It’s all about consistency!
Brand consistency is table stakes when it comes to guest loyalty. Most guests will arrive at your hotel with expectations: how you appeared on the metasearch results page, the look and feel of the brand dotcom, what the review sites said.
Once guests enter the lobby, however, the face-to-face interaction with staff and actual stay experience further define how they see your brand. From the welcome, to the details like refreshments and snacks to the text notifications received on-site, you are communicating your hotel’s brand to the guest with every choice. Even the smallest details are opportunities to connect with guests and show them your hotel serves up high calibre hospitality.
Control your brand on third party sites
It is easier for hotels to behave like a brand when the path to purchase is direct. But the reality is that many people are using third parties to search, shop and book. Controlling your brand in these channels is challenging but essential.
Many third parties allow hotels some say in how the property is presented online. Hotels need to know what options they have and where they can take control. If you are allowed 100 words of text, use that to establish your brand messaging. Make sure the pictures you upload show the best features of your hotel in the best possible light.
Win your brand back
Guests who have booked via a third party can be converted to a brand-loyal customer by the on-property experience. Knowing who has booked indirectly is the first step. The front desk needs to have a strategy in place to get these guests to buy in to the brand, or at least give them the opportunity to buy into the brand.
Respect your brand advocates
Data-savvy hotels can get brand insights from their existing customer relations, property and revenue management systems. Using a hotel CRM, front-desk staff can see who has booked direct, who is a loyalty club member, who is a first-time visitor. Treating guests in a personal way is the first step to a long-term loyal relationship and converting them into a brand advocate.
Deliver your brand vision on-property
It is worth repeating that the on-property experience of the guest is the most important part of your brand proposition. If the Wifi is poor, or the staff are impatient with the children, or the rooms are noisy, the effort and expense of trying to build a brand relationship has been wasted. Guests will take to the digital airwaves to sell your brand for you if you treat them well. So make every moment for the guest memorable, knowing that every interaction counts towards building your hotel’s guests relationship with the brand.