A majority of travelers are not loyal to a hotel brand. How can hospitality technology improve the state of hotel guest loyalty?
One of the top challenges faced by hospitality marketers, apart from increasing revenue, is better connecting with and engaging hotel guests. Customer experience has become one of the most important considerations for a business, and the hospitality industry is no exception. Hotel guest loyalty is built upon satisfying guest experiences, and the benefits of establishing guest loyalty are plentiful.
For one, it’s a well-known business principle that keeping existing customers is less costly than attracting new ones. Additionally, word-of-mouth and advocacy marketing are among the strongest tools for gaining new business, particularly among hospitality where online reviews are an active part of the pre-booking phase for many potential guests.
Increasing hotel guest loyalty is a major challenge for the modern hospitality industry. About two-thirds (64 percent) of leisure travelers and more than half of business travelers are not loyal to any one hotel brand.
Hospitality technology is beginning to come to the forefront of the hotel guest loyalty conversation. One of the top technology investment in 2014 was for solutions to improve the customer or guest experience, and investments in this area are projected to rise. It’s with good reason that hotels are looking for technology to manage guest experience and relationships.
No longer are there only one or two lines of communication that hotels have to monitor for guest feedback. Now hotel guests are constantly sharing online reviews and feedback through any number of communication channels. From social media to online review sites to blogs, the conversation never stops, creating a never-ending need for businesses to monitor what’s being said.
More travelers (39%) prefer to stay in hotels that know about them compared with hotels that don’t (21%).
Developments within hospitality technology allow management to proactively strategize in order to create fluid two-way communication with guests for improved hospitality brand perception. Creating direct channels for guests to communicate directly with hotel management and staff allows hoteliers to receive instant feedback rather than waiting for guests to post something negative once they’ve left a property. It also helps hotels build a connection with guests that leads to long-term loyalty.
Hotel mobile apps or text messaging services can serve as a convenient bridge to hotel guests. An increasing number of guests carry a personal mobile device and are enthusiastic to use these or complimentary hotel touchscreen kiosks or in-room tablets for active digital engagement with hotel staff.
Mobile guest apps can embed such features as digital comment cards. They can also provide insight into guest behavior and preferences that can be leveraged to increase hotel guest satisfaction and loyalty. This is critical for appealing to modern travelers, who place value on personalized guest experiences.
More travelers (39%) prefer to stay in hotels that know about them and their preferences compared with hotels that don’t (21%). Guests want to know that their hotel is attentively listening to them in order to create a more positive, engaged experience. Thirty-six percent of Millennials and 37% of travelers age 35 to 54 are willing to share personal information in return for valuable benefits such as personal touches in their room.
Investing in the right hospitality technology systems can help hotel management better connect with guests in order to actively improve the guest experience. By doing so, the hospitality industry will find that it is able to better establish hotel guest loyalty in the future.
To learn more about how you can use hospitality technology to create guest loyalty, schedule a demo with a member of our team.