It’s getting very competitive out there in the world of hospitality, and the expectations of today’s technology-savvy travelers are only getting higher.
To stand out, hoteliers are directing more energy toward refining their brand, and travelers are responding to that. Guests are looking for properties with personality and expect more personalized service; they’re looking for a relationship with brands they enjoy — if you can give your guests that, they’ll keep coming back.
Targeted communications are key to cultivating personal, lasting hotel-guest relationships and it’s getting easier and easier thanks to modern CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or GRM (Guest Relationship Management) solutions like Guestfolio. Customized, well-timed messages, designed to match your unique branding, increase guest engagement and create opportunities for upselling, recapturing cancellations and getting to know your guests better.
Keep In Touch Throughout the Guest Lifecycle
Using (and building) rich guest data, CRM systems deliver automated yet highly targeted communications to guests during the entire guest lifecycle, improving the guest experience every step of the way through personalized service.
Messages can be automatically customized and triggered based on data contained in reservations and guest profiles, like check-in and check-out dates, rate codes, stay and spend history, preferences, etc. This translates to personalized, reservation-specific communications that maximize value for the guest and reaffirm customer loyalty.
We’re not just talking about a lone confirmation email; a series of communications should be delivered throughout the guest lifecycle to successfully grow hotel-guest relationships.
Pre-stay > Most properties deliver reservation confirmation emails to guests soon after bookings are made, but other pre-arrival messages can help get guests really excited about staying with you and provide a great opportunity for upselling and gathering guest information too.
A few days before arrival, you can reach out to guests to offer room upgrades, early check-in and relevant special offers, or to ask if they have any special requests or preferences. You could simply highlight property amenities or local insider information that could enhance that particular guest’s stay. Couples might like to be reminded of your spa services and specials, while those traveling with kids may appreciate information about babysitting services, kids’ programs or nearby family attractions.
Some properties include a link in pre-arrival emails to the guest’s personalized mobile concierge app featuring content tailored specifically to their reservation, like local attractions and maps, appropriate room upgrade options, on-site amenities and extras, special requests, and a personal itinerary. Guestfolio notes that, on average, guests visit their mobile concierge six times before check-in.
During the stay > As you know, earning loyal guests takes more than getting them in the door. Long-lasting relationships require effort. Shortly after check-in, welcome messages — via email, SMS or mobile concierge apps — can be sent to guests, inviting them to enjoy particular services or offers that are relevant to their profile, and encouraging them to request anything they might need. Imagine a wine lover’s delight at receiving a special invitation to your wine tasting event, or a repeat guest’s appreciation upon receiving an e-voucher for their favourite drink at the bar.
Mobile concierges are a great way to keep communication open between your property and guests while they are in-house, allowing guests to access the information they want whenever they want.
Post-stay > Staying in touch with guests after they leave is also important for nurturing a lasting hotel-guest relationship. Although out of sight, you don’t want your property to be out of mind.
Common post-stay communications sent shortly after a guest checks out include thank-you messages and requests for feedback on review sites or via post-stay surveys. Targeted return offers based on guest data can be triggered a few weeks before the guest’s booking anniversary or wedding anniversary, for example.
These days, with approximately half of all emails opened on mobile devices, all digital communications sent to your guests should be mobile optimized. And remember to invite guests to follow your property on social media by including social media buttons in communications too.
All message interactions (clicks) are tracked by the CRM to measure the success of your communications and to collect guest profile data that enables you to personalize service and improve the guest experience.
CRM + PMS Integration
Integrating your PMS with your CRM automates the process further to save lodging operators even more time. Such an integration allows the PMS to automatically send live reservation data to the CRM, which uses the information to help build detailed guest profiles, select the appropriate templates and content, and trigger message delivery. In other words, PMS integration with CRM technology streamlines the process of delivering the right message to the right people at the right time.
We’d love to take this opportunity to congratulate our partner Guestfolio on their recent win at the World Travel Awards in December. Crowned the World’s Leading Hotel CRM Technology Provider 2014, Guestfolio works with properties in over 400 cities worldwide, empowering hoteliers to better engage with guests via targeted digital communications throughout the guest lifecycle to build long-lasting relationships.