– Hello! I’m Michael Altman
coming to you from the LG Digital Studio from Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies. In focus today, the new luxury traveler. I’m joined by Nicolle Scavuzzo, vice president of Global
Guest Recognition and Insight for the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Welcome, Nicolle. – Thank you, Michael. – Nicolle, at Four Seasons,
you are responsible for the global blueprint to deliver better recognition, retention, and customer growth, this
seems kind of at odds for a company that has no
customer loyalty program. What exactly does this mean and how does your team achieve this? – That’s a great question, we
get asked that all the time. Why doesn’t Four Seasons
have a points program? We’re a luxury brand and that’s just not what we’re going to do. Our example, and our response is usually you wouldn’t go into
Hermes and buy a purse and expect to get a free belt, and that’s not going to
happen at Four Seasons. So, for us, it’s all about creating personalized service that
will create the loyalty. And that means, recognizing
every guest consistently for every stay that they have
with us around the world. So, our blueprint really started by learning from the hotels,
we went literally around the world to understand how our employees want to recognize guests
and what data they would need to do that. And by capturing and gathering
feedback from our staff, we were able to design a custom CRM. And that custom CRM is a user interface for our employees, it’s
a database that stores insight and harvest trends, and it’s the ability for us to reevaluate operational processes and simplify them. So our blueprint truly
is a cross-functional mandate for the company. – Sounds fantastic and very innovative. The other thing I wanted to ask you is that one of the findings of your recent research, entitled “Portrait
of the Guest” states that Four Seasons must think about the future luxury traveler in a new way. Who is this new luxury traveler? And how will you think
differently about them? – Well, everyone talks about millennials so there’s no doubt that that is a new customer for Four Seasons, but interestingly, the millennial is very similar in desires and needs to the affluent luxury
customer so it’s kind of great for us, because we just have to look at our current base of customers and tweak our thinking about product design, and service delivery for that
luxury affluent customer. One of the examples of an area that we’re playing in right now, is how we would deliver high-tech, high personal touch
with high-tech delivery. – [Michael] Right. – So guest’s like to chat a lot right now, that’s a great example for us, people want to chat with
us on the way to the hotel and order room service,
or they have a question as they’re planning their trip, and they’re chatting with us. That’s amazing. What our job is, is to make that experience for the guest seamless. Behind the scenes, we
have to route that chat to the right department,
and know what’s relevant for in room dining or housekeeping or for the front desk, but
for the guest it’s seamless. And I think that’s a really
interesting manifestation of how we’re looking at
the affluent traveler. I’d say as we think about
who the new customers of the future, we definitely
have our eyes set on the population growth that’s happening in India, in China and Russia. And we’re looking at
just, trends in the world. You know, families are different. People like to travel
multi-generations together now, there’s a lot of same sex couples, just new blended families and service delivery has to change, product design has to change to match the new families that we’re
welcoming into the hotels. The multicultural and
globalization that we have. – And it sounds like
what’s underneath this, what’s driving this, is
personalization and customization. – Absolutely. So really understanding
what’s most personal and what’s most special
for that stay for a guest has to be the cornerstone
of how we deliver that great service for sure. – Fabulous. You also suggest in the same study that your future guest
will seek more from travel. Can you help us understand
what more means? – Yeah, I think, so we
talked a little bit about the high personal touch with technology, that’s absolutely gonna be a
place where we’re investing. There’s a lot of talk
about AI and how we can use artificial intelligence
in delivering service. I would say, yeah there
might be an opportunity for robots to help us tell people what the weather looks like,
but we are a service company, so our human touch is never going away. Another area I think in
a trend is just truly connecting all touch points
a guest engages with us to make it very seamless,
so personalization, you can’t just talk to a
guest in voice, or in text or in E-mail separately,
they all have to connect. So, we’re spending a
lot of time making sure we have an omnichannel,
frictionless experience for how the guest interacts with us. Corporate social responsibility,
it’s an expectation now. So there’s a lot of time and thinking and how we are developing
an approach for that. And I’d say the last piece,
which is really interesting, is it’s a social world, everybody wants to take that selfie, to get that money shot, so our design and the appointment of our restaurants and how we deliver
service is really focused on that social world and connecting people to a sense of place,
and connecting them to our environment. So a lot of the design you
see now with Four Seasons, is really just breathtaking
and really innovative. – Right, so it sounds like at Four Seasons it’s still high touch before high-tech. – It definitely is, yeah. – Great, so finally
Nicolle, you have spent your career in strategy
roles focused in loyalty, data, and customer transformation across retail, financial, consulting,
and now luxury hospitality. What suggestions would
you provide to those who are interested in pursuing
a similar career path? – Well, it’s really interesting,
I love this question. It’s made me really think
about where my career has taken me, and I’d
say, I know it sounds a little bit cliche but you
have to love what you do. And when I was in University,
there wasn’t a course around data and analytics
and customer centricity wasn’t yet a word, and
I sort of fell into it and I’m so grateful and lucky
for the experiences I’ve had. So, when I think about, When I think about my career,
I’d say I have a stream of focus around loyalty
and data and insights, but I’ve always changed my industry. And that’s really cool for me. So a vantage point coming
from different sectors or a vantage point of
coming from a different area within a company, and in a hotel, really helps, I think, you
bring more to the table. So, I would say, find
something that you love go really deep in that, but
try to get different hats and wear those different hats because you offer more at the table when you can be working with others. – That’s wonderful. Nicolle, this has been great. Thank you so much for
sharing your insights, and your experience and your passion for all things hospitality
and data and insight. We appreciate you being here today. – Thank you, my pleasure. – Thanks to everyone
out there for watching and stay tuned for more
from the LG Digital Studio at Georgetown SCS.