The next Generation of Guest Engagement
February 12, 2016
Hotels are getting better at implementing revenue strategies to sell rooms. But it shouldn’t end there. Incremental products and services help you deliver an authentic experience for the guest, and additional revenue to the hotel. From airport pick-ups, transport services and parking, to dinner-and-a-show packages, local delicacies or e-coupons for food and beverages: your hotel can boost your revenue with targeted offers to guests even after the booking is made.
Understand the Opportunity of Online Retailing
As practically every hotel operator has already observed, communication technology is making some of the traditional sources of in-stay revenue obsolete: room fixed-line telephones are rarely used, now that guests have their own mobile phone. Instead of paying for movies in their rooms, guests are watching streamed entertainment on their own tablets or laptops. Rather than seeing this technology as a threat, the successful hotelier embraces the great opportunities it presents for creating entirely new revenue streams. Research shows that one in five guests will make additional hotel purchases after booking the room itself – but only if you provide the products and services that yours guests want, with an easy-to-use payment channel. Ask yourself these questions:
- What other things might your guests see as conveniences and are willing to pay for?
- How do your guests want to indulge?
- How can you offer an a-la-carte lifestyle menu that lets the guest craft their own highly personalised experience?
Millennials, Merchandising and Mobile Devices
It is an exciting time for hotels to take a second look at merchandising. Millennials (people born after 1981) are the largest traveller market, and their buying behaviour has an outsized effect on other demographic groups. Having grown up with online shopping and mobile communication, they are very comfortable with using their smartphone for everyday transactions. Astute, brand-conscious and responsive to authentic hospitality, Millennials should be a key target group for every hotel that wants to boost aftersales revenue.
Get Smarter With Smartphones
Consider the numbers:
- 85.5% of the total population in the OECD area have smartphones with broadband internet connections
- 73% of guests want an automated or mobile check-in
- 23% of bookings on OTAs are made on the guest’s mobile device (up from 12% in 2014)
The conclusion is clear: mobile marketing technology is a must-have element of your sales strategy. It’s a win-win: it provides you with an opportunity to increase your revenue, and at the same time, it enhances your guests’ experience and strengthens your relationship. Your guests are already texting, so you should too.
Individualised Service, 24 Hours Before Check-In
In-stay merchandising starts at the point when guests are preparing for their stay. By sending your guests a text message 24 hours before check-in offering useful information and assistance with arrival and settling in, you open a new channel for dialogue. Since the guest has already chosen your hotel, any communications and offers will be received well as the hotel is now a trusted source. This is a great moment to offer attractively priced in-stay merchandising that is carefully tailored to the guest.
- Romantic stay? Offer a bottle of chilled Champagne awaiting on arrival
- Tourists exploring a new place? Team up with a producer of a local seasonal speciality to offer an authentic new experience within the trusted hotel environment
- Business traveller? A session with a personal trainer might be just the thing.
Well-selected, personally-relevant offers to guests will be welcomed as thoughtful hospitality. As one guest explains, “It doesn’t feel like marketing. It feels like: that’s exactly what I want.”
As an added bonus: now that you’ve opened the SMS text channel as a reliable means of communication, you guests will feel comfortable using it to make additional purchases. Research shows that over 60% of guests want to order additional room services with their mobile phones, so why not make it easy for them to indulge?
Forget the Hard Sell: GuestDriven Makes Offers Unfold Organically
Worldhotels wants its hotels to benefit from the world of merchandising, without having to reinvent the wheel, so we have teamed up with GuestDriven, a leader in a hospitality-focused guest engagement solutions. GuestDriven helps hotels directly interact with guests, learn their preferences, build relationships and upsell inventory through personalized, moment-based targeted offers and communications. “We see immense value in pre-empting some of the needs and desires our guests might have while staying in the city, mixing in our own hand-picked recommendations, and delivering the offers in a way that they are most comfortable with and receptive to: on their mobile devices,” said Carina Stegmayer, Vice President of Global Operations.
The GuestDriven guest engagement platform will enable Worldhotels and its individual hotel partners to send targeted offers directly to incoming guests 24 hours prior to arrival. Guests will be able to request and redeem offers directly from the GuestDriven mobile platform, creating frictionless and immediate personalization directly on their mobile devices. Want to learn more about how GuestDriven can boost your revenue while also strengthening your relationship with guests? Simple visit GuestDrive online:
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