“There is extraordinary chemistry that exists in long-term relationships.” ~ Conrad Levinson
Hoteliers are in the business to make their guests happy, right? Therefore, it goes without saying that hoteliers don’t want their guests to be unhappy when visiting their property. Consequently, this means that a hotelier spends a great deal of time focusing on their guests’ experience and how to make each stay unique and enjoyable. The key to making guest stays unique, enjoyable, and memorable is to engage with guests before, during, and after their stay.
There’s no denying that we live in a technology crazed world. In fact, everything we do regarding travel seems easier to accomplish online. Unfortunately, in providing our guests with the ability to make their own arrangements online, we essentially created guests that have immediate gratification needs. Hoteliers need to be able to capitalize on the needs of their guests by meeting and exceeding all their wants and desires. Guests want to feel catered to, they want to feel as though they are being pampered, and they want to know without a shadow of a doubt that their concerns (should there be any) are resolved in a professional manner.
Why is guest engagement important?
Guest engagement platform selection is essential to the success of your guest engagement program because it opens the door between you and your guests. Not only is the door open to increasing guest satisfaction, it also provides a means in which guest loyalty can increase. Think about your property and some things that you already know need improvement. Then, think about the concerns your guests have presented you with. Do these two lists share commonalities? At what stage in the guest life cycle do you think that you could have the most impact on your guests? Does your staff know how to anticipate your guests’ needs and exceed them?
How to increase guest engagement
The first way to engage with your guest is to offer a chatbot on your booking engine. Are you able to communicate with your guest during the online booking process currently? Could a chatbot be easily installed on your booking engine? Chatbots can be programmed with Natural Language processing (NLP) to personalize in response to guest preference and behavior. In addition, chatbots “learn” more with each communication. Direct booking engine integrations like Triptease have a live chatbot feature called Front Desk that allows hotel staff to interact directly with guests while booking.
An additional way to interact with your guest during the booking process is to offer repeat guests a discount for re-booking direct. Sweeten the deal by offering a freebie when the guest arrives. Freebies don’t have to be expensive; a box of chocolates, or a coupon to the restaurant down the street will suffice.
Email marketing is another way to engage your guests before, during and after their stay. Sending a simple pre-arrival email could be a revenue boost for your property. Something as simple as offering a room upgrade (provided there is a room available) can help increase guest loyalty while increasing revenue. Cendyn’s Guestfolio allows you the ability to engage your guests before they arrive onsite, while they’re onsite with Mobile Concierge, and again after they’ve departed.
It is imperative for today’s hoteliers to adopt a strategy that includes guest engagement. Custom online booking options and email marketing strategies are just a couple of ways in which to accomplish this. Ultimately, your guest engagement platform should be easy to use, and flow through a variety of guest touch points. As you work to increase your guest satisfaction and loyalty via guest engagement platforms, you can redefine your guests’ experience while increasing revenue. In the words of Jim Rohn Motivational Speaker, “One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.”