There are a number of hot new hospitality trends to take advantage of that will keep you ahead of the competition.
Industry experts agree that technology will completely reshape customer engagement in the hospitality sector, and this change will be driven by the customer. Tech-savvy, time-poor guests use multiple digital platforms and expect to engage with you seamlessly across all of them. Accordingly, from boutique bed-and-breakfast to large chains, players in the hospitality industry are actively looking into new techniques to deliver the optimal guest experience.
Experts at the recent EyeforTravel conference in Amsterdam (including speakers from Expedia Affiliate Network, BookingSuite, The Travel Corporation, Accor Hotels, Heathrow Airport, and many more) agreed that from 2018, it would be about using technology to improve loyalty and communicate better with guests than ever before.
Intrigued? Here are two hospitality tech trends and use cases that you can consider for the year ahead:
1. Embrace SMS To Improve Your Loyalty Program
According to Accenture Interactive, members of loyalty programs generate between 12-18% more revenue than non-members.
Loyalty programs are common within the hospitality industry: customers can often become members of ‘elite’ or ‘platinum’ clubs, collecting points and qualifying for attractive rewards. But it’s not all about points and freebies: adding value to your customers by offering timely updates and personalized content, together with discounts or coupons, are proven to be effective in driving loyalty.
So why not think about using SMS communications to go a step further and add another dimension to your loyalty program?
Here’s an example of what you could do.
Take loyal business customers who visit your hotel regularly, often on very tight timelines. One of their top priorities is for everything to go smoothly with minimum time waiting time. Offering loyalty program customers the option to receive a text message when their preferred room is ready for check-in will reassure them and enable them to plan their day better. Severe weather coming? An SMS message with the forecast and a friendly reminder to pack accordingly will save guests hassle and discomfort.
This is just one example: the possibilities are endless. Understanding and addressing users’ behavior and preferences can drive meaningful engagement, retention, and loyalty.
2. Focus on Personalized Communication: Start Using API
Personalized communication is key to keeping modern consumers engaged. Connecting your system to a communications platform via API will let you easily address customers by name with content that fits their needs. For example, to John, a loyal customer who eats daily at the hotel restaurant, you could try sending a message that goes something like this:
“Dear John, thank you for staying at our hotel. Show this message to any member of staff between 6 and 8 pm to get a free drink!”
Again, this is just one example. Use insights from your CRM database to create sticky, valuable offers. Or create special offers for first-time guests to turn them into loyal customers who come back time and again.