How Guest Engagement Can Help Your Hotel
Have you seen the phrase guest engagement mentioned more recently? You may have seen it here, here, or even here. As with every new buzzword in hospitality, guest engagement is getting a lot of attention, for good reason.
Guest Engagement Is…
Guest engagement stems from the marketing principle of “customer engagement”, which has been defined as the act of “creating deep connections with customers that drive purchase decisions, interaction, and participation”. When applied to the hospitality industry, the strategy asks hotels to establish a relationship with guests in order to influence their behaviors on-site.
For example, imagine a guest arrives to their hotel and receives a text message. It says their room is ready and they can skip the busy lines at check-in and relax in their room stress-free. Then, after posting a picture of the wonderful day the guest is having by the hotel pool, the hotel’s social media account “likes” and comments on their post. Finally, the guest requests towels delivered to their room, and along with a bath towel, the staff delivers a pool towel for tomorrow’s visit.
The Benefits of On-Site Guest Engagement
Referencing back to the marketing principle previously mentioned, the need for guest engagement happens when companies experience 1). Lost communication power and 2). Decreased brand loyalty. Hotels should consider a guest engagement strategy like this one when they want to drive bookings and keep guests coming back.
In a recent study published by Local Measure, on-site guest engagement proved to have an influence on guest loyalty. The study discovered that hotels who engage with their guests during their stay see higher guest return rates than for those guests who are not engaged digitally.
The key word here is digital. With their social engagement platform, the company was able to track 56,000 guests over a 16 month period. The sample set that engaged digitally through their platform were 40% more likely to return to the hotel. With one extra stay of 2 nights each, that’s an ROI of 564%!
How to Engage
It’s no surprise that today's (often millennial) guest prefers digital methods of communication. In the guest engagement example I outlined earlier, the hotel uses multiple communication methods to drive guest engagement and improve the overall on-site experience, including text, social media, CRM, and in-person staff. The hospitality industry usually performs highly in terms of staff and service, but when paired with digital methods, hotels will see stronger results.
Text-based communication methods have become more popular over the past few years as more travelers have adopted mobile technology. In fact, research by HeyWire Business indicates that 52 percent of consumers would prefer to use SMS instead of their current method for reaching customer support. Hotels can look to guest messaging solutions like Checkmate to easily incorporate text into their guest engagement strategy.
Guest engagement solutions for hotels are widely available to help hotels better understand and communicate with their guests, and to provide a better on-site experience for travelers everywhere.