BORACAY is undoubtedly one of the areas most densely populated by sellers, thanks to its unstoppable and diverse market. But how can one retailer stand out in a sea of shops and vendors, many of which are selling the same thing?
To help business owners with this dilemma, Globe myBusiness brought its tried and tested digital business solutions to the country's prime tourist destination through a four-day workshop titled Digital Tools to Future-Proof Your Business at The Tides Hotel.
Well-known entrepreneurs and inspirational speakers were tapped to share their experiences to motivate the participants.
Francis Miranda, an advertising consultant and an entrepreneur himself, has spent much of his life doing two things he loves most: helping businesses and guiding others with theirs; and travelling to as many places as he can.
With one of his beliefs being to "tailor fit your life to how you want it," he's a firm believer in the idea that success comes to those who actively work for it and take all the opportunities they are given.
He discussed many of the learnings he'd picked up over the years and detailed the following common trends happening across business in the Philippines today:
1. Demand for Personalization.
Customers are increasingly demanding products and services that are made for their unique needs and lifestyles, thus, businesses should make their products cater more specifically to each customer and make their patrons feel appreciated and special.
2. Rise of the Omni-channel and the Importance of an Online Presence.
Customers these days tend to research online and may already have certain expectation or judgment before visiting the physical shop. The best businesses provide a seamless and convenient shopping experience whether online or offline.
3. Automated Business Operations.
To work around the rising needs of customers, business owners have gone digital as well. While the prospect may sound complicated to entrepreneurs who are new to the idea of digitization, it's actually the opposite -- digital business owners are simplifying their operations by automating work processes that otherwise would be taxing or time-consuming.
4. Power of Customer Advocacy.
Customers love to take photos and post reviews in order to get Likes and Comments. They serve as free advertising that drives potential customers toward the brand -- hence the importance of providing a "wow" experience to ensure positive reviews.
When it comes to creating the ultimate "wow" experience, Francis has only three guidelines: extraordinary, progressive, and consistent. Make sure customers' experience is beyond that of an ordinary shopping trip, treatment or procedure. Make sure it becomes progressively better as time goes by. And finally, make sure that quality never falters and can be relied upon.
Other speakers similarly presented the many ways a business can go digital and make the most use of Globe myBusiness' products and solutions to enhance business operations and profit. But they put a little more on the table by talking about how working in the service industry isn't just a matter of having the best tools but is also about putting in the best effort.
ECAMIA Hotel Management Corporation President Ana Marie Alcantara gave the audience an inside look at how she started, ran and managed her hotel business and gave some tips for working in the tourism industry. Among these tips are:
* Being tech-savvy.
One does not have to be a digital genius, but must know (and provide) digital means for customers to find the business, give feedback, and do what they love most: share through social media.
* Catering to a diverse market.
From millennials to digital nomads to people traveling for "bleisure" (a merging of business and leisure), the market has become more diverse than ever so a business must be able to provide for people from all walks of life.
* Working with and not against the competition.
In a somewhat surprising statement, Ana Marie claimed that when customers come in asking for something her hotel can't offer, she leads them to places that will, even if these other hotels are actually her competitors. On their side, they do the same thing and refer customers to her place as well.
* Being yourself.
Being unique is the only way to set one apart so customers will not go elsewhere. As she says, "You have to be authentic. You have to have your own unique selling proposition."
CJ Juntereal, on the other hand, talked about working as a food columnist. She highlighted the one thing all businesses should prioritize as much as product or service quality: a great customer experience.
"Investing in customer service is an act of bravery because the returns don't happen right away," she admits. But she proves that this is definitely an investment worth making, saying, "Customer satisfaction is the prime driver especially in the hotel and restaurant industry. Without customer satisfaction, there is nothing for your hotel or restaurant."
Her tips for achieving this satisfaction included knowing the market well by studying data analytics, allowing customers to be as digital as they want to be, making it easy for people to reach the business, setting one apart by creating an amazing experience, and being creative with digital tools to enhance online presence.
Naturally, to achieve all these things, it's best to get help from the right source. As Francis says, "Adapting to the future is all about choosing the right tools." Thus, Globe myBusiness' products and solutions are here to MSMEs with any and every business concern.
Globe myBusiness is a business unit under Globe Telecom which caters to MSMEs not only for their telco needs but also for solutions that will help create ease of business operations.
Ready to digitize your business? Visit mybusiness.globe.com.ph/restaurants-and-cafes/ to learn more. (PR)