Customer Relationship Management at Meriton Serviced Apartments

Executive Summary

Meriton Serviced apartments are run by the Meriton Group whose mandate is to develop and offer properties for sale and rental. Customer Relationship Management is one of the key elements of hospitality that the company has to address in service provision. The company can benefit greatly through CRM practices such as quality improvement, facility completion and exceptional service provision. The benefits may include increased customer loyalty and obtaining higher product qualities among others. On the other hand, the company is bound to face challenges in technological changes and competition among others. It is thus recommended that the company should adapt to technological changes and incorporate more services in order to satisfy customers more.


Customer Relationship Management at Meriton Serviced Apartments


Meriton Group has been in existence for the past 50 years, becoming the leading company in Australia in the provision of apartments for lease as well as for sale. As a company in the hospitality industry, Meriton Group has many high quality serviced apartments provided for the benefit of their customers in Adelaide, Brisbane as well as many other locations. Due to the many companies that offer similar services in Brisbane, the company has to work intensively towards the provision of exceptional customer service. To achieve this, the company has put in place an effective Customer Relationships Management strategy (CRM), which entails several features of customer service. The following paper sections discuss various aspects of CRM as implemented in Meriton Serviced Apartments at Adelaide, Brisbane.
Background Information

Customer Relationship Management is one of the key elements of the hospitality industry, people and cultures. The customers are the key stakeholders in the hospitality industry and are treated with utmost care to ensure that any organization acquires, retains and grows the most desirable customer base. The application of CRM in the hospitality industry is essential in motivating customers as well as appealing to their need for satisfaction. As companies such as hotels strive to be more advanced in CRM, there are also many challenges that such organizations face and which they can use to their advantage. Some of the CRM practices may not be obvious in an organization, but any activity that targets the growth of the customer base can be taken as a CRM strategy since they all work towards achieving greater trust and loyalty from customers (Milovic, 2012).

Literature Review

Many studies have been carried out on the subject of CRM in the hospitality industry. Despite this fact, none of the studies focus particularly on the Meriton Group. It is thus essential to find the connection between the industry facts and the available information on Meriton Hotel. According to a study by Yadav (2013), the key objective of carrying out customer relationship management is to attract, retain as well as to grow customers. This can only be done through creation of relationships that last between companies and their customers. All the practices carried out in lieu of this are aimed at maintaining customer loyalty. Mohammed and Rashid (2012) also hold the same stand concerning CRM practice particularly in the hospitality industry. According to these authors, the hospitality industry flourishes based on customer commitment hence every outfit in the industry should be working with the objective of gaining as much market shares as possible. Customer loyalty is the key to this. Mohammed and Rashid argue that CRM can be connected to various benefits in the hospitality industry apart from increasing customer loyalty.

According to the research carried out by the duo, CRM can help hospitality industry to achieve a higher level of market segmentation as well as to obtain higher quality products for the customers (Mohammed & Rashid, 2012). These benefits are associated with the ability to receive feedback from customers through CRM. Customers can relate their experiences and subsequently highlight the improvements they would want made in products and services. At the same time, CRM enables organizations to learn about customers and their preferences and eventually to analyze the market segments that are most attracted to the company and thus tailor the marketing plans to fit into the needs of the customers. Beldi et al (2010), also postulate that CRM is associated with several benefits. In addition to those mentioned by Mohammed and Rashid, Beldi et al mention increased sales and customized services as some of the essential benefits associated with CRM in the hospitality industry. It is the objective of every business to grow in terms of customer loyalty and information access, both of which are enhanced through effective CRM.

Despite the many benefits associated with CRM, other studies have also shown that CRM implementation can be subject to many challenges. The quality of the experiences held by any company’s guests, particularly in the hospitality industry impacts on the non- room expenditures incurred by the company (Asia Tech Directions, 2011). This implies that while striving to maintain a positive reputation on the customers through their room experiences, the company must work towards reinforcing experiences in all other service sections (Milovic, 2012). This however proves to be difficult based on the challenges posed by implementation of CRM. Shajahan et al (2013) opine that the key challenge faced by all organizations in the hospitality industry is to maintain patronage of the guest loyalty. This means that all the organizations have to work hard in acquiring new customers as well as keeping the existing customers satisfied. Failure to this may lead to the loss of even the existing customers. Secondly, technology is also identified to be a challenge in CRM implementation due to the frequent changes (Vijoen et al., 2005). Companies therefore have to work extra hard towards the acquisition and retention of customers. For a company with a diverse work force such as Meriton group, the management of the work force may also pose a challenge to the implementation of the CRM process (Bull, 2003s). Moreover, Ivanovic et al (2011) highlight growing customer negotiation skills and high customer expectations are also capable of affecting the effectiveness of the CRM implementation process.


Meriton Serviced Apartments has effectively implemented CRM and can be said to be benefiting from the advantages associated with the implementation.  As said earlier, the key objective of the implementation of CRM I any hospitality industry organization is to achieve greater customer loyalty. From the profile report for Meriton Group, it is clear that the company aims at provision of exceptional customer experience through the market tailored services and products. In addition to this, the company is built on sustainability and environmental conservation (Meriton Group, 2016). From the report provided by the company, it can be argued that the company focuses on customer satisfaction as the key driver of operations through various practices. For instance, Meriton serviced apartments are operated using the principle that the company has to provide the market with exceptional quality at affordable prices. All customers in the hospitality industry want accommodation in hotels and apartments where they can have great experiences without breaking their pockets. Through the decision to provide quality and price effectiveness, Meriton group rises above the competition in two key ways. Yadav (2013) asserts that customers to the hospitality industry are affected by the prices they incur and are thus likely to shift in case the prices they experience are not favorable to their conditions.

Apart from this, Meriton Group also offers more resort style facilities through their serviced apartments. It is clear that tourists would want to feel more entwined within the Brisbane cultures rather than feeling as if they were still in their own houses. Too conventional apartments would bring the feeling of being home while s being in a hotel may appear too crowding for some clients. The ability to bring the resort style to the apartments makes the experience even more real.  Meriton Group (2016) also report that the operations in the serviced apartments are based on the prevailing market conditions as the company invests in market research to ensure that it provides customers with the best living conditions among the available market options in Brisbane. This can only be aimed at bringing about greater customer satisfaction hence it can be taken as a form of CRM. Meriton group has also ensured that there is effective quality control for all the serviced apartments hence making it an optimum source of customer comfort and satisfaction.

In addition to the aforementioned factors, Meriton Group also works to ensure that all the serviced apartments have a record of 100 percent completion rate. This means that through their experiences, customers can be able to notice the differences between other accommodation facilities and the Meriton Serviced Apartments. As such, it is possible for the company to attract the customers from other facilities. The objective of CRM as mentioned earlier is to attract, retain and nurture customers. Through such practices like the provision of quality beyond other hospitality industry companies, Meriton targets the customers that can be attracted from other facilities. The company also provides a wide range of services for customers hence the customers can have any choice of services they desire. While other facilities are providing only accommodation services, Meriton Group provides the customers with an opportunity to choose whether to buy or to rent properties.

Through the choices made by the customers, the group can then provide whatever services that the customers desire. For instance, checking from the customer reviews on the company website, it is clear that the services offered by the company are varied as well as exceptional. Although the company does not engage in catering services, most of the serviced apartments in Adelaide, Brisbane are close to restaurants and other facilities where the customers can access food. Apart from this, the apartments themselves are effectively maintained through provision of facilities such as pools and Jacuzzis for the comfort of customers ( Based on the customer feedbacks received by Meriton serviced apartments, it can be argued that the company is enjoying the benefits associated with CRM such as increased loyalty as shown by the willingness of customers to return.  Other benefits such as ease of market segmentation, higher quality, customized services and improved sales can also be associated with the practice of CRM in the company.

Despite the efforts made by the company to construct reasonable and functional relationships with customers, the company still faces some challenges in CRM implementation. The key challenge faced by the company is that of technological changes. Presently, Meriton Serviced Apartments have no specific social media platforms that are tailored to the apartment advertisements. On the contrary, the apartments are borne within the general company website where they are marketed mainly through customer reviews. The report provided by the company itself is insufficient to make one feel the real impact of advertisement. Additionally, the company is faced with the challenge of competition from other hospitality companies such as Hilton Brisbane hotel. Other challenges that the company faces include difficulty in maintaining patronage of guests and high customer expectations. The company can take various decisions regarding the application of CRM and eventually reap the benefits associated with it.


In order for Meriton Serviced Apartments to continue gaining in terms of customer growth and expansion, the company needs to take various steps. First, the challenge of technological changes can be addressed through changing with the advances. This implies that the company has to take specific measures to ensure that it progresses technologically at the same rate that other companies are progressing. Using various social media platforms for advertisement, the company website and other forms of internet marketing strategies can help the company to achieve greater customer satisfactions. Currently, the company has no well developed internet marketing strategies. Online purchases are not well planned for in the company. It is therefore important that the company should be able to organize and lay down strategies for online marketing and for interacting with customers on a more personal basis. Other companies have laid down structures through which customers can make bookings as well as make payments for their accommodation facilities. The customers can also go through videos of the facilities they intend to book. Meriton serviced apartments have no such structures as they do not have videos for the facilities on the website.

Apart from taking advantage of the technology, Meriton serviced apartments can also provide additional services to the customers. Services such as guiding tourists through Brisbane and Australia can help the company to get more customers and to retain the existing ones. Customers desire a facility that will be able to address all their needs in visiting the country. The company can thus gain competitive advantage through participating more in most of the activities that the customers require. Making summative price projections can be even more profitable to the company as well as to the customers.



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