Many hoteliers believe that personalisation is as simple as adding your guests’ first names to emails, but it requires much more detail and research than that.
It is a very straightforward process to personalise your guest communications, making it simpler than ever to connect with guests and build lasting relationships.
The impact of a truly customised experience
Personalisation allows you to make your online experience just as friendly and unique as it would be offline. Like an exchange in-person or over the phone, personalisation provides opportunities to delight your guests and enhance their experience. For example, during a direct conversation if a guest mentions that they have a young baby, they would then be offered a cot and high-chair for hire.
If a business traveller is in town for a conference they would likely be advised of how to connect to your property’s internet and the best way to travel to their conference venue. It’s these personal touches that can give your property an advantage over competitors. Use personalisation to enhance your guests’ stays and ensure they book again in the future.
With today’s technology it’s an expectation that hotels know more about their guests and use their information correctly.
Getting it right can deliver huge benefits
✓ Short term, personalisation can increase direct bookings and revenue. Delight your guests to encourage positive reviews post-stay.
✓ In the long term it develops relationships, keeps people engaged and helps to generate brand loyalty.
Step 1: Start to learn more about your guests
When booking online you can easily collect a guest’s first name, last name and email address. But do you know what type of traveller they are – a couple, family, or perhaps a business traveller? What about their birthday? And are you certain of your guests’ gender without simply looking at each first name? (Hello to the Taylors, Alex and Jordans out there!)
Start by asking just a few more questions of your guests during the online booking process, or send a follow-up survey to new guests where they can provide this information once their booking is finalised. An incentive to complete this survey would help to increase the response rate, such as a bottle of wine on arrival or a $10 voucher to spend at your onsite restaurant.
Step 2: Decide how to use this information to your advantage
People receive more marketing messages now than ever before, and it’s important that very specific offers are only sent to those who may find them of interest. Identify your segments, and then consider which targeted messages would be most appropriate for them and result in the most direct revenue.
A family staying with you in December would likely appreciate an offer for discounted theme park and attraction tickets in the lead up to their holiday. A business traveller would consider booking again if their next stay includes discounted internet access or airport transfers. Do you know your guests’ birthdays? Be sure to wish them a happy birthday and offer them a discounted rate if they visit your property again to celebrate.
Step 3: Find the most effective way to send your message
Your current property management system (PMS) may automatically send your booking confirmations, so this is likely considered your primary software for guest communications. You can still send pre-stay or post-stay offers through another system powdered by guest data. Of course to drive the best results, a one-stop shop is key to success for marketing campaigns. The ability to filter recipients by segment is vital in personalising your guest experience.