As travel picks up toward a normal pace over the course of this year, there’s never been a more important time for hotels to reconnect with their customers. With so many people staying home for much of the past 15 months or so, it’d be easy for them to take a step back and re-evaluate their travel brand relationships.
Now’s the time to not only re-engage lapsed customers, but to attract new ones. One of the best ways you can do that is via more and better personalization of your messaging. Make your customers feel special and understood, and they’ll be more loyal to your brand.
There are lots of ways you can do that, and MessageGears’ suite of products in our customer engagement platform is ready to help.
Make campaigns relevant to each customer
Every major hotel chain has a loyalty program that identifies your most frequent customers and gives them perks that others don’t get. These are the most important people to keep engaged and provide a reason to continue coming back to your brand. These are your advocates and the ones who will carry you each year.
What if you gathered personal preferences from each of them? What do they like most to do when they travel? Go for a morning run? Visit landmarks? See a show? Try interesting food?
Then you can combine that information with what you know about when they’re traveling. You know when they check in at your hotels anywhere in the world. Use that to personalize your message.
With MessageGears, you can use any and all the data you’ve collected in order to personalize email, mobile push, and SMS.
On the day they’re checking in, why not send those runners a push notification with a link to the best running routes around their hotel? Send the sightseers a list of the nearest landmarks and their hours/other tips? Send the theatre goers a list of the nearest places to catch a show, and links to schedules? Send the foodies a list of the top restaurants in the area? That’s the kind of personalized communication they would only be able to get from your brand, and would make them more likely to come back again.
With MessageGears Message, you can use any and all the data you’ve collected in order to personalize email, mobile push, and SMS. Even if that data changes at the last minute, you’ll be ready with live, real-time data access because we live alongside your data and let you use it directly in order to build and send campaigns. So all that incredible information your customers are sharing with you can be put to use immediately to allow you to send them messages that not only are relevant personally to them, but that also are incredibly useful to them during their stay.
Keep creative and visuals up to the moment
Do you want your emails to be a static brochure or a dynamic, highly fluid digital communication that adjusts in real time as new information is available?
In the hotel industry, things can change quickly. Availability of rooms and rates can sometimes change by the minute, and it’s important that your customers get the most up-to-date information on both. But, in many cases, they’re getting outdated information because your emails are stuck how they’re originally created and sent.
Room inventory and pricing will reflect the latest information from your data that’s refreshed as often as you need it, fetched directly to their inbox via API call.
What if your customer doesn’t open the email for two hours? Six? 10? What if they don’t open it until two days later? Can they rely on anything they see?
With MessageGears Engage, they absolutely can. Your data can be stored in our always-available cache and hit with unlimited API calls so your emails can render on open. That means that room inventory and pricing will reflect the latest information from your data that’s refreshed as often as you need it, fetched directly to their inbox via API call.
And if you want to offer certain loyalty tiers at their own rate or particular high-value rooms you don’t push to the general public, you can do it even if they hit that loyalty status earlier that day. And all the information will be live and in real time as they open it.
Bring back those abandoned bookings
You should know when a customer on your website gets tantalizingly close to booking a stay at one of your hotels but doesn’t quite hit that “Book Now” button. Is there anything as frustrating as that? You did so much right to get them all the way to that point, and then something stopped them in their tracks.
Did they have a last-second change of heart? Did something distract them wherever they were? Or could a problem with the website/app have caused the issue? Without re-engaging them, you’ll never know.
For lots of hotel brands, though, these abandoned bookings are tough to set up effective campaigns around. That’s because your campaigns are triggered off a copy of your data that sits in your email service provider’s cloud, and it has to be refreshed before the behavior trigger can know to send the reminder message.
With MessageGears Segment, though, you’ll build audiences and set up campaigns using your live data wherever it lives rather than using a copy of it.
In most cases, that’s going to be in the neighborhood of 24-48 hours later. By that time, you’ve often missed your window to get them booked. By then, they very well may have gone to some other hotel brand, or tried one of the big aggregator sites where you’ll get a lower ROI even if you ultimately get the business.
With MessageGears Segment, though, you’ll build audiences and set up campaigns using your live data wherever it lives rather than using a copy of it. That means that abandoned booking campaigns can be sent at whatever interval post-abandonment that you think is appropriate. Maybe that’s three hours. Or two. Maybe it’s 30 minutes. Whatever you find is most effective, you’ll have the live data access you need to make it happen.
Because of the fast pace of change and the incredibly competitive landscape of the hotel business, the direct data access that MessageGears uniquely provides across its suite of products is essential to establishing brand loyalty in your customers. We’d love to talk to you more about how we can help you get started, easily putting all of your valuable customer data to use.