The aim of developing this strategic plan report is to discuss both long-and short-term strategies for installing MVP in the day-to-day operational and organisational tasks of TUI UK. This report is more of a short-term strategic plan of launching the MVP. It also tries to validate the product and procedure of implementing it in the organisation. It consists of mission, goals, objectives, tactics, and strategies used by the TUI UK. It also consists of a small discussion from case studies. Furthermore, it also explains the cost-benefit analysis of using the voice recognition devices. In addition to this, it also talks about long-term goals to iterate the voice recognition services. It also consists of a base plan to implement voice recognition devices in the tourism sector. Furthermore, the types of issues in implementing the voice recognition approaches are also mentioned. The report ends with some recommendation for the effective use of the technology in business operations.
TUI UK is one of the leading travel operators in the UK. The organisation is a sub-division of TUI group. Earlier, the company was knownby the name of Thomson Travel and is headquartered in England. It deals in booking flights, travel packages, hotels, and cruises.
The TUI UK aims at making the voice recognition technology an integral part of a business functioning, especially the communication process.
To provide quick and hassle-free access to organisation’s information and services to every stakeholder of the hotel firm.
Murphy, et.al, (2012) argues that using various biometric methods like voice-recognition is the key to customer satisfaction. Many research works have shown that the satisfied customerslead to increase in the brand value, increases marketing through the word of mouth, and higher occupancy rates. Therefore, organisation should implement tech-savvy approaches in order to enhance customer satisfaction. Voice-activated hotel rooms save a lot of customer's time that they value so much. In the paper, it was determined that on an average, a customer spend 12 minutes adjusting to the room condition. This includes setting up the thermostat, figuring out the lights, etc. Having a voice-operated system can save a lot of time. In addition to this, these systems can also be used at the time of check-in and checkout. This can be time-saving and increases customer loyalty.
The paper also argues that voice-operating devices can assist in giving guests a more personalised experience. They can make them feel special and valued. They can feel more at home during their hotel stay. All of this can help the organisation to become exclusive and gain an edge over their competitors. This doubles the customer base of those guests who seek a luxury stay.
For the organisations dealing in the development and sales of smart technology, hotels are the major customers. In the past five years, hotel businesses are spending a large chunk of their funding into upgrading and equipping themselves with the most advanced technology and IT solutions. In one of the research study, it was determined that nearly 60% of the hospitality players, such as Flight Centre, Thomas and Cook, Marriott International, TUI UK, etc., are putting a huge share of money in advancing themselves in order to sustain their competitive position. Nearly 50% of hotel organisations believe that equipping customers with the technology can be very helpful in increasing the customer satisfaction and their loyalty.
Citing the example of Marriott International, the paper highlighted that the organisation is bonding with one of the leading software company known as ‘Runtiz’. This will take care of Marriott International’s data management system and software development to provide security to the data against any theft or illicit activity. The main aim is to develop a trusted relationship with the loyal customer and provide ground to the relationship between the organisation and the customers. By improvising their current technology, Marriott believes that it can strike a chord in the hospitality market and make the working environment productive for the employees. Marriott is planning to implement the voice recognition technology across all its premises and properties locating at different locations.
According to the CEO of Marriott International, there are innumerable benefits of installing voice recognition devices in the premises. The first and foremost is the increase in customer retention rate. Guests are more inclined towards a particular brand that offers the voice-controlled services during the whole stay at Marriott. They can make phone calls, order food, control the room temperature and lighting just by commanding through their voice. This can be very helpful in providing them with a level of satisfaction. This increases the customer satisfaction and further increases the customer loyalty. All this ultimately tends to enhance the market share and company’s revenue. These devices can also be used to collect the customer data and preference. Based on the data analysis, Marriott can tailor its services accordingly and target the guest and clients.
Cost-benefit analysis is a systematic way to estimate the weaknesses and strengths of options. In the context of TUI UK, the cost of installing the voice recognition devices can be bifurcated into two sections, one is direct cost and other is an indirect cost. The former can be defined as the cost occurred in buying the devices, providing training to employees, offsite factors, installation cost, etc. In contrast to this, the indirect cost can be defined as the opportunity cost which is the fund that TUI UK should have invested in the secondary opportunity apart from voice recognition devices (De Ascaniis, et.al, 2015).
Table 1:Costing of the Single property of TUI UK (Short-term)
Instruments and License cost
Cost of Installing
Manual printing cost
Operation and Maintenance
The benefits associated with the implementation of voice recognition devices can also be divided into types i.e., private and social benefits. Private benefits can be classified as, generating revenue,increasing the customer base, increasing the occupancy rate, etc. On the other hand, the social benefits are characterised as those indirect benefits like increase in thelocal economy of the region and the tax return of the organisation. As one can see here that, the benefits have overpowered the overall cost, the project of implementing voice recognition technology is economically feasible (Schofield, 2018).
The TUI UK’s goal is to employ the voice recognition gadgets in each and every organisational aspect in order to provide higher satisfaction level.
To provide a speedy and effective level of customer services to the patrons by making use of voice-operating technology.
According to Tsai, et.al, (2014), the use of biometric technology, especially the voice-recognising devices has increased the synergy between the hotel organisations and guests towards the change in technology. The benefits of using the voice recognising software and devices are many and the best part is that the guests are not reluctant to use it. They are curious and willing to adopt the technology while their stay at hotels. The paper also highlights that the implementation of voice-recognising devices in the hospitality sector is driven by the desire to enhance and refine their services for customers. In addition to this, it also improves revenue and operational efficiency and reduces overall cost. The main aim is to develop a trusted relationship with the loyal customer and provide ground to the relationship between the organisation and the customers. Marriott is planning to implement the voice recognition technology across all its premises and properties locating at different locations
Paper also suggests that hospitality is the most appropriate industry to incorporate voice-recognition technology to enhance the existing business operations. Most of the customers look for convenience and voice-recognising is the most promising in the current time. As the price of installation of these devices has been reduced, the biometric technology is gaining the prominence. It allows guest to check-in/out and makes payments without any ado. To install the biometrics in the hotel premises, hotels have to spend a large amount of money. If in any case, the guests do not adopt the technology, the return on investments may not be as good as it was expected. This is the serious concern for most of the hotel organisation in today’s time (Tsai, et.al, 2014).
In one of the case studies, it was mentioned that the management of Marriott was having numerous options for voice-operated devices that could be installed on the premises. The most reliable of them was ‘Alexa' that was decided by the management to be placed in the hotels' common areas. This device would be promoting the services offered by Marriott and recommend them to the guest as per their specific needs. For example, any guest who is looking for the best cuisine can take help of Alexa. It would tell them the food variety and other services as per the need of the guest. This way Marriott can discard the concierge services in the hotels and make benefits in the long-term. Another benefit of installing these devices in the hotel premises is that every service offered by the hotel is available to them. Guests can directly ask them about the same instead of seeking help by calling the supporting staff for the same. So this way, the voice-operated devices are turning out to be crucial for Marriott International and other major players in the market. However, the CEO of Marriott also warned the hotel organisation about the downside of using these devices. These devices are being criticised by the industry experts as they are the threat to the privacy and security. Every hospitality organisation should be aware of these negative sides of technology.
As already discussed in the previous section that the cost of devices, installation, and purchasing the software license comprises the direct cost, whereas the cost of foregone opportunities is the indirect cost. The direct and indirect cost both together compose the net cost of the voice-recognition devices (De Ascaniis, et.al, 2015). In contrast to this, the indirect cost can be defined as the opportunity cost which is the fund that TUI UK should have invested in the secondary opportunity apart from voice recognition devices.
Talking about the benefit, the direct benefits of implementing the technology is that the hotel's financial accounts can be managed. In the long-run, it saves a large number of funds. In addition to this, the organisations have to hire less staff for data analytics as software can do that efficiently. Hence the benefits outnumbered the cost (Doshi,2018). The benefits associated with the implementation of voice recognition devices can also be divided into types i.e., private and social benefits. Private benefits can be classified as, generating revenue,increasing the customer base, increasing the occupancy rate, etc. On the other hand, the social benefits are characterised as those indirect benefits likeincrease in thelocal economy of the region and the tax return of the organisation. As one can see here that, the benefits have overpowered the overall cost, the project of implementing voice recognition technology is economically feasible.
Looking back at the beginning of this decade, one can notice that voice recognition and other biometric technology has travelled a long journey of development. The use of such advanced technology is not only limited to the hospitality sector but it is also penetrating another field as well, such as automotive, law, aerospace, healthcare, etc. These industries are strongly relying on voice recognition devices in order to get their mundane task done. Most of them employed this technology in handling their data and other details related to the business deals. Apart from the financial advantages, there are many other promising features of this technology that can help in the growth of the hospitality sector. Data storage is just one aspect of voice recognition but it has more to deliver to the organisation by handling certain downstream functions, such as billing, medical service on call, service on call, etc. This biometric technology can be made into use in innumerable processes, thereby serving as an extra hand for customers and employees as well in the hospitality and tourism sector. TUI can install the voice recognition devices for marking attendance, allotting tasks, and keeping the record of services along with accessing information. For the big name organisation like TUI UK, these voice operated gadgets can be similar to a newfound opportunity for providing a luxuryservice to the customer. This can further increase their satisfaction level and improve their rating and customer base. Voice recognition is very easy in integrating with the organisational structure and can turn an organisation into a self-operating entity. The benefits associated with these devices are discussed below:-
Voice recognition devices can be brought into use in all the 4 phases of the guest cycle:
In the hospitality business, the guest cycle is characterised by four stages, namely pre-arrival, arrival, occupancy, and departure. All these four stages are to be handled by the front desk staff. Therefore, TUI UK should make sure that the staff must be well learned about the voice recognition technology and their usage in each stage. Along with the installation of the voice recognition technology in the premises, organisation should also develop a comprehensive information manual(Evermann, et.al, 2016). The guest cycle stages and how voice recognition devices can be employed at each stage has been elaborated below (Gmelc and Kaul, 2018):
They say with every positive aspect comes to a downside too and so is the case with voice recognition technology. In today’s day and age, the voice commanded devices are available in many forms, such as smartphones, Amazon Echo, Apple iPhone’s Siri, etc. Being internet-enabled, these devices are very vulnerable and unsafe as they can be hacked and controlled from a remote place (Evermann, et.al, 2016). There are many issues with the implementation of these devices in the hospitality industry. They are discussed in this section:-
Being a customer-centric sector, technology can offer a wide number of opportunities for TUI UK. The organisation can make a gulf of difference in acquiring market share just by bringing in the voice recognition and other unique and customer-friendly technology. This way they can enjoy an edge over their competitors. No doubt that hospitality businesses are notoriously reluctant towards integrating new technologies and innovations in carrying out every operation. Even those technologies that are very hit in the domestic home environment are unable to get translated to the hotel industry. Many veterans have given their viewpoints on hospitality and their efforts on integrating the technologies into the hotel.They believe that connecting the modern voice recognition devices require proactive efforts in order to make them a part of a huge ecosystem. This would help them in providing a personalised and individual experience to customers. This integration should be done very sensibly and TUI UK should work with its partners who are in favour of taking such a great initiative.
Here, it was seen how technology can help in boosting the revenue of an organisation. However, the report also highlighted the negative aspects of relying too much on technology. The negative aspects can be handled by taking certain safety measures. The basic idea behind developing this report was to give a short-term strategic plan of launching the MVP. The report tried to validate the product and procedure of implementing it in the organisation. It elaborated aspects such as mission, goals, objectives, tactics, and strategies used by the TUI UK. It also contained a small discussion from case studies. Furthermore, it explained the cost-benefit analysis of using the voice recognition devices. In addition to this, it talked about long-term goals to iterate the voice recognition services. It also comprised a roadmap to voice recognition devices in the travel and tourism sector. In addition to this, different issues in integrating the voice recognition approaches were alsoenlisted. The report ended with some recommendation for the effective use of the technology in business operations.
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