How to Engage Guests With Automated Triggers

Think about this, you’re about to engage in a conversation with a robot; you sit down and it greets you with “Hello Human”  and then proceeds to ask you a question. You answer, it ignores your response and asks another question. While this machine knows you’re there, it knows you’re human, it’s not really engaging you or processing your feedback. Wouldn’t it be so much cooler if when you sat down that robot greeted you using your name and then proceeded to engage in conversation based on the information you’ve given it? This is what it feels like getting a ‘Dear Guest’ or ‘Hello’ email; like, a cold, steel, robotic hug. So how do you program your automated email robot to engage with your guests more effectively?

Personalised automation sounds more like an oxymoron than reality but it may be more achievable than you think. Here at Intouch, we relentlessly harp on about personalisation, but we know it’s unrealistic to handcraft a “welcome” and “thank-you” to every guest that checks in at your hotel. On the other side of the coin, a generic “thank-you” can be as damaging as sending nothing at all.

Your mission, should you choose to except it (and you definitely should accept it) is to send marketing communication that resonates with your guest – generic just isn’t going to cut it. Plus, why would you settle for mediocre when you could be remarkable? The only difference between the two is how you choose to use your information – of which, we know you have lots of.

Every guest that stays at your hotel leaves a trail of interactions and decisions that lead to a better understanding of their preferences and provides you with the ability to anticipate desires and personalise accordingly. Combine this information and the power of automated triggers to deliver value in real time and influence guest behaviour at each stage of their journey. Entice, encourage, engage and re-engage your guests with personalised, experience-driven interactions to drive direct bookings and brand loyalty.

Here’s how:

Segmentation

Segmentation is crucial to implementing effective triggers. Don’t fall into the trap of sending out generic communications. The aim is to resonate with your guests and encourage their loyalty – so being relevant is key. Split your audience into smaller, more specific groups — such as demographics, interests and preferences – and differentiate yourself with campaigns that appeal to these smaller segments.

Entice Pre-stay

Create anticipation and excitement prior to arrival by enticing guests to plan their on-property experience. Greet them, show them around, let them know what they can look forward to and give them something to look forward to!

The booking is just the beginning – create awareness and inform guests about the hotel experience with a personalised offer or discount. This also provides you with the opportunity to promote products and services and differentiate from competition on your terms. Harness pre-stay messaging to exclusively show your guests the benefits of booking direct with your hotel.

Encourage and reward mid-stay

How recently has a guest stayed with you? How frequently do they visit your hotel or brand? How much do they spend during their stay?

On-property messaging provides you with the opportunity to encourage and reward loyalty by acknowledging the relationship that has already been established. Utilise historic data to deepen the relationship by anticipating their needs to deliver a truly personalised experience that makes them feel like they really matter.

Is this their first stay at your property?

Use demographic data to personalise the guest experience with a special offer that adds value to their stay.

Remind and Re-engage post-stay

Don’t let them forget about you. Post-stay messages are a great way to measure the impact of a guest’s stay, but you must ensure each guest’s feedback is met with an appropriate response. For example, a “Thank-you for your feedback” after a less-than-satisfactory stay, isn’t going to make a guest feel like their concerns have been met. Greet them by name, sign off with yours and try to make things right with a personalised incentive. On the other hand, you can reap the benefits of positive feedback with a triggered email asking them to share their review on TripAdvisor.

It is important to note a successful post-stay email campaign shouldn’t end with a “thank-you” email. Re-engage your guests with an email further down the track to remind them of their experience at your property and give them incentive to return with a special offer.

Forward Booking Data

Our CRM application, dataArc, makes personalised pre-stay triggers a reality with forward booking data. Implement and execute an effective pre-stay marketing campaign and optimise the on-property experience with access to all your guest reservations and on-the-books information. See here for more details

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