Four Ways to Engage Your Hotel Guests This Holiday Season
It’s that time of the year again when the travel industry can anticipate a healthy demand for all kinds of travel. This holiday season, consumers will spend approximately 30% of their entire holiday budget on travel alone. This statistic indicates that there are plenty of opportunities for hotels to forge new relationships with guests and strengthen existing ones.
Having said that, it’s not going to be easy to convert customers. Since most major hotel groups are somewhat standardized in terms of design, furnishing and amenities, no particular brand is going to really stand out to guests. To make matters worse, search engines have made the hotel pricing transparent to customers, who are now typically motivated to book with a property that offers the most competitive price. How do you increase your chances of conversion in an industry, where the risk of commoditization is so great. The answer lies in ‘personalization’ .
If you’re looking to capitalize on ‘personalization’ this holiday season, this blog post brings you some quick tips to creatively engage guests and deliver some real holiday cheer.
1. Start With Getting to Know Your Guests Better
The first step in personalization is to know all about your guests – their identity, their personas and their preferences. Fortunately, a WiFi analytics platform (a solution deployed over your existing hotel WiFi infrastructure) can easily enable you to do just that.
Here’s how: Say, an anonymous guest (let’s call him John) connects to your free hotel WiFi on his mobile phone. The Wifi analytics platform identifies and moves John from an anonymous guest to a connected guest. The platform then automatically identifies John every time he walks into any of the group’s hotels in the future. Once John is connected, the Wifi analytics platform starts gathering insights based on John’s past and present location behavior at the hotel. The data gathered from John’s visits leads to visitor at location personas and John is recognized as a “frequent restaurant user” or “multi property visitor” or “business traveller” based on his historic hotel behavior patterns. After a few visits, you begin to have a reasonably good idea of who John is and what he likes.
2. Engage Your Guests Based on their Personas
Based on specific attributes of your guests, you can send them personalized engagements. Here are a few examples:
- Run an Email Campaign For Leisure Travellers: You can email a list of holiday activities to a leisure traveller, so as to ensure they don’t miss out on any truly authentic experience that your city has to offer. If you are a New York based property, you can send them an email about the Rockefeller center, popular for its holiday season theatrics. Being able to provide a single ‘authentic experience’ can go a long way in ensuring repeat bookings and word of mouth marketing.
- Promote Your Holiday Special Menu to Business Travellers: Frequent business travellers usually spend their evenings on the property itself. Why not help them make the most out of their business trip by sending them an in-app offer to try out your holiday special menu at the hotel restaurant? They are likely to appreciate this gesture and in turn, even more likely to reward you with their loyalty.
3. Integrate Wifi Analytics with Other Data Sources to Enhance Personalization Levels
Imagine how thrilled your overseas guest will be to receive a personalized recommendation of the best restaurants in town, especially if her sole purpose of travelling to your city is to explore its authentic cuisines. How’s that even possible, you ask? How do you know her exact purpose of visit?
- Integrate WiFi Analytics with Your Web and Social Media Analytics: By doing so, you may get an idea of someone’s vacation plans based on browsing history, social posting or other data. You can use this data to send her a personalized SMS, helping elevate the quality of her whole trip. Who wouldn’t love receiving an SMS like this?
“Hey Bridgette, Welcome to Paris. Try these 5 authentic French restaurants while you’re here. If you want to pick just one, we recommend ‘Relais d’Entrecôte’ – the absolute best steak frites. Also a ‘no reservations’ restaurant. Happy Holidays!”
- Integrate WiFi Analytics with Your CRM: If you integrate your Wifi analytics with your CRM, you can distinguish solo travellers from families. You could have Santa spring a surprise on families travelling with kids. Maybe even gift them stockings monogrammed with their initials? Any such thoughtful gesture is sure to make your guests feel special and return in the future.
4. Royal Treatment for Loyal Guests
No two guests are equal. Some prefer to have a quiet stay, just check-in and checkout with no fuss while some love to indulge and spend a lot of money on hotel amenities. Needless to say, the latter group of customers are the ones with a higher lifetime value and what better time than holidays to reward their loyalty.
- Identify and Reward Loyal Guests: A Wifi analytics platform allows you to identify your most loyal guests by segregating them on the basis of ‘total number of visits’ or ‘total spend’ or by integrating with your loyalty database. To show them how valued they are, you can send personalized messages and exclusive offers specially tailored for them. That is not all, you can even upsell to these big spenders by sending them a ‘post-holiday’ applicable on bookings made for January, 2018. The first quarter after New Year tends to be sluggish in terms of growth so the holiday season is a ripe time to drive new bookings.
- New Level of Personalization: Based on the data collected from their previous visits, you can go above and beyond to create exceptional guest experiences. For example – stock a mini bar of a silver tier member with items they have consumed in the past or have their favorite cocktail waiting on arrival. This level of personalisation is pretty much unbeatable and can even give Airbnb a run for its money. The trick is in treating your guests as precious individuals and not as a part of bigger demographic.
July’s Proximity MX, a WiFi Guest Analytics and Engagement Software for Hotels helps you gain real time at-location customer analytics and allows you to send personalized engagements to your guests via SMS, email and App push notifications.