With Covid-19 having affected every sector, simple things like traveling and eating out will never be the same again. However, even during these hard times, we tend to look for light at the end of the tunnel. As the hospitality sector is slowly reopening, hotels need dynamic marketing, communication and branding to gain guest confidence.
It is time for hotels to relook at their marketing strategies. Customer preference and behaviour have undergone a drastic shift. Their spending pattern has become more conservative. While cost-rationalization is a concern, there are still some marketing actions hotels can follow to get themselves ready for recovery.
It is critical not to go dark during this period but to keep proactive communication ongoing with your retail & corporate customers and channel partners.
Here are few tips to make the most use of marketing teams during this time of uncertainty –
- Communication, communication and communication. There is a reason they are called guests, and not customers in a hotel. This is the time to reach out to them. While you should be utilizing your social media / email and other channels, do not forget the old way of calling your loyal guests and partners to enquire about their well-being. Share the measures you are taking to ensure safe environment.
- Your employees are your biggest brand ambassadors. Keep your employees active on social media, encourage them to share their experiences. Bring the human element in your hotel to showcase your core values.
- As you prepare to reopen, do an audit of your website content. That famous buffet would not be such a big draw now, nor will be the Saturday DJ Night. People are concerned about safety and social distancing. Explore what you can offer instead. The focus is on family, health and wellbeing. Experiences will prevail over pleasures. Create your packages around that.
- This is also the time to update your website assets. Post video and images of your sanitization process. Your housekeeping staffs are going to be your key player in gaining guest confidence.
- While taking recovery plan into action, it is important for hoteliers to know about the revenue management strategy and pricing strategy. In these uncertain times, traveler confidence is at an all-time low. A flexible cancellation policy will go a long way in attracting probable guests.
- This is also time for hotels to respond to reviews they have missed earlier due to work constraint. Create a review policy and reply to guest feedback with measures you are implementing to address their concerns.
Focus on the future and think what we can do to prepare for recovery. In times of crisis, it is even more important for hoteliers to maintain a public image, have a strong presence in social media, regular contact with clients and partners, to keep distribution channels populated with offers and rates they normally provide, even as business remains slow.
It is imperative to have the right technology partners that can help you update your hotel’s online content, rates and inventory across multiple channels effectively and seamlessly. Considered one of the best hotel channel managers in the market, RateTiger is integrated with more than 400 OTAs and works closely with 9000 hotels globally. It is the distribution connectivity partner of choice for large hotel groups, mid-scale chains as well as independent properties in both luxury and budget segment worldwide.
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