The hospitality industry is overcrowded with options such as comparison websites and online research for guests to find the best deals to suit their needs in seconds. Tailoring a personal approach towards your guests could mean the difference between keeping a loyal customer or losing one to a competitor.
With technology, hotels can not only reach out to potential guests via integrated and direct platforms of their preference, but also maintain constant communication with a guest during their stay. According to the Boston Consulting Group, “brands that create personalized experiences by integrating advanced digital technologies and proprietary data for customers are seeing revenue increase by 6% to 10%—two to three times faster than those that don't.”
We’ve considered 3 marketing strategies that are beneficial for hotels to implement and build upon:
Enabling AI chatbots during the pre-booking process
During a potential guest booking process, hoteliers can attract the right consumer by creating more customized offers and advertisements, such as family deals or business offers. In an American Express study, “85% of respondents of all ages thought that customized itineraries were much more desirable than general, mass-market offerings,” this can not only boost hotels bookings, but also help create a bond between the hotel and guest through the catering of personal needs.
“85% of respondents of all ages thought that customized itineraries were much more desirable than general, mass-market offerings”
It’s vital to ensure the booking process is as smooth and simple as possible to avoid potential customers opting out halfway and turning to a competitor. By implementing chat bots into the pre-booking process, hoteliers can keep in constant contact with customers, providing immediate attention to difficulties they may face. “Enabling chat feature on your hotel’s website can increase your conversions by 45%” says Chatbots Magazine in an October 2017 article. This is due to chat features reducing communicative frustrations often associated with hotel servicing. Timely responses enable potential guests to feel more secure in placing a direct booking.
Delivering personalized mobile messages during in-stay
Once a guest has booked and arrived at a hotel, it’s important to secure guest satisfaction. Any bad or unsatisfactory experiences can result in negative feelings towards the brand. By, welcoming travelers into a hotel room complete with mobile message, hotels can stay on top of bringing customized experiences to guests. The smallest touches convey detailed care, such as sending a birthday greeting or a kind reminder on a dinner reservation that will resonate with guests long after their stay.
“Personalization is becoming so important because hotel guests now expect hotel rooms to feel like home”—Samir Lakhany, Vice President, Superhost Hospitality
Promoting your hotels facilities and amities is a great way to increase revenue. By anticipating individual guest needs, hotels can personalize offers accordingly, guaranteeing an increase in response rates. Doing so, would mean segregating messages targeted at a couple versus that of a single business traveler, given their natural differences in wants. “Marketing messages are most effective when they use data to recommend upgrades, enhancements and upsell offers that are particularly appealing to their guests.” Using digital messages to promote personalized deals is more likely to be noticed by a guest, particularly on a portable device, where communication is kept intact on even as they spend the majority of their time away from the hotel room.
Re-engaging with guests through social media platforms
With the quick engagement rates of social media, travelers expect more efficient communication. As a defining factor in modern-day travel experiences, being able to act fast on a review, especially in the case of negative ratings, can hold strong sway over a guest’s overall stay. To win back a customer on the precipice can be difficult, yet rewarding in the event a problem is fixed while they are still on the premises. “Hotels that respond more than 65% of the time have an average rating of four stars on a scale of one to five on TripAdvisor" says The Boston Consulting Group. By taking guest feedback on board to solve problems, make amends and improve services, hotels can restore confidence in guests that their experience is of priority. An unhappy guest can potentially turn into a loyal customer.
According to research conducted by Local Measure, when your guests are engaged with your brand, they are nearly 40% more likely to return in the future.
Social media has become part of many hotelier’s business strategies that help them communicate with guests and followers of the brand, instantly. By actively engaging with travelers during their stay, whether in response to comments or sharing posts, hotels not only achieve free promotion, but also boost their online presence with a strong interpersonal element that sticks. Resonance can keep a hotelier front of mind in a guest that holds higher chances of rebooking and one that is made directly through the brand.
There are an abundance of technology related to digital marketing, which are both inexpensive and easy to implement. To stay ahead of the curve, hotel marketers should capitalize on digital means where the next-generation traveler remains increasingly engaged with technology.