Study: How to Elevate the Human Experience in Hospitality

NATIONAL REPORT—While Americans are traveling more than ever before, revenue growth has slowed for more than 66% of hotel brands in the U.S. in the past five years. The opportunity cost of sluggish growth is billions of dollars every year—so Deloitte Digital looked at how hospitality companies can harness the power of human experience to increase guest loyalty and drive revenue. The results have been released in a white paper titled “Human Experience (HX) in Hospitality.”

Deloitte Digital created a tool called the Values Compass to measure what truly motivates feelings and purchase behavior in a nonlinear world. It maps cardinal human values—ambition, curiosity, belonging and certainty—to provide a visual reflection of a customer, employee or partner’s values in aggregate. Deloitte used the tool to measure the human values of nearly 50 hotel brands across seven distinct categories, including luxury, upper-upscale, upscale, upper-midscale, midscale, economy and home share, and found that when hotels deliver a truly elevated human experience, they win.

Some of the most compelling findings in the study include the following:

  • The basics (e.g. clean room, perceived value, etc.) are no longer differentiators in the hospitality space. Guests reward brands that welcome conversation around their perspective and experience.
  • The share value rose above the rest, ranking as the number one or two value for 83% of brands across categories. Customers expressed a desire to be social with others, and to share opinions and be heard.
  •  Luxury consumers value ambition and curiosity, as opposed to belonging and control. These customers value taking risks, seek out challenging situations and are willing to sacrifice free time to get ahead. Hotels that surprise and delight them with experiences will see success.
  • Corporate must prioritize franchisee relationships in the same way they do their workforce. The majority of franchise owners feel unsupported and do not believe they make a fair profit. This can undermine a hotel’s ability to deliver on the expectations of hotel guests and the workforce.