So you made your reservation. And they sent you a confirmation. What does that confirmation feel like? Does it feel perfunctory? Or is there a little flavour of the hotel in it? Is there a personal message or an automated robotic one that says, ‘thank you for choosing Best Wannabe Hotel?’ Is there a photo of the hotel or is there a lot of meandering text that looks suspiciously like it was typed in DOS?
So a few days before you are supposed to fly out to your fabulous destination, does anyone from the hotel touch base with you and find out where you are at, if you have any special requests, and oh by the way, here’s the weather update, and some events coming up that you might be interested in during your stay? And if you check in with Foursquare when you get here, you get a free 1/2 hour massage! Or is there a space left open for their competitor who is in fact going to engage with the guest?
What are your feelings about the hotel as you get closer? Are you feeling taken care of? Pampered? Spoiled even? If you could tell their story, what would it sound like? Do you even know?
Worse, do you even care?
Customers are looking to be courted and wooed from the moment they choose your hotel to the moment they lay their heads down on your incredible pillows. Oh and they want to be told a bedtime story too! Telling your hotel story from the moment the customer engages with your brand is essential and there are a myriad of ways to do it and no, you don’t have to be a tech dweeb to implement some social strategy into your existing customer relations mix.
Here are 5 simple ways you can ensure your hotel story spans the entire customer experience:
1. Get Mobile. You don’t have to create a custom app though I would love it if you did. You can simply utilize Foursquare (this link will show you how) so that when your guest checks in they can redeem a special you have posted for registered guests. A nice thing to do because they can ‘check-in’ on their smart phone and know ahead of time that a little TLC is on its way.
2. Make your reservation confirmations tell a story. Yes they are automated but include a beautiful photo, and a Dear Margaret or Lola or whatever your customer’s name is and a nice note that says, you are going to experience the following– and then list wonderful experiences which offer them some incentive’s like a free tennis lesson! or click here to get 30% off your pedicure in our spa!
3. Ensure you are providing ports of entry. Are you telling your story to your clients’ where they can hear you? Use Twitter to offer specials and really create ‘niche’ twitter specials versus broad-ranging ones as in ‘guests checking in this weekend quote #hotelnamenov25checkin or utilize some of the twoupon sites such as:
This one is my favourite: http://twtqpon.com/
Check out this twitter hotel guide and see what hotels are successfully doing on Twitter to offer value and tell their stories to their guests.
4. Let them know they can like your Facebook page and get further Facebook specials when they do to use during their stay. Include on your page vendor specials if you have a restaurant that leases or a spa that does–you’ll both win.
5. Create a consistent story that links all of your ‘chapters’ together. You started with sending them pictures, gave them a pedicure along the way, reserved a tennis lesson for them, and when they arrived and quoted your Twitter special you smiled broadly and welcomed them with a complimentary drink in your lounge before dinner.
So far so good.
It’s not rocket science, it’s just making sure that the hotel story spans the entire customer experience. Oh, I forgot to include the stay and check out part of the experience! Wait for part 2 next week!