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Is Accor really focused on satisfaction ?

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I recently saw an advertisement of Accor Hotels claiming that they were really taking care of customer satisfaction. Actually they even wanted to go a step further proposed Nordstrom-like guarantee: “satisfaction guaranteed or your next night free”.

I’m not sure how this guarantee works but at least I like the motto. This kind of guarantee is also pretty unusual in the hospitality industry and therefore deserves a mention.

But is this alleged focus on customer satisfaction (and on customers more generally) real? Difficult to know actually but at least there’s one quick check you can do. Take a look at the annual report … you can find it here.

First of all I found the word “satisfaction” mentioned 14 times in this 124-page report. Accor has implemented a satisfaction measurement tool called “Guest Satisfaction Survey” which was deployed in 2009 in 1100 hotels. Although it’s really surprising that such a big company waited so long to have such a tool, it looks good and promising on paper, but …having read that there’s one BIG question that I want to be answered as a potential investor: “how satisfied are the customers?”. This question is crucial because it gives an indication whether or not customers will probably re-purchase and become loyal.

Great thing … there’s a KPI’s section in the annual report. Let’s have a look …well, I searched really hard but found no KPI’s on satisfaction. You have plenty of accounting, financial KPI’s but nothing that may have a link with customers.

My take:

Do you know of any single company which would claim NOT being out there to satisfy its customers? I don’t. So why isn’t there any company proud enough (or smart enough) to release customer-centric KPI’s? Perhaps because investors do not understand what it means and what impact it may have on financial metrics?

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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