Just as we saw in 2015, mobile bookings are the name of the game for hotels. Equally important is easy access to reviews, information, and simple purchasing. When it comes to the mobile screen, travelers want to make as few clicks as possible. Online data should be more visual that text based and next steps should be as visible as possible.
It is imperative that hotels ensure that their online experience is the best experience possible. From search engine results to online booking engines, those hotels that embrace and succeed with the ever-changing technology will outpace their competitors.
With over 30 years experience in global hotel management, Patrick Imbardelli, managing director of Imbardelli Holdings Limited, works with hotels to address growth and administration issues. Among his strategies over the years is to ensure that hotel guests have the best online experience possible.
Online views are used by over 90% of guests booking online. Ensuring that reviews are posted on such powerhouses sites as Trip Advisor, KAYAK, and Sabre GDS is important but equally ensuring the review content is found on Google and other search engines it important too. Travelers look to these reviews to gain confidence in booking first-time properties.
There are online services you can hire to distribute post-stay guest satisfaction surveys directly into Google and other search engines and will further push this data out to the major booking sites on the web.
It’s been said for years now, but the fact is that online content drives bookings, and the greater volume of unique and quality content instills trust in travelers.
As it becomes more difficult for smaller hotels to gain search engine exposure, hotel marketing teams must implement an array of strategies to increase their online presence and drive bookings. Google, as it continues to go after hotel search offerings, is a growing platform for hotels.
For additional mobile exposure, chains are creating branded apps that can assist clients with bookings, information on destinations, contact, and directions as well as build on brand loyalty. Mobile apps are becoming more prolific in the world of hotel marketing and like anything there are pros and cons. A well-designed app can generate good favor with clients, but a buggy app will turn customers away quickly. If the budget doesn’t exist for research and development, this might be one application you don’t undertake.
Why wait until your guest leave before they have a chance to tell you how their stay was? It’s been shown that on-site guest engagement increases brand loyalty and minimizes bad reviews. As is the case with most things these days, guests prefer to be approached through digital media. Whether it is a text message or an email, engage your guests while they are still on-site to ensure their stay is everything they could hope for. Automated text messages are a straightforward and effective way to increase brand loyalty and stop bad reviews before they happen.