5 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty
The Hospitality Industry is transforming into an industry defined by personalization, relevant content and the social experience travelers influence everyday. As this trend continues to unfold, it is becoming increasingly difficult to build brand loyalty. How do you win a customer over and keep them coming back time and time again, when the travel process starts earlier than it ever has, and is not over, even after booking and stay?
This is a dilemma that has been creeping up the alley of online hospitality marketers everywhere. Finding the right combination of social interaction, email marketing, promotional activities, etc. can be a fine line to walk. At the core of any successful property is a loyal customer base. Customers are the primary factor in shaping the success of your hospitality property.
The question now becomes; how do you build a customer base that is loyal, and remains that way for an amount of time that will prove to be profitable for your business? In this blog we will go over 5 ways how to build customer loyalty.
Ensure a Quality Experience
It is important to recognize that guest’s attitudes are shifting. What was once a market dominated by the best value, or lowest price, is (and really, already has) shifted to a market in which buyers are looking for an experience that will set one property apart from another. When you are attempting to lay the foundation for a loyal guest base, keep in mind that travelers are looking for that once in a lifetime experience, that little something that makes their stay different from anywhere else. Providing brochures in your lobby which exhibit nearby attractions help the guest know there are many opportunities around for everyone to enjoy their trip. This could even be the trick to bringing them back if they can’t see all the places on their bucket list. You can also provide experiences onsite to help with guest retention. A guest takes a vacation with the mindset to relax might be brought back time and time again for the onsite spa or peaceful jacuzzi. Showcasing experiences throughout your property will improve guest experience and bring them back for more. Here is an example of a current guest on how they are promoting their unique experience on their website.
According to data from Google, 83% of leisure travelers, and another 76% of business travelers now plan their travel online. The planning process includes anything from reviews, to price points, social media to video and visual assets. Because the road to selection is so clouted with variables, personalization becomes extremely important. The key to personalization is ensuring that the process begins in the earliest phases (research) and continues through the travel journey, concluding with personalized follow up, post trip.
- Send personalized birthday emails. Hey, why not include a discount code to make them come back!
- When sending reservation confirmation text messages add the [First Name] Personalization Token along with a genuine welcome message.
- In the post-stay survey include questions regarding the agent who checked them in or the housekeeper who cleaned their unit. This is personalized to their stay and allows their feedback to feel valuable and increases their likelihood of returning.
Transform the Experience
Personalization can be thought of as points similar to what is explained above. However it can also be thought of as transforming an online experience to make the message more personal to the traveler, and enhancing the likelihood of purchasing. For example, a common message on several property sites is a “no availability” pop up of sorts, oftentimes on the event calendar or booking engine. A simple way to improve this message, and make it a positive for the traveler is to add in something like “Don’t worry! We still have other available dates that you may find helpful,” or something equating to a message of that nature in an attempt to squash any discouragement.
Leverage Social Media
According to independent research, one out of every four travelers uses social media to research and plan their vacation. So what does this mean for your social media efforts? Use social listening to your advantage. Billions of users scroll the pages of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more, everyday. It is important to have an understanding of your guest base and reach out to them in ways that connect to them on a personal level. Are you marketing to families? Beach goers? Newlyweds? Once you can nail down your market, you can choose the appropriate content that will engage them and in return they feel valued and loyal to your brand.
Loyalty is built from the time they first find your property until the time they leave. Technology can be used to help build guest loyalty throughout their stay. Some ways you can provide this is contact less check ins, smart features within the rooms, or even personalized text messages throughout their stay.
So now that you know customer or brand loyalty is key to your properties success, it is time to focus on what you do best, provide the ultimate guest experience. If you need help with your Digital Marketing strategy, TNS is here to help. Schedule your meeting today with an expert!