Written by: Cristina García
Are you wondering how to implement an effective loyalty program for your hotel? How should you inspire your customers on their next holiday? How should you motivate them so they repeat their next stay with you? These are very common questions in the hotel industry. A sector where the competition grows daily, and it's becoming more complicated to get loyal customers.
If you feel identified with any of these questions it is important that you pay attention. Today emotional intelligence, social intelligence is one of the keys. Empathy is fundamental in any job, but more so when it comes to dealing with your customers. You must learn to recognize the needs of your potential consumers in order to offer the best personalized experience. Because that is what they are looking for: experiences.
And what are the fundamental bases of any loyalty program? Today we teach you the essential empathy techniques of customer loyalty that you must master before:
In order to listen to your customers, there is a tool that can help you: social networks. Monitoring what is happening in social media conversations (mainly in groups) is important to understand your potential consumers. In fact, with this monitoring you can identify specific keywords to help you develop an effective online strategy.
This information can be used to know the assessment of your hotel's website content, how good the user experience is, the problems that your customers might have, their frequent doubts, how intuitive your booking process is, etc. Even the mention of your products and / or services can help you improve them in order to increase consumer satisfaction with your brand. That is, to increase direct bookings.
Gathering qualitative data in pre-sales and after-sales phases allows you to better understand the preferences and needs of your consumers, as well as it makes easy the communication with them. This also helps you to educate them in the knowledge of your brand, implement changes to improve what doesn't work in your hotel, and last but not least, innovate in new products and services. In short to improve the experience of your customers and their perception of your brand.
Preguntar es tan importante como escuchar. Cuando sabes qué necesitan tu potenciales consumidores puedes preguntar qué les parece tus cambios. Por ejemplo, ¿has reformado recientemente tus instalaciones e incluido un restaurante gastronómico en alguno de tus hoteles? Si habías tenido en cuenta la necesidades de tus clientes debes saber qué tipo de restaurante tendría que funcionar mejor, ¿no? Ahora es cuando debes preguntar si este cambio en tu negocio cumple con las expectativas de tus clientes. Innovar para mejorar, nunca lo contrario.
Si crees que no recibes el feedback suficiente puedes hacer preguntas más concretas que te permitan saber por qué les interesa comprar tus productos y/o servicios o qué problemas o expectativas tienen con aquello (nuevo, o no tan nuevo) que ofreces. Realiza encuestas de satisfacción o recaba información con un relaciones públicas con el que se sinceren tus huéspedes. Es fundamental que en el proceso tengas en cuenta tanto la comunicación verbal como la comunicación no verbal.
Asking is as important as listening. When you know what your potential customers need, you can ask what your changes look like. For instance, have you recently renovated your facilities and included a gastronomic restaurant in one of your hotels? If you had taken into account the needs of your customers you should know what kind of restaurant would they like better, right? Now is when you should ask if this change in your business meets the expectations of your customers. Innovate to improve, never the opposite.
If you think that you don't get enough feedback you can ask more specific questions that allow you to know why they are interested in buying your products and / or services or what problems or expectations they have with something (new or not so new) that you're offering. Perform satisfaction surveys or gather information with a public relations manager that your guests sincerely appreciate. It is essential that in this process you take into account both verbal communication and non-verbal communication.
Customer service should be one of your hotel's priorities. This involves helping your consumers achieve their goals, which in this case is directly related to having the best experience possible. By understanding your consumers you can know if your solutions and recommendations are relevant and useful for them and thus meet their expectations.
Remember that every hotel success comes from the added value it brings to its customers. That added value is education in topics that interest, inspire and are relevant to today's tourists. Challenging travellers who not only want to have some holiday, but want to get the most out of their experience, their journey. For this reason, the travel consumer experience is both offline and online. You must have in mind the whole purchase cycle or traveller's journey.
Follow-up is essential. Even if your customers, for example, have not agreed to join your loyalty program, this follow-up guarantees the excellence of an online booking process. Have you solved all of their doubts? Have you sent the emails with all the booking information? Have you run campaigns with promotions and benefits? Have you educated your customers (and potential customers) on all the activities they can do during their stay (even those not directly related to your hotel)?
It is important that your business can solve problems and support the goals of your consumers. For this, communication remains essential, since it is the best way for each interaction to meet the expectations of each contact. To meet the expectations of a recent customer, for example, it is important to be able to create personalized follow-up email workflows, even with phone calls that humanize the process.
Your customers will not remember all these interactions with your brand, but they will remember if they were positive or negative, that is, how they generally felt before, during and after their stay. Think of this as a forerunner of evangelized customers with your hotel's brand. Because even if they still don't belong to your loyalty program and your follow-up is excellent and they know, imagine the expectations that you will create with your program!