Social media and review sites have a huge impact on every industry, and travel is no exception. We ask friends on Facebook for suggestions on what to see in a new city, search Trip Advisor to determine the best place to stay, tweet updates and check in at landmarks along the way, and share photos to capture our adventures on various social media networks. The modern traveler leaves a digital trail of all that they do, including their opinions of the places they go. So, aside from the obvious reasons, why is it important for a business owner to engage on the most popular social media and review sites?
The simple answer to that question is that the modern traveler expects more from the businesses that they choose to visit–and they’ve redefined what “more” actually means. “More” to the modern traveler is the ability to travel to any destination at any time of the year and be able to experience that location as if they had intimate knowledge of that place with the ability to to experience that place to it’s fullest. They also want to be able to share those experiences with friends, family and colleagues within the spectrum of social media. The successful hotelier will need to be able to incorporate technology to deliver the ultimate travel aspiration: a highly personalized experience that is easily shared with the larger connected network of social media.
Pre-Stay: Monitor Social Media
Guests or prospective guests who tweet at your hotel or tag your property on Facebook should absolutely receive a response! Start your relationship off on the right foot by connecting with them at the very first opportunity, especially if the guest in question has a large social following.
You can also use this opportunity to check out these guests’ social media profiles and learn about their likes and dislikes (more on this later).
Post-Stay: Analyze Guest Feedback
When you ask for feedback, you get a chance to discover what your guests really like about your property and your staff, and what really made their visit stand out from another potential competitor that they may have been considering. You can also discover their dislikes, which can be very valuable for making operations decisions at your property.
Additionally, if you ask for feedback in the right way, you can build a true customer profile of your guests. You can learn what they are passionate about and what they truly value, so you can understand the type of guests that walk through your door. You also have the ability to develop relationships and loyalty by responding to your guests and acting on their feedback.
It also helps to have a sentiment analysis tool to automatically analyze your feedback for trending topics. In this case, guests are consistently mentioning that the TV was antiquated. The guests of this hotel expect up-to-date technology, but that may not have been immediately clear without automated feedback analysis. At the same time, this hotel clearly has a great hot tub, as it is consistently mentioned in a positive way. This kind of information is crucial – if you know what your guests are consistently praising or criticizing, you know where to put in some effort. When it’s time to create a budget for improvements, this GM knows that he or she needs to invest in new TVs. And, he also knows that when it’s time to take new photos of the property, he should be sure to highlight the hot tub, as it’s one of the features of the hotel that guests like best.
Continuous Conversations: Rich Guest Profiles
Guest profiles allow you to build relationships with guests beyond the one off interactions that they may have with your staff. With information like preferences, previous service requests, social data, and more, hoteliers can provide personalized service before, during and after their stay.
Want to learn more about delivering the perfect guest experience? CLICK HERE to access our free on demand webinar.