Why is the Customer Experience important for Hotels?
Customer experience is fast becoming a commodity. Hotels that are succeeding and innovating are raising the stakes attracting new uncontested markets.
Your Hotels customers are no longer benchmarking your customer experience based on competitors in your industry they’re comparing you to the best customer experiences they receive anywhere.
Research indicates that by 2020 customer experience will be more important than price as a trigger point for the customers booking decision.
In fact, this battle is already playing out in highly commoditized Hotel markets, where brand loyalty is fast eroding.
In a turbulent and rapidly evolving landscape, customer experience has cut through the noise to help guide Hotel marketers to future success.
There are many creative and innovative ideas available for Hotels to grasp, here are 10 ways to get you starting to think outside the box.
1. Value Innovation
What can you do today to deliver expectational service that adds leaps in value?
A customer that had an excellent experience is 5x more willing to pay a premium price versus a poor experience.
Start focus on delivering services that make every interaction natural, useful, easy and seamless.
It is important that you go beyond saying that you are listing to the customer, show it in actions!
With today’s technology, there are tools and services that allow you to listen to relevant online conversations. From these conversations, you can capture valuable data that position your Hotels meeting customer unmet needs they yet can’t conceive.
2. Identify a journey of Micro-Moments
Today every customer experience is part of a journey where the customers leave behind them important digital footprints at every micro-moment.
Hotels need to position themselves to help customers every step on their journey.
Today 65% of smartphone users consult their phones for the most relevant information about your Hotel. And this is information they gather from their community and other data sources than your Hotels website.
It is essential that Hotels now understand how important digital footprints at every micro-moment really is for the customer journey.
As Hotels get a grasp of important micro-moments during the customer journey, they should start providing personalized content that is relevant to each micro-moment.
This is why I in my Social Media Marketing Frameworks for Hotels focus on context.
Personalized content alone is not enough, it has to be in a relevant context the customer can relate with.
Combine instant gratification and personalized content in a relevant context and your Hotel is leaping in value.
4. Foster Relationships
Through value innovation, identifying important micro-moments and personalization now has positioned themselves in fostering a new high-value relationship.
This will help Hotels gaining a deep understanding of this critical dynamic and become better able to build and manage the customer base that drives revenue and generates higher margins.
The critical part for Hotels to understand here is that customer relationships are not defined by a series of transactions. It comes down to being authentic and transparent during the customer journey.
If your Hotel doesn’t understand this part of fostering relationships it will become almost impossible to provide better products, service, improve the customer experience or creating effect Social Media Marketing Campaigns.
5. Create a Lifestyle alternative
Most Hotels today embrace some form of surprise and delight elements for customers.
As Hoteliers, we want to focus on adding surprise and delight at every micro-moment. But in this aspect, it is critical to understand that Hotels can’t take a ‘one-size-fit-all’ approach here.
For the modern traveler, their smartphones are more than just a tool they use for research, it is part of their lifestyle. This is how they communicate, spend the time and make their transactions.
Out of this, we have seen brands like Uber and Airbnb become major players that defined new uncontested markets.
The key to creating a lifestyle alternative is to add a touch of local finesse that both surprise and delight the customer. Help your customer set up appointments, identify the location and book their transportation.
6. Bring Wellness into the Hotel experience
These days, many Hotel business owners are interested in learning how they can optimize their companies in order to attain a bigger bottom line, more customers, and industry leadership.
If these are your professional goals, you should know that one effective solution is recognizing and responding to the health and wellness trends that are currently shaping contemporary culture.
Accessing and implementing the right health and wellness strategies will appeal to the Hotel customer and increase the likelihood that leisure travelers will want to stay with you.
7. Ask the customer
I read a fascinating statement once ‘Asking improves your chances of receiving by 200 percent’.
In his book ‘Ask’ Ryan Levesque starts his second chapter off with ‘Strange Questions… and Stranger Answers’.
In the Hotel industry surveys and focus, forums have for very long time been the go-to alternatives for asking customers.
And the questions asked here was intentionally designed to help Hotels figure out exactly what their customers want.
With Social Media Hotels now has a unique alternative to create some juicy surveys.
Implement your Hotels strategic survey question into Social Media Marketing Frameworks that ask customers during an important micro-moment.
With Social Media, Hotels can implement proactive surveys to better understand what customers really are looking for. Also, take time to ask during the experience to get an understanding of how it matches up to their expectations. And then when your Hotel does the post-experience survey you have a great picture of what compiled into their total experience.
8. Make It Easy to Jump Your Hotel Bed
You want to make the customer experience as convenient, easy and seamless as possible.
When we look at brands like Uber and Airbnb their core concept is not really unique in itself.
Their primary focus has been on all on the convenient, easy and seamless experience. They have taken to heart the growing amount of smartphone users consulting their phones for relevant information.
If your Hotel wants to upgrade the customer experience you have to start thinking outside the box.
Hotels today need to start taking an active role in the customer journey.
How can you make your Hotel guest jump on the bed with gratitude and pure excitement?
9. Scale the Real-Time Experience
When customers look for a Hotel, the key aspects remain the same as ever, clean room, comfortable bed, decent view for tourists, somewhere good to eat and polite staff.
Hotels are now working tasks that will ease the workload on their front desk staff by rolling out a chatbot.
A chatbot might not be the first thing a Hotel thinks of as good for customer service, further stripping away that personal touch. However, for many Hotels today, a chatbot can help deal with many of the regular requests from guests and help to drive business through upselling and special offers.
That saves the Hotel teams time for vital and urgent requests where a human touch is really needed.
Service automation in relevant context will help your Hotel scale the real-time experience.
10. Transform the Customer Experience
A transformation will require Hotels to adapt to new market reality and look at new markets that don’t exist yet.
Transformation happens when your Hotel continues to deliver a leap in value over time.
It’s about changing the way your Hotel interacts with its customers and how you provide them with a consistent experience whenever and wherever they need it.
My friends at EVEN Hotels is a brilliant example of how this can be implemented. Their mantra is to make it easier for the customer to keep active, rest, easy, eat well and accomplish more.
Just the design of their work desk is brilliant where you raise the chair and work seated, or you can do you work standing in between your workout sessions in the room. Did I mention there is a work out kit available in the room?
— EVEN Hotels (@EvenHotels) January 12, 2019
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Achieving this requires an investment in human capacity to create adaptive and resilient employees capable of taking on challenges and seeking out different strategies to achieve goals.
To succeed Hotels must build a team’s force that is change ready and a culture where learning is valued and setbacks are viewed as opportunities to grow.
Is your Hotel ready to make a real impact in 2019? Ask me about my Social Media Management for Hotels.
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And it will help identify micro-moments and recognize pain points and values utilizing Hotel Experience Ambassadors that knows where to look for them.
I have loved with all of my heart and soul serving customers, guests, and Hoteliers. As a Hotel Experience Ambassador, I gained a new passion for being a representative and messenger delivering new profound and delightful experiences.
If your Hotel wants to implement new effective success factors then now is the time to be part of a new initiative.
When your Hotel serves your community they will reward you back with serving you.
From a Hotel and Social Media Consultant’s standpoint, the Social Media Community can offer Hotels a one-stop-shop for managing their Social Media marketing such as the community infrastructure, database, listening functionality, profile management, collaboration, content marketing and management, and of course, the analytics.
A Social Media Community will help your Hotel to grow smarter and faster when you focus on the value proposition and collaborate in effective ways.
If your Hotel need help to put it all together then make sure to the let us know.
Today’s Social Media Management tools provide advanced options that will help Hotels with these tasks. If you need a quality team the help your Hotel pulls this off, then get in touch with my partners at Founders Media.
With the right team behind your Social Media efforts, it can become cost-effective and generate a new revenue stream for your Hotel.
Social Media Management for Hotels
Social Media Management for Hotels is NOW Open! Click Here if you are ready to take your Hotel to a new level!
To get your Hotel started here are a few FREE gifts and resources from me and my partners Founders Media.
1. FREE access to my Hotel Social Media Marketing Vault (Click Here to Unlock)
2. FREE 21 Days To Social Media Mastery for Hotels email course (Click Here to Unlock)
3. FREE access to #HotelPodcast – A Podcast about Social Media Mastery for Hotel (Click Here to Unlock)
4. FREE access to our Facebook Group – Hotel Social Media Community (Click Here to Unlock)
5. Sit Down with Are for a FREE One-on-One private Social Media Marketing coaching sessions.
About the author
The post 10 Ways for Hotels to Upgrade the Customer Experience appeared first on Are Morch, Hotel Blogger and Social Media Consultant.
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