During the pandemic, restrictions changed all aspects of life and business. As people worldwide have adapted to change, hoteliers and vacation rentals have changed their way of communicating with their guests.
Social media channels became an option to connect and talk during a time when many felt isolated. Guests arrived in record numbers on websites and used apps, creating new journeys and behaviours yet to be understood.
Before The Pandemic
But what exactly has changed?
Service quality, personalization, and staff helpfulness are reflected during the guest’s stay. Exclusively during the holiday. That has changed.
The dynamics and the ability to provide quality service today do not necessarily mean the guest visited. The guests can be impressed with the service quality without a visit.
Using social media, timely responding to inquiries, sending offers, phone contacts and generally more personalized promotions ensures more quality service for guests without physical contact, only by digital transformation.
After The Pandemic
Today’s guest wants a flawless experience on all communication channels throughout the stay, before and after it.
An omnichannel strategy drives such interconnected processes. It integrates digital and traditional communication models. Hoteliers and vacation rentals then have the power to address and simplify every phase of guest engagement before the actual guest arrival.
Optimal omnichannel communication will allow guests to ask questions and ask for service, which improves the guest experience and shortens the waiting time.
And more than that 😊
The user experience will allow guests to navigate multiple network channels and mobile applications quickly. That allows your guests to contact you regardless of the device being used or the preferred channel. By reading ratings and reviews, comparing prices, using social media or even booking on OTAs, your guests expect a standard, consistent and exceptional experience at every stage of the travel cycle.
The omnichannel approach aims to create sales and marketing strategies and create a flawless experience for guests, regardless of where, when, or which device the guest decides to book.
An opportunity to delight
Long waiting times and lack of reaction are situations you should use to delight rather than put guests on hold.
The role of marketing has changed.
Refined marketing strategies and moves are essential for a successful business. Marketing tools – due to the digital transformation, are becoming more sophisticated and easier to use. That way, your messages, efforts and offers will be more precise and achieve a visible result.
Using automated communication (via email, text or voice), you can collect information about guests after they leave. Hoteliers and vacation rentals can use this data to determine the quality of a guest’s stay, enter more data into the guest’s profile, and improve the experience for the future.
The foundation for any communication is empathy.
Analyzing and adapting to the motives and emotions behind the travel choice is another point of experience management and personalization. If you’re targeting your customers through social media, it’s crucial to engage with them actively. Developing a relationship with your guest will also ultimately result in a recommendation.
Not only that, if you use empathy when responding to negative reviews, you let potential guests know that you are honest and that you care.
The guest is a priority.
Hoteliers and vacation rentals face the challenge of finding ways to connect more strongly with their (potential) guests. They need to find a way to encourage dialogue – engagement and define a relationship that strengthens a sense of loyalty and a desire to return.
The optimal approach implies thoughtful and intuitive possibilities that enable guests to do quality research, depending on their needs, preferences, location and mood. Offering more options using communication channels, such as chat or SMS, makes it easier for guests. Guests will be able to get what they need while enjoying the experience.
Goodbye traditional technology 👋
Today, guests choose accommodation offer based on entirely different criteria.
Traditional technology solutions are an obstacle to effective marketing and a better guest experience. The fastest way to do this is to use cloud-based technology solutions. It will establish consistency and prevent scattering guest data across multiple channels. Data standardization will increase personalization and improve productivity. Organized data makes it easy to scale marketing efforts and target the right audiences (guests) at the right time.
🧩 Integration is vital.
It is not uncommon for hoteliers and vacation rentals to use specific channels to communicate better with guests. Connecting and seamlessly integrating used channels could be extremely important.
In an omnichannel strategy, employees can communicate with customers through several communication channels. This approach ultimately simplifies the management of daily communication with guests.
Communication With (Potential) Guests
More flexible booking and cancellation terms have caused a more extended booking confirmation and travel planning process.
The process that leads to booking confirmation today is much better known to hoteliers and vacation rentals. Many tools are also available to reach a potential guest at any given time before a final decision is made.
🎩 Tips & Tricks:
Optimize multichannel access.
Prioritize positive and informed communication to gain the attention and loyalty of old and new guests.
Consider integrating communication channels. API communication of modern cloud-based systems will allow you to navigate more quickly and prevent you from ignoring specific queries.
Track how guests interact with the communication channels you use. For example, Facebook Pixel and Google Tag Manager are easy to use in a do-it-yourself way. You can use such data to estimate the staff needed to handle queries or customize the user experience.
Better Communication, Better Results
Guest relations are in the middle of a moment where many old habits are discarded, favouring new ones, digital.
Understanding your guest is necessary to make the best use of specific communication channels. Due to the pandemic, reorganizing the principles of communication and relations with guests will require a keen understanding of the preferred media, especially favouring channels for high-speed mobile communication.
There aren’t many products that consumers spend so much time preparing for other than hospitality and travel 🧳
People spend their hard-earned time and money exploring and deciding on a specific destination and accommodation, apartment, hostel, hotel or campground.
Those who truly understand and listen to their guests can provide an experience that meets and exceeds expectations.
Addressing gaps in omnichannel expertise is what creates loyalty. Adapting to the needs of travellers in the digital world is essential but necessary for hoteliers and vacation rentals.