘meaning’; adopt generational distribution strategies, with teams that reflect that generational focus and can provide insight to what the customer wants; make the most of ‘planned scarcity’; and recruit more behavioural analysts and less sales people.

Goshow said the Jumeirah Group – which now encompasses an education academy, a focus on shops and malls through Jumeirah Boulevard, and offers a residential option through Jumeirah Living – current has 11 hotels in three locations, but has plans to expand that to 57 by 2011.

“We don’t have a channel strategy. Our customers’ needs drive everything we do,” she added. “There are key makro trends that we understand about our customers, such as their fear of the known, and their desire to feel good about the decisions they make. We’re focused on the VIP: not the very important person, but the very individual person.

“Organisations should not just be asking questions about how many people are booking online, but how loyal those customers are, because as they become more comfortable with your brand, they’ll have higher expectations of it.”

Goshow said Jumeirah is now posting its corporate videos on YouTube, and regularly monitoring the DIY TV site “to see what customers are posting about our hotels. Sometimes they are sharing insights that will help us do things a bit better.”

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