10 ideas to improve booking performance during the crisis – Hotel-Online
Jalon Inc. | March 10, 2020
By Dev Kurbur, SVP of Global Customer Success
â€œSome companies will come out stronger than beforeâ€ – Andy Grove
Intel’s Andy Grove had a lot to say about how to respond to downturns and setbacks. Here are some of his ideas and maxims:
1) The first rule is that economic downturns always end.
2) Some companies are coming out of recessions stronger than before.
3) You can’t get out of a recession.
4) The future favors the optimist. *
Milestone, Inc. has dozens of hospitality clients, so we’ve decided to put together a few recommendations for where to invest time and focus during the downturn and here we’re sharing them with the rest of the industry.
We group the recommendations into 3 segments: 1) Site content, Site technique and Monitoring, 2) Offer strategy, 3) Distribution and amplification
1. Update your FAQ to resolve issues
Answer questions your staff have received over the phone about your site and in your customer service knowledge base. Update responses every few days as needed to signal staff and customers that management is in control and tightly managing their crisis response.
2. Make sure your marketing stack is maximizing traffic and conversion
Your CMS should help your team and site run smoothly, and it should automatically improve your ability to improve speed, mobile experience, and local SEO performance, and maximize ecommerce results.
3. Focus on relative metrics, such as share of voice
Adjust your key metrics to outperform your competition in terms of voice share and occupancy.
Andy Grove was not a Milestone customer, but more than 5 hotel chains we work with invested as he suggested during the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis and kept more business and growing disproportionately when resuming.
4. Develop more messages and offers for local customers
This could be the best season for the staycation. Consider messages such as “you still need to relax, even if you are not going far”. Emphasize the pool, spa experience, and offer automotive-related amenities like car rentals or valet parking.
5. Turn the crisis into an opportunity for new customers
While avoiding simplistic deep discounts, the crisis and falling occupancy rates will likely drive prices down. For example, for an upscale property, try to attract new customers with targeted offers that are not aimed at repeat customers. Consider messages like, â€œThere has never been a better time to try us for the first time. â€œProviding a great experience to a new customer will have a very positive impact on lifetime value.
6. Bundle products and services to increase portfolio share
Offer attractive packages that could include: Fast Track Membership, Upgraded Rooms, Views, Dining, Room Service, Spa, Parking, Transportation, and even Activities in the Surrounding City. Offer bundled room service, especially to guests who have not been registered as having used room service in the past.
Late last year, Milestone saw many friends and customers take optional air flights to secure miles or trips to secure membership for 2020.
Create unique personal experiences to differentiate yourself from other properties: live music, dancers, wine tasting, chocolate tasting or guided meditation and yoga.
Offer free in-room movies to people who still want to enjoy the movies but now prefer to do so in a private room rather than a movie theater.
7. Increase the offerings of local businesses and small groups
If businesses and associations have canceled events, encourage local businesses to take advantage of properties with offsite employees or customer events. You may need to purchase or upgrade the local sales contact data in your database.
Consider reaching out to nonprofits and churches to set up regular meetings, memberships, or fundraisers in unused spaces.
8. Suspend paid campaigns in certain affected locations
Suspend paid campaigns and shift spending from countries with travel and flight bans to countries that don’t have these bans. Shift your marketing objective to the driving radius of the property. This will require clean data which includes the postal address. CRM platforms, like Salesforce, can help target contacts within a specified distance from a location.
9. Invest in database records and continued database hygiene
The current crisis clearly shows why database maintenance is so critical. Obtaining names and permission to communicate with them is always a good practice, but having the database ready when needed to respond to an evolving challenge like this will allow you to access updated deals and offers. day.
10. Use the email channel for distribution
Send short, engaging emails. Use an optimistic tone without appearing naive in the face of the challenge. Speed â€‹â€‹and being the first in your market with a new idea is key. Test subject lines and CTAs to continue learning what works best in today’s climate. Make sure you comply with the CAN SPAM law, GDPR and CCPA.
Andy Grove would appreciate the innovative thinking and effort to invest ideas and technology in the face of challenges and the optimism to meet the challenge stronger.