As hotels look to re-open, they know that guest confidence is going to be critical. Around the world, hotels large and small are faced with the reality that guest-confidence will be directly related to their disinfection protocols. It will no longer be enough to offer a clean room as was expected in the past. Today, the goal is to prove to their guests that clean equates to virus-free.
As part of this transition, hotels are doing everything they can to create a touchless environment. Many hotels are removing all unnecessary clutter within the guest room itself, including no more decorative pillows, extra blankets, pens, pads, magazines, TV remotes, and room service menus.
The challenge is that, amongst that clutter, are several key pieces that provide revenue for hotels. In 2019, research showed that print magazine advertising still presented the highest rates of return for advertising spend. For luxury hotels, high-end magazines were the mark of distinction where polished, glossy magazines were even thriving.
The print materials offered often provided far more than just a way for local advertisers to gain the attention of the hotel guests. They helped to shape the guest experience by providing both a feeling of escape and exclusivity. Guests crave that unique experience, something that cannot be found simply through another Google search, but rather an exclusive offer only available and obtained while on-site as a guest of that destination.
Here’s how your hotel can use digital to replace the physical tools without losing (and possibly boosting) revenue:
1. Create an exclusive access guest communications app
Exclusivity relies on the scarcity principle and is proven to drive sales and engagement. It is also proven to drive guest satisfaction by providing access to something that others do not. As you build your exclusive app, be sure to include the following to amplify this feeling:
- If your hotel has multiple properties, ensure the app is specific to the one where the guest is staying. Emphasize this in your messaging and signs.
- Consider keeping the app separate from other digital points of contact. It’s tempting to create a one-stop-shop for your communications, but in doing so, you will reduce the feeling of exclusivity.
- View your guest communication app more like a secret entrance to a private wine cellar or club that requires them to be “in the know” to obtain it. Explain the app cannot be found on the app store but only through your own private download channels. Technologies like the IHUBApp Digital Experience Platform provide these types of exclusive features.
2. When building the exclusive guest communications app for your small hotel, consider including the following to create a high-touch experience:
- Digital coupon books, ads, and offers.
Hotels are reporting a complete removal of all unnecessary print materials in their efforts to reduce guest exposure, including the various offers for guest experiences. Convert your print materials into a digital version using a solution like the IHUBApp.
- Order room service and purchase on-property amenities.
The days of a guest arriving in their room and flipping through your dining menu and local tourist magazines are gone.
- Real-time notifications, alerts, activities, offers and updates.The day-to-day options happening within your hotel premises are something that guests are interested in experiencing. Create topics and channels that allow your guests to stay informed and not miss out.
- Create a private online community WITH your guests.
Provide an area that allows your guests to publish posts and like, comment, and share with one another. Online communities are proven to improve the customer experience and drive loyalty. Engaging your guests in an exclusive community that is not open to just anyone will help to drive engagement.
Whether you decide to use a solution like the IHUBApp Digital Experience Platform to build a solution for your guests, or something else, InspireHUB is here to serve. Even if you don’t go with us, we’re happy to help answer any questions you may have as you move forward and point you to useful resources as you do your research. Contact us today!
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