Experiential learning is the process of learning through experience. The Customer Experience Management in Hospitality and Events course perfectly integrated learning and experience. This course not only taught us how to monitor and evaluate a variety of customer experiences by utilizing a multi-method approach, but also provided us with the opportunity to research and study Costa Rican culture and business. I have learned a tremendous amount from this course, but I wanted to highlight the top three most valuable lessons.
One important lesson we learned was how each
unique experience with a destination, group tour, event, attraction, hotel and
restaurant can impact the overall customer experience. Understanding and
measuring the emotional side of a service experience is crucial to
understanding customer perceptions, satisfaction and loyalty. Customer journey
mapping is an effective tool that can be used to visualize and understand the
customer’s emotional experience from beginning to end and highlights the process
of engagement through various touchpoints. Since tourism is an experience
industry, it is imperative to effectively deliver experiences to customers, by
paying close attention to these touchpoints.
Another key lesson learned was
implementing various customer relationship management tools, service marketing
frameworks and participant observation and social media monitoring
methodologies to effectively analyze the customer experience. The approach we
took was very customer centric and results driven. We integrated the
qualitative research and quantitative data from the mystery shop evaluations,
social media monitoring, peak experience interviews and importance performance
analysis to derive our results.
Additionally, we learned the importance of
responsible planning and management and how they contribute to the overall
customer experience. Given that Costa Rica is known as a global leader in
sustainable tourism, attaining sustainable growth through corporate social
responsibility is fundamental for the continued responsible management and
sustainable development of tourism in Costa Rica.
I really enjoyed working
alongside my classmates and found it very satisfying to be part of such an
effective and collaborative team. Having had the chance to participate in this
unique course was a once in a lifetime opportunity, which enabled me to enhance
my classroom learning, obtain real world
experience and acquire valuable career insight.