Communicating directly with guests is the most important thing for successful hotels. With the right strategy, hosts positively influence the holiday experience of their guests and directly market their own offers. In addition to personal contact, digital guest communication is becoming more and more important. But what does digital guest communication actually mean and how do hosts manage successful communication with their guests?
Guest communication – what does it mean?
Guest communication means any transmission of information and messages or its exchange between hosts and guests. This refers to both oral and written communication as well as body language. Therefore, it includes telephone calls, personal conversations on site, letters, facial expressions and gestures. The digital communication with guests is a crucial part
As different as people communicate as different are their usage behaviour and preferences. There is a wide variety of different characters and behaviours among guests. Some talk continuously and seek contact to the employees, others shy away from the personal conversation and seem to disappear during their stay. To avoid communication problems or misunderstandings, it is important that hotels define a uniform communication strategy, establish rules of conduct and communication for the entire team and train them regularly – be it for personal conversations, e-mail correspondence or messages via app.
Examples for rules of conduct and communication in hotels:
- We greet every guest politely and with a friendly smile.
- We listen to the guest attentively and do not interrupt him.
- In letters and e-mails, we always use fixed salutations and greetings, if necessary templates and signatures.
- Social media comments, messages & ratings are answered individually and quickly.
- All the information on the hotel website and in the Digital Guest Directory is always up to date.
- The reception team informs guests about th digital service at check-in and provides further information.
Communication along the entire customer journey
In the hotel industry, it´s about the customer journey when it comes to the individual travel phases of a guest and his or her contact points to the hotel. Depending on the guest, it can extend over several days, weeks or even months. The guest’s “journey” begins with the inspiration phase, followed by a concrete research and planning phase.
Then the two hot phases begin: During the booking phase, a guest decides for or against a hotel. But that’s not the end of the process! In the fourth phase, the stay on site, it becomes apparent whether the guest is satisfied and will come back again. After all, the guest’s satisfaction has top priority and decides on the success or failure of a business. In the last phase of the customer journey, meaning after the departure, it is all about bonding the guest to the accommodation and motivating him to book again. The journey ends and, at best, starts all over again in a cycle, then.
Successful guest communication thus takes place along all phases of the customer journey – both online and offline.
It is all about providing guests with the right information at the right time and thus influenceing their holiday experience. Guests want to be well looked after and expect special services – ranging from interesting information and great offers to personal care. If holidaymakers feel comfortable, they will have a positive memory of the hotel, recommend it to others and enjoy coming back. Ideally, the hosts establish long-term relationships with their guests, strengthen guest loyalty and attract regular guests. This requires a good connection to the guests. Therefore, hosts should create several contact points to their guests and expand digital communication.
But which possibilities of digital guest communication do hosts have and which ones actually make sense? Find out more in our next article!
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- The best touchpoints to reach guests – “5 questions to” Saskia Guggemos, Marketing & Communication Manager at Guestfriend
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