An advert recently displayed by HSBC quoted “the only thing we have in common is that we’re all different”. That really stood out when thinking about how we thank guests and visitors for their business. Hotels are all enthused to sway guests towards booking direct on their website by offering % off BAR. While that’s a starting point to swing bookings from the high margin OTA, it’s just a discount. What happens next? Where does the recognition and reward come in for the next booking? Or is the proposition just going to be the same, another discount?
Demonstrating loyalty isn’t discount. Sure, it maybe helped get the direct booking but it’s not enough to make the guest feel unique, valued, recognised and welcomed back. How else could you approach this opportunity for engagement, without complexities? Collecting guest contact information is a good starting point – you’ll get this anyway at guest registration or for visitors, newsletter sign up. Collecting data is about to become more critical in a cookie-less future.
When you have collected the data, recognise them for the trust and value of their data now in your hands by making a high value, low cost proposition. Take it a step further, ask what their interests are, date of birth or special anniversary dates (if not originally collected). You’re building a database as first-party and yours alone.
In a forest of a hundred thousand trees, no two leaves are alike.
And no two journeys along the path are alike.Paulo Coelho
To know your guests & visitors as individuals you need to segment your data collected so you can personalise and adopt a less generic one for all approach. No need to go overboard but even 3 segments could make a difference: location (they’re not going to travel 100 miles for afternoon tea); purpose of visit and interests so you can tailor your message accordingly. Then create a communications plan (no different to a to do list), keep it simple, keep it consistent. What are you going to send, to who and when? What’s your proposition? Keep it relevant to your audience.
To fulfil HSBC’s mantra, you’ll need to go further still. That’s where we come in, serving 50+ clients for 12 years with branded loyalty programmes to reward and recognise guests. We provide a branded loyalty programme so you’re well equipped to collect data across all points of sale and engage through personalised communications. You can plug this in to a CRM, booking engine and PMS as well as our very own CardLink system to award points. That way you’ll collect transactional data (remember RFM-recency, frequency, monetary values?) and be able to reward with a more direct relationship by giving back future experiences based on past behaviour. Providing recognition and rewards, not just discount.