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IoT is Coming, Jon Snow…
Posted: 05/21/2019

Hospitality is prime for the coming advent of the various devices that make up the Internet of Things. Estimates show the industry now represents 17.5 million rooms worldwide and savvy guests are demanding more personalization and an overall improved guest experience along their connected travel journey and belief is that IoT can bring this to reality. 

The forces driving local search rankings are constantly changing. But recent studies suggest that in 2019, four key factors make up the local search algorithm. 
 
The most significant factor is Google My Business (GMB). If you’re not on it, get on it now.

The robotic revolution in the hospitality industry might seem to have taken a step back. This January, the famously quirky Henn-Na Hotel in Japan fired half of its 243 robot staff. The robotic workforce reportedly irritated guests and frequently broke down.

Think about the moment when you first enter your hotel room. Look around: Does the room tell you anything unique about the hotel where you are staying? Or is it all beige walls and double beds with white covers, and you have to walk back outside and look at the sign on the hotel’s facade to even remember where you are?

Hotel guests commonly bring multiple devices with them during their stay. However, many hotel environments don’t provide easy access to charging outlets. This situation can lead to a guest feeling more than inconvenienced. A recent survey found almost 90 percent of people "felt panic" when their phone battery dropped to 20 percent or below.



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Marketing Outside the Box 2017

11/18/2016

Hospitality marketing has made waves in the revenue stream in the last few years and lately we are seeing more and more ad campaigns, banners, articles and webinars on the importance of proactive marketing. It is all very effective and has definitely spread quickly among hospitality professionals trying to fit into today’s trends, but there are many unsung heroes, marketing must haves that seem to get swept under the carpet. The not-so-common marketing tips need to be revisited. Here is a small list of marketing ideas that are geared to bring in online customers that are visiting your site, and are either passing by because there was not enough visual appeal, or because you were not showcasing your property as well as you could be. These marketing tips are designed to give you a more proactive connection with your guests; past, present and future.

Video Interviews
I know, it sounds like a great deal of work that sounds good on paper but never gets done. It’s one thing to read reviews on TripAdvisor and social media blogs, but it’s a whole other thing to visit a hotel website and see a video of a guest who raves about the experience. I think it’s a great marketing strategy and can be as simple as your front desk agent or general manager using his cellphone to interview guests. No high-tech equipment is needed. It lets guests share with other potential guests what a wonderful hotel you have and why it’s worth staying there.

Guest Messaging
Have you made calls to companies like AT&T or TXU, companies that have long phone holds and 10 options to get to the eventual wrong department. I personally have started using the web chat options. I was skeptical at first, especially since I’m always calling or chatting about something that has to do with my money. But it works! It’s fast, efficient and gets information right away. So why don’t hotels offer this for guests? Imagine a potential guest that goes to your hotel website for information, and sees a “chat with live agent now” option. The ability to book fast without having to call, or to get up to the minute information about events in town, hotel amenities, or pricing information; all from a cell phone, or tablet would be priceless. As a former GM of a busy Wyndham property, I had regulars text me all the time. No more online booking or calling the front desk, they would just text me directly. Fast, efficient service, and the guests feel special as if someone who cares is personally taking care of their needs.

Appeal Directly to the Millennials
I am talking about social media. We can’t escape it and we shouldn’t. By now, you should already know to have your website linked with all outlets. That’s a given. Now you need to train your staff on working it! I’m a Facebook junkie; every movie, every restaurant, every nice hotel I’ve stay at – you better believe I am checking in and most likely taking a picture to post. Encourage your guests at check-in, when you see them in the lobby during stays, or outside walking to the parking lot; encourage them to check-in and post a picture directly on your hotel website. Offer them a candy basket, or snack basket, or a $10 meal at a local fast food restaurant. Anything. That money will be well paid for when customers see the many check-ins and the pictures from happy customers.

The point is you may not always need high-priced marketing to appeal to customers. Sometimes, the best kept secrets are right in front of you. Train your staff to implement these three tips, call your Web designer to add the “chat live now” option, and reconnect personally with your guests.
 
I promise you, it makes all the difference in the world to have that extra personal attention; and who doesn’t love attention!

About The Author
Nimesh Dinubhai
President
Websrefresh


Nimesh Dinubhai completed his studies in 2003 and launched Websrefresh to help businesses grow their ROI. He also owns two Arizona hotels, one of which earned the Historical Hotel Award in 2014.

 
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