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Case Study - Sofitel

Sofitel Luxury Hotels is a global luxury hotel brand uniquely defined by its French flair and elegance. Belonging to the Accor Hotel Group, there are more than 100 Sofitel properties worldwide.

 

The Challenge

To align sales and service skills to the luxury rebrand of the hotel. In 2008, Accor Group relaunched Sofitel as a luxury brand.

The biggest component of this change would be felt in the service delivery and promotion of the brand. Significant training would be needed to help existing sales teams manage the transition to the new Sofitel luxury image.

But what would this training look like? How could the sales team differentiate the brand?

i perform was approached by Sofitel Global Head Office because of its service culture and experience both in the hotel industry and with premium brands.

“I feel confident in recommending you as a preferred training provider. Your ability to create and optimise a training program, and to deliver on a specific brief is first rate.” 
Don Kelly, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Sofitel Worldwide

 

The Approach

Develop a transparent sales training and performance measurement loop to continually build the brand’s capabilities in the luxury market.

As luxury is created by staff through service excellence, the program content focused on combining both luxury service and sales in the same function. The training content provided to all sales team members included selling brand value, developing brand loyalty and negotiating in a luxury market. Senior managers and leaders were provided with an additional training layer to help them lead this change. This program was implemented in the ASPAC Region.

Quality audits were conducted during and after training to maintain focus on behaviours that exemplify the brand. The audits were designed on criteria determined by Sofitel’s luxury brand image and i perform’s extensive experience in service culture. Importantly, they were an evaluation mechanism that created transparency and accountability in delivery of customer service in sales.

In 2012 the program was updated to reflect the Sofitel Luxury Hotels brand journey from an evolving to a consolidating brand position.

“I am very pleased to see an improvement in service … and can see a different customer approach by the team in their daily operations. i perform goes beyond the “audit” and is able to help us improve our results.”
Beat Klarer, General Manager, Sofitel Jinan Silver Plaza

 

The Outcome

Increasing performance on quality service audits and distinct brand identity felt within the Sofitel Group.

The i perform program continues to be an integral part of the Sofitel Group’s sales training, cementing its importance in inducting sales people to the luxury environment and in improving sales skills. The training has also evolved as the brand has matured, ensuring its relevance to the brand journey. Results achieved since the partnership began include:

  • Improvement on pre-training sales and service standards by 15.6 percentage points.
  • “Best Hotel Brand 2010” Hotel Management Magazine.
  • Seven hotels in the ASPAC Region recognised at the 2012 Hotel Management Awards.
  • Across the Region a 20 percentage point improvement in service delivery, in the handling of sales enquiries, can be seen 2 quarters before till 3 quarters after training.
  • The sustainable improvement in sales and service post-training, attesting to the strength of the training strategy.

In support of improving luxury service across Sofitel Worldwide i perform has also developed “Fit for Business” a sales and service program for non-sales staff, and “Selecting the Right Talent” a staff selection program for people leaders. These were designed in a train-the-trainer format to ensure global reach.

“Delighted the responses have been positive, I will make it my mission to see that every sales team member in my region will have a chance to share this great learning experience, becoming a better sales person to drive business confidently and fully immersed in the Sofitel brand value”.
Mabel Chau, Regional Director of Sales, Greater China

what clients say

"We had undergone a restructure to provide a positive customer focused service. The communications from i perform was fantastic and they were able to deliver our customised audits and training on a tight timeframe."

Megan Patterson, Education Officer State Water

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