Developing a Customer Experience Management Framework in Hoteling Industry: A Systematic Review of Theoretical Foundations

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Information Technology Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Associate Prof., Department of Information Technology Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Prof., Department of Information Technology Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Customer experience is considered as a concept that can indicate the organizations performance in the current era. Creating an engaging experience is the distinctive feature for an organization and delivering a great experience is important in developing customers’ loyalty. Organizations need to focus on managing the customers’ experience which highlights the importance of designing and managing the customer experience in a variety of industries, especially customer-centered industries such as hoteling. The purpose of this study is to provide a framework to explain the customer experience management process in hoteling industry.
In this study, due to the lack of a clear and accurate explanation of the customer experience management process, systematic review of theoretical foundations has been used in the present study. This study aims to find the answer to this question: "what are the steps involved in managing the customer experience in the hoteling industry?". The present study also intends to explain the customer experience management process in hoteling industry (what?). As a result, Scopus, Emerald, Science Direct, Springer, and Proudest databases were reviewed and all the related articles in hoteling, tourism, and entertainment industries were collected. Articles were reviewed using the following keywords: "customer experience management" and hotel / hospitality / tourism / lodging"; and then, 29 sources were found in the selected databases. At this stage, 38 articles were found and then carefully reviewed in several stages to determine which ones fit the research questions. The remaining articles should be reviewed for content quality. For this purpose, the critical assessment method (CASP) was used and a checklist consisting of 10 questions was used to assist the researcher in assessing the accuracy, validity and importance of research studies. After completing the evaluation process of the articles, the researchers started a detailed study of the selected articles. At this stage, the researcher would look for the concepts that have appeared among the codes in the systematic review of theoretical foundations. Once the codes have been identified, the researcher creates a classification and places similar and related classes in a group that best describes them. This group is called the "concept". This process is done using the qualitative content analysis method and continues until a duplicate model or pattern is extracted from the content.
Systematic review of the theoretical foundations and concepts extracted from resources led to customer experience management process including the customer identification cycle, customer experience design, customer experience implementation and customer experience monitoring as well as creating organizational factors of culture, structure, leadership, human resources and technology. Customer identification is the first step that must be done in customer experience management. This stage includes the steps to identify the individual characteristics of customers; their needs, expectations and values; the customers’ previous experiences; customers’ experience in other companies; and to categorize the customers. Developing the right strategy, designing the service, designing the contact point routes and prioritizing the strategies are the steps involved in the customer design stage. The purpose of the design is to encourage customers to move in the direction of the company or brand contact points and to transfer it from the post-purchase stage to the pre-purchase stage. Development of contact points; building awareness; responding to customer interactions; responding to customer needs, expectations and values; partnering with customers and their communities and personalizing the experience are the steps involved in the implementation phase. Understanding the customers’ experience and ensuring that experiences are effectively managed at all the points of customer interaction with the organization is considered as a key objective for an organization that intends to lead the market. Customer experience is not created in isolation and solely through marketing strategies. Creating and managing customer experiences that are related to the unique brand identity of the company should be part of the strategic vision of the organization and arrange in a line all the efforts of the organization.
In the era of experience economics, companies compete to create a pleasant experience for their customers. All the activity of the organizations, including the production of products and services, advertising, marketing activities, after-sales service, aim to create a great customer experience. Understanding the customer experience and ensuring that experiences are effectively managed at all points of customer interaction with the organization are the key objectives for an organization that aims to lead the market. Despite the importance of customer experience management in recent research, customer experience management research is still in its infancy which shows the importance of customer experience management in various industries, especially the hoteling industry. This study was conducted to identify and explain the steps of customer experience management in the hoteling industry. Besides, the research findings can help hotels manage their customers’ experience.


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