As hotels get ready to reopen as restrictions start to be eased across the UK and Ireland in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, it is important to reflect on the importance of guest communication and engagement as part of industry recovery.
Share with your guests how you are adapting to re-open.
You will no doubt be working on how you will need to operationally adapt to ongoing measures, such as social distancing. Your guests are likely to want to know what you are doing for this as well, before they consider booking.
A recent analysis by GlobalWebIndex shows that 58% of people will resume travel when they feel safe to do so, and that a staggering 87% approve of brands providing practical information as part of their marketing and communication.
There is a great opportunity to reassure your guests, to help build the confidence in guests to travel and book, now. Consider deploying a communication, or series of communications, to your guests prior to re-opening and building this information into your ongoing marketing and pre-stay engagement as well.
Be clear and concise about the measures you’re taking on guest safety and hygiene, to reassure those who are looking for a post-lockdown break.
Every hotel will be employing slightly different measures, but measures you may want to announce directly to your guests via email and your other digital channels are;
- Increased housekeeping and cleaning activities
- Roll out of a hotel app for contactless guest engagement
- Reduced restaurant capacity for social distancing
- Any measures you are taking to protect the health and wellbeing of your staff as well as guests
- Availability of hand sanitiser
- How you are adhering to government guidelines
- Contactless payments only
Take the time to understand and segment your audience
Your hotel holds so much data on your guests. Take the time and create a strategy to segment your database to get the right message to the right guest, at the right time. Some examples are;
- Creating a local audience and message highlighting any food and beverage services you have operating, take-away or deliveries, and community messages of support
- Create audience segments to promote later in the year holiday breaks, such as Christmas or a winter break
The belief across the industry is that the various hospitality market sectors will recover at different rates. Local business is likely to return before international, with a good chance that corporate travel and MICE will pick up later as well, as measures are lifted, and businesses move out of this period of uncertainty.
In the same GlobalWebIndex analysis, 31% of respondents indicated that they will have more staycations with 29% also responding that they will take more vacations within their own country, rather than travelling internationally.
Keep this in mind when planning your strategy and your target segments. Local business will represent a much more immediate opportunity, while keeping in touch with your corporate and MICE guests will put your brand in a much stronger position when the market recovers.
Analyse and adjust
As with all communications and marketing campaigns, you should analyse the performance over time and adjust based on the results. For your email marketing, pre-stay and post stay communications you should make sure you are continuing to A/B test your content and messaging.
Google Analytics is also a powerful tool that can help you ensure your Hotel marketing is working for you. Google Analytics also provides in-depth insight for improving and enhancing your marketing activities through optimising your campaigns, better targeting and perhaps even activities you hadn’t thought of before. Check out some more tips on Google Analytics here.
Many hospitality vendors are offering support to hotels as they start to re-open, to help with recovery as hospitality and tourism restarts. We’ve pulled together some offers of support from our friends and partners in our coronavirus hub.