Did you know that at least 86% of shoppers regularly channel-hop across two platforms? Yes, they don’t just hop from one shop to another; they also hop across multiple channels while shopping. Sometimes they end up making online purchases even as they stand in the queue at the physical store or use smartphones as shopping assistants at the stores. The hospitality industry is subject to the same scenario.
An average guest today interacts with at least 4 different touch-points before finalising their hotel stay. It is therefore crucial for hotels to have a presence across multiple channels from their website to social media, online travel agents etc.
A multi-channel sales and marketing strategy focuses on creating an omnichannel approach. The goal of this approach is to create a seamless guest experience throughout the guest cycle regardless of where, when, or on what device the guest chooses to make a booking from.
Let us dive directly to understand some key parameters that help to define a good omnichannel guest experience.
- Today’s guests look for a booking experience where they can book in an instant. This means convenience is not a benefit; it is one of the most important requirements for an excellent guest experience.
- Consistency is key, especially when it comes to communication. Creating unique experiences and marketing those experiences through a unified brand presence across multiple channels is the best way to grow.
- Guests are looking for consistent communication from the brands they are loyal to. We have seen that hoteliers who keep consumers updated on latest news end up generating higher ROI.
All that said, we’ve come up with a simple 4 step action plan to help you get started.
1. Be smartphone friendly
The first step in developing an omnichannel customer experience is creating a seamless mobile experience. According to a report published by Search Engine Watch, 72% of users prefer a mobile-friendly website. So, if you want to increase sales, you should focus on mobile optimisation.
Begin by creating a website with a responsive theme. Dynamic visuals of your hotel’s rooms, amenities, and surroundings can attract potential guests’ attention. Simple navigation will also help your users find what they are looking for.
2. Invest in data management
According to the Retail Systems Research Institute’s survey, 54% of marketers struggle to establish a consistent omnichannel customer experience. This problem arises because customer data is dispersed across multiple channels.
The best way to overcome this is by standardising all the information being collected from a variety of social networks. This will not only maximise the potential of personalisation but also improve productivity. Organised user data makes it easier to scale marketing efforts and target the right customers at the right time.
3. Prioritise customer experience
It is impossible to build an omnichannel customer experience without your guests. At its core, guests experience is all about personalisation. A study conducted by the Internet Retailer has indicated that at least 40% of buyers are more likely to transact with retailers who personalise the shopping experience across channels.
To design a positive customer experience, you will need data. With the help of CRM data, social listening data, and customer’s online search behavior, you will know how your customer behaves and can accordingly create a solution to address their challenges. You can even reduce the churn by using the data in the right way. Analysing this data will help you create travel personas for your guests and deliver an experience that beats your competitors.
4. Engage with guests across all channels
If you are targeting your guests using social media, it is important to actively engage with them. This is a great technique to build trust in your hotel brand and nurture your audience.
Over 90% of consumers would recommend a brand after interacting with it via social media. Recent reports cited that at least 64% of Twitter users and 51% of Facebook users are far more likely to buy the products of brands they follow online.
If you haven’t already, set up your social media. Run contests and promotions to produce more user-generated content. Respond to the common questions on Google to boost your SEO. Also, acknowledging your negative reviews on OTAs with empathy lets your audience know that you are real and you care.
The omnichannel approach can help to charm your guests and make them loyal by giving them an integrated and standardised experience in every channel. So whatever journey the guest chooses to take, the experience is consistent and unified. Hence many hotels employ an omnichannel strategy that includes automated customer service. That way, clients are answered in different channels, managed in one single platform.
If you are looking for a simple, fast but effective solution for your hotel, get in touch with us and see how our cutting-edge hotel management solutions can boost your omnichannel marketing strategy.
Resources and Further Reading
Omni-Channel Customer Engagement
Omni-Channel Strategies for Hotel Guest Communication [eBook]
Omnichannel Marketing: A Complete Guide for 2021 and Beyond
Bringing Hotels Into Modernity With Omnichannel Communication Solutions