Thursday, March 23, 2023

Suggestions for navigating the digital house whereas utilizing knowledge to please company

Karen Stephens: Whats up everybody and welcome to the Lodge Second podcast. I’m your host, Karen Stephens, the Chief Income Officer of Revinate, and at present I’m delighted to be joined by Amanda Du, who’s the Head of Ecommerce at Penta Lodges. Welcome, Amanda.

Amanda Du Jing: Hello Karen. Thanks a lot for having me at present.

Karen Stephens: Oh, it’s a pleasure.

You already know, we’ve executed loads of these podcasts over the past, name it 8 or 9 months, and also you’re solely the second lady that I’ve had on the present. So I’m very excited. I really like all of the dudes. I’m glad concerning the dudes, however it certain is sweet to have a powerhouse like your self be part of us at present. So that you’ve obtained loads of cool expertise and I can’t wait to dive into that.

However earlier than we do this, I wished to begin with some questions that we ask all of our company simply to get us warmed up.

Amanda Du Jing: Cool.

Karen Stephens: So in the event you’ll indulge me. Yeah, I’ll go along with query no 1. So first query, when did you first begin working within the business and do you bear in mind your first day on the job?

Amanda Du Jing: I began working within the business I believe 10 years in the past, and it was by no means my plan. As a result of not like different resorts, I by no means began in tourism administration or hospitality. I began English and accounting as a bachelor’s diploma. So all of my uni classmates, they went both to the banks or massive corporations, and I used to be form of the one one who ended up within the lodge and really glad about my resolution till at present. And my first job was the social media govt throughout that point when social media simply begin rising and no one actually knew the way it works and no one holds a grasp’s diploma on digital advertising, for instance.

And I nonetheless bear in mind my first day on the job, I used to be so amazed by how massive the again finish of the lodge is as a result of as a buyer I at all times noticed how massive, how it’s entrance, entrance home of the lodge.

However on the primary day I used to be like, I virtually obtained misplaced. I used to be like, “oh, wow. There’s a lot occurring behind the scenes.”

Karen Stephens: Yeah, that’s nice. Can I ask you, the place’d you go to college?

Amanda Du Jing: I used to be in, I used to be in China.

Karen Stephens: Oh wow. Okay, cool. Yeah, that may be very cool. So that you discovered English as a second language in China. Wow, that’s nice.

And now, wow, that’s big. Wonderful. Okay, so second query. What’s the most uplifting second to date in your profession?

Amanda Du Jing: Properly, it’s a, it’s a tricky one. And I believe there have been so many however I’d, if I’ve to choose one, I’d say that once I first had my very own staff once I was working in Malaysia for, for IHG Group. So I constructed the entire staff from the scratch and in addition launched the digital advertising experience idea to the, to the area, to Southeast Asia area, and employed the entire non-hotel layer digital gigs at the moment within the staff.

And I believe I keep in mind that after we had our first assembly collectively, that was a second I really feel, “Oh wow. I’ve already achieved one thing and I, and I imagine with the staff and there will likely be extra to come back.” And it in fact turned out to be a really profitable story. So I nonetheless bear in mind the day when I’ve everyone sitting there and we had, after we had the primary staff assembly.

Karen Stephens: Oh, isn’t that cool?

That’s an ideal, that’s an ideal second to look again on. Okay, this 1, quantity 3 is a bit more private. So what’s the most putting expertise you’ve had to date when it comes to a private vacation or keep or meals expertise, some journey or journey that has been probably the most putting to date?

Amanda Du Jing: I’ve to say it’s my journey to India, New Delhi.

It was such a putting expertise that I, I nonetheless can see these colours vividly when, once I give it some thought and all these spices, proper? I like spicy meals. However all these various kinds of spices, the Indian meals compose, it’s, it’s actually superb. However I believe a very powerful factor, or most factor that I bear in mind, is that the individuals who working there, who work within the hospitality business there. You possibly can really feel that they’re so proud and so keen about their job and about what they do, and naturally if it’s coming from their coronary heart.

So the service degree, it’s actually totally different, and you’re feeling very warmly welcome there.

Karen Stephens: Oh, that’s actually cool. I’ve by no means been to India and I’d like to go. I actually have loads of colleagues who’re Indian and it’s such an attractive, colourful tradition. Such as you mentioned, it’s, it’s nice. Okay, fourth one. Have you ever met any celebrities when you’ve been within the trenches?

Amanda Du Jing: Surprisingly none.

Karen Stephens: None?

Amanda Du Jing: Sure!

Karen Stephens: All proper!

Amanda Du Jing: Often in all probability the primary one!

Karen Stephens: Yeah! Often somebody’s obtained some story. All proper. Properly, and I do know you’ve been working in all probability, it’s been some time because you’ve been within the lodge itself. You…

Amanda Du Jing: Yeah. And I suppose as a result of I used to be more often than not within the workplace, not like colleagues working within the operations, so I’m extra at the back of the lodge.

Yeah. However I, I met loads of regular folks I believe, who impressed me. Yeah. And I, I at all times very shocked to listen to these tales. I’d by no means guess once I, once I first met them. So yeah, probably not celebrities, however many implausible people I’d say.

Karen Stephens: Okay. Properly that, that may be a nice dovetail into the fifth query, which is, who’re the ladies at work you may have been most impressed by?

Amanda Du Jing: Properly, there I used to be very fortunate. Properly, once I first moved to Singapore from China and I had a gaggle of girls once I was working with the Radisson Lodge Group. And in our business staff, we had a really worldwide staff, with nationalities like me from China, Canada, Turkey, and Finland, and naturally Singaporeans, native folks there.

So for all of these worldwide staff members inside the business staff, we arrived in Singapore, kind of comparable time, and we supported one another tremendously and, and developed an ideal friendship till at present. So I believe we’re position fashions to ourselves, to one another, and we encourage one another so much.

So we nonetheless be in contact, hold one another up to date on our profession advances and, and simply life basically.

Karen Stephens: Yeah. That’s so cool. You already know, we now have an workplace in Singapore and I, I simply love Singapore a lot cuz it’s such a melting pot. It’s so various when it comes to folks coming from everywhere in the world, and all totally different backgrounds and, and I believe you’re proper that, that makes, that makes for actually superior learnings. And you recognize, you’ll be able to simply be taught a lot from the folks coming from all these totally different locations. So, very cool. All proper, properly thanks for that. That is superior. See, I’ve already discovered one thing. So, why don’t we begin by, would you inform me a bit of bit about who Penta Lodges are? What does the portfolio seem like?

What do you specialise in? All of that great things.

Amanda Du Jing: Yeah. Penta, Penta, we now have in throughout Europe, 20 plus resorts and Penta as a model, it’s all about social interactions, common service, and chilled vibes. So we worth the communication, neighborhood, and luxury. We provide the energetic neighborhood resorts in these interesting places in Europe, and at coronary heart of every Panta lodge is our Penta lounge, which is an idea we pioneered years in the past the place we provide a candy spot for our clients between our vibrant and laid-back life-style. So for, for the shoppers to loosen up play, and recharge.

Karen Stephens: Oh, that’s actually cool. So, you recognize, you talked about a bit of bit about, you recognize, the visitor expertise at Penta Lodges, and I’ve a quote from you really that reads, “with the supportive expertise, we nonetheless want to make use of the client knowledge in emotionally clever methods. Having a customer-centric mindset is vital and success.” So it sounds such as you create these chilled vibes, that’s what’s occurring on the floor, however what’s occurring behind the scenes and may you gimme a bit of extra colour on that quote,?

Amanda Du Jing: Yeah, in fact. We discuss so much about digital visitor journey expertise, how we may revolutionize the way in which we function resorts, however I believe the way in which it’s, it’s actually not the core. It’s, it’s not how we revolutionize the way in which we function the lodge, however it’s actually how we’re utilizing expertise in a extra emotionally clever methods to grasp the client greatest. So for us, I believe to, to get the client knowledge proper and higher serve, serve our company is the important thing.

The evaluation of customer-related knowledge, which is captured via the entire digital, via the entire journey earlier than they even work together with the lodge.

Karen Stephens: Proper.

Amanda Du Jing: So proper. On the similar time, we additionally wanna perceive to how we optimize these customer-related processes and to each from the client aspect and from the worker aspect.

More often than not we neglect how the worker, how the entrance desk operates, and we now have this nice massive concept on how we wish to ship that buyer success. However I believe it’s crucial for us to essentially additionally take a look at, from the worker aspect, how, whether or not it’s possible, how we make it occur. And naturally, along with our personal knowledge, we, we additionally take a look at what are the client developments and, and analysis knowledge within the buyer conduct to guarantee that we make the customer-centric choices, particularly after Covid, proper?

The, the entire want is, is totally different. So providing a seamless journey expertise just isn’t an “add-on” service anymore. It’s, it’s, it’s must-have. So from this, I believe, you recognize, to, to essentially perceive what buyer desires, what they want is crucial for us to, to succeed.

Karen Stephens: Yeah. It’s form of the place imaginative and prescient meets operations, proper?

Amanda Du Jing: I like that.

Karen Stephens: It’s like, yeah, that’s an ideal concept. How can we make that truly work? You already know? So, you recognize, it was superior understanding a bit of bit extra about your background and the way you began within the digital house, and also you’ve had a lot affect in that house. I wanna dive into your ABCD framework. So, I’ve heard you talk about this, however our listeners won’t find out about it.

Are you able to inform us what that’s and, and the way you utilize that in personalizing the visitor journey?

Amanda Du Jing: So the ABCD framework is extra on how we did the entire digital transformation within the Penta Lodges. So okay. ABCD. The a is extra on the evaluation half. Analytics dimension, which incorporates what I simply clarify earlier the evaluation of customer-related knowledge captured, captured via the entire journey.

And the b is a enterprise half. So to grasp what’s essential for, for the, for the resorts itself and. The entire enterprise, the adjustments of the enterprise circumstances to enhance the client expertise. So the interior enterprise circumstances are associated to adjustments in administration choices. For instance group’s, missions, for instance.

And c is a very powerful half, and which I, I at all times put it as a core is our clients. Yeah. So the core and your complete buyer interplay journey.

And the d is the digital, one of the essential enablers, I’d say, the expertise half to make all of these transformations occur.

Karen Stephens: Wow. That’s so cool. That’s so cool. So now we’re gonna shift gears a bit of bit as a result of I, I discussed, you recognize, that I believe you have been actually on the forefront, properly, you, you form of mentioned it your self as properly, while you first obtained into the digital house, that was actually very new. It was form of the, it was simply beginning, which was not that way back, however it’s simply beginning to evolve. So I observed that you simply’re additionally actually concerned in Web3 and the metaverse and all this stuff. So, are you able to simply, there’s so much, in all probability loads of listeners on the market like me, I’ve heard a bit of bit about this, possibly don’t know as a lot as we must always. Are you able to simply form of give us an outline of what the, what your curiosity is there and the way you assume it applies to hospitality or the way it may sooner or later?

Amanda Du Jing: Yeah, so I believe properly let, let’s get some ideas straight possibly. And after we, yeah, after we bounce into that, Web3 is, is, is the identify that’s given to what some folks name the following part of the, of the web. Proper? Okay. Which runs on the blockchain expertise and is decentralized. So if we are saying Web1 was all about studying info and we are actually in form of a Web2 and Web3 transition.

Web2 was about co-creation, particularly these user-generated content material. We will publish all these on social media. After which Web3 is concerning the possession and all of these is, relies on the blockchain and metaverse. And Metaverse is extra of the, the web the place it creates a brand new approach we expertise the digital world.

I’d say think about the entire web site and also you simply raise it up as a 3D and also you discover it round you. So, I, I, say it’s, it’s an interconnected digital actuality the place we develop into marketed to speak expertise, work, play, and do issues we by no means, which is able to by no means attainable earlier than. And what, what does it relate to, to the lodge, to the journey?

And, and I believe we, we discuss so much, you recognize what, what occurs earlier than they even come to the lodge? Earlier than they even begin touring? Proper? I believe that Web3 space, or the metaverse half would improve, or its extension of this entire journey expertise. So the place the shoppers can actually like go into your lodge, expertise, the lodge, and to choose the room, they wish to be sure they, they know what they, they’re shopping for for I’d say, and to, to, to essentially have , good first impression and a, and anticipate, expectations earlier than they, they arrive to expertise the lodge.

However, and I, I, I do know lots of people additionally say like, would, would folks then simply keep at dwelling with their goggles and never touring? No.

Karen Stephens: Yeah, I agree with you.

Amanda Du Jing: After Covid, we additionally say, “okay, ought to, would dwelling workplace substitute human interplay, in-person interplay?” No, it is not going to. However, it, it simply provides one other dimension to the entire journey expertise and to our personal expertise. I believe will, will add positively extra advantages to, to resorts sooner or later. To clients for certain.

Karen Stephens: Completely, and I agree with you 100%. To begin with, it’s actually thrilling to consider that form of expertise the place you can really stroll right into a lodge and perceive how every thing is laid out and get an concept of issues earlier than you go. However I agree with you 100% that individuals shouldn’t be nervous that impulsively folks will do this as an alternative of touring as a result of all of us must get, get transferring once more. In order that, that’s, that’s actually attention-grabbing. And I do know, so we’re recording this proper earlier than ITB, it’ll in all probability come out after ITB, however you’re based mostly in Munich, in Germany, and we’ve obtained ITB developing in Berlin subsequent week, I imagine.

Is it subsequent week?

Amanda Du Jing: Yeah. Sure, subsequent week.

Karen Stephens: Thrilling as a result of it has like, it’s been, you recognize, gone for 3 years. So are you able to give us some highlights of what you’re wanting ahead to? We’ll examine again in with you afterward, however I do know you’ve obtained some, a talking panel, and another issues, however what are you seeking to ahead to principally about ITB and coming again this 12 months?

Amanda Du Jing: I believe positively is the interplay with the, with, with totally different folks. To see, “okay, what are the, what are the brand new issues on the market?” And I’m, I’m additionally talking at 1 panel about loyalty in journey business and a keynote on how resorts enter Web3 period.

Karen Stephens: Oh!

Amanda Du Jing: So by wanting on the content material and in addition different totally different tracks, I’m very excited to see there are loads of technology-focused future focus matters are going to be mentioned there, and I believe that’s probably the most thrilling half for me.

Karen Stephens: Properly, that’s nice. Properly, once more, it will in all probability come out after ITB however in the event you’re listening and also you wanna be taught extra about Web3 and the metaverse, then discover, discover them out from ITB to get extra info.

Yeah. So one final thing I wished to speak to you about was a bit of bit extra, and that is form of all tied collectively, however about AI and lodge tech. So synthetic intelligence, and do you assume that hoteliers are doing job of leveraging that expertise at present? How do you see it? How do you see it evolving?

Amanda Du Jing: I believe from the advertising perspective, we, we began utilizing it fairly, fairly early house already, or fairly early stage already. Like after we, after we are taking a look at all these buyer knowledge, how we personalize their, their, their, their provide, and in addition like how we do these focused ads. It was all powered by AI.

Didn’t actually speak about it up to now and, and possibly everyone come throughout the ChatGPT now and it’s immediately an enormous subject once more, this 12 months and, and. and I, and I believe for the lodge aspect, there’s some misconceptions from our aspect that’s saying, “properly, that’s the most important worry, proper?” Each time after we see a brand new expertise, we at all times form of obtained scared. Like, “would that substitute the lodge workers? Like, would, would that substitute all of the folks working within the lodge with all these robots delivering the room?” Or whether or not these AI instruments can solely be run by these extremely specialised knowledge scientists, for instance, scientists. Which I believe shouldn’t be, see it that approach.

And, and I believe AI is, is, is like expertise just isn’t every thing, proper? It’s simply an enabler. And we needs to be higher using it and never assume that we now have to have an enormous sum of money to speculate to, to it. And as I discussed, it could actually begin very small to raised perceive your buyer first, and, and the entire journey, the client journey.

Ensure that’s clean and to assist their instruments may help you optimize your, your, like income forecast, demand, and higher plan your, your manpower and your labor pressure within the lodge. And, and we’re additionally, we have been additionally piloting some instruments that would predict meals wastage, for instance. So there are lots of methods to make the most of this expertise,

and I believe resorts now begin taking a look at it from a, a extra holistic angle, like totally different angles. And never solely from the advertising aspect, however, but in addition from income aspect, and advertising and income, how we work collectively to raised make the most of AI, proper? They’ve nice instruments to do forecasting. We’ve got useful gizmo to focus on clients and the way we mix these to present, to offer clients the, the, the provide that they’re on the lookout for.

And in addition from operational aspect, I believe there’s an enormous potential the place they’ll actually make use of the expertise and on the similar time to be extra environment friendly. So not solely increase the visitor satisfaction, but in addition the staff at work.

Karen Stephens: Yeah. Yeah. Sort of remove among the monotony or among the, the roles that, the, the a part of the roles that aren’t as, as partaking as, as others.

I’s a great way to consider it. Yeah. So what, what recommendation would you give to possibly a lodge on the market who doesn’t have, isn’t part of a gaggle that’s superior pondering like this, and the place would you recommend that any individual go simply to begin to educate themselves on these sorts of issues?

I don’t know if there’s something that involves thoughts?

Amanda Du Jing: I believe ITB is a superb alternative.

Karen Stephens: Yeah, that’s proper. Hopefully, you have been there. Yeah. Sure. Go to exhibits. Go to commerce exhibits.

Amanda Du Jing: Precisely. Go to these conferences. There are such a lot of conferences after Covid and so many who 12 months that I, I couldn’t even attend most of them. And, I believe actually, to search for that info on-line to see what different matters you have an interest in. There are these conferences, simply specializing in buyer journey. There’s conferences simply specializing in lodge expertise. I believe, to, to get your self on the market. Be open. Yeah, I believe that’s a very powerful perspective.

Simply, you recognize, to, to get to know what you don’t know earlier than. In order that will likely be my recommendation.

Karen Stephens: Yeah. That’s implausible recommendation. Properly, thanks a lot, Amanda. This has been a tremendous dialog. So simply so our listeners know, the place can they discover extra info on Penta Lodges?

Amanda Du Jing: So our URL is at Additionally LinkedIn and Instagram.

Karen Stephens: Sure, and Instagram. Okay. Superior. Thanks a lot for the dialog at present, Amanda. I actually recognize it. Thanks.

Amanda Du Jing: Thanks a lot.

Karen Stephens: Take care.

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