Build trust with your hotel guests in four steps
Hotel guests today expect their interactions with brands to be personal and relevant to their interests. In fact according to AgilOne, 70% of consumers expect more personalized services from brands.
But they also have expectations with regard to data privacy. TRUSTe recently found that 42% of US consumers are more concerned about data privacy than they were one year ago.
The question is, how can hoteliers collect the data they need to develop personal relationships with their guests without being invasive?
There are a few things you can do to make your guests more comfortable with sharing their information.
According to a 2014 study published in Deloitte University Press, 73% of consumers agreed that easy-to-understand privacy policies would increase their trust in companies with regard to the protection of their personal information.
But the researchers also noted that 73% of consumers also “admit to only ‘skimming’ privacy policies when purchasing products online as opposed to ‘carefully reading’ them.”.
In other words, some of your guests will want to know the details. But the majority probably won’t read the fine print. They’ll just be happy that you’re taking their data privacy seriously.
2. Always use opt-in as the default
Any guest you email should explicitly agree to receive communications from you. In terms of legislation, Europe is more strict about opt-in practices than the United States.
But good opt-in practices aren’t just about being legally compliant. By allowing guests the option to opt in and out of your communications, you are demonstrating good faith to your customer base. Your hotel also benefits from proper opt-in practices because they keep your email list clean by restricting your list to guests or prospective guests that are interested in what you have to offer.
To get guests comfortable with sharing their email address with you, be transparent about what you intend to offer. Let them know that by opting in to your email communications, you will start to personalize their stays and show them services and activities that are relevant to their specific interests.
You should also reassure your guests that you won’t sell their data to third parties.
3. Build profiles progressively
Collecting information gradually is one way to assuage any concerns your guests might have about sharing their data. Don’t ask for too much information up front. Request just the necessary data points initially. Then, collect more information gradually, as your guests interact with your hotel. For example, when a guest signs up to receive email communications, offer him or her the opportunity to provide a zip or post code, or check off special interests.
4. Use the data you already own
You probably have quite a bit of data on each of the guests who books with your hotel. Take advantage of this data with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to deliver more personalized service and targeted marketing.
Let’s say you have a segment of guests in your database who live within driving distance of your hotel and who booked a tee time the last time they stayed at with you. When you notice you have empty rooms for the upcoming weekend, you could invite those guests back with a special offer on a golf clinic.
With the right CRM solution, you can specifically target guests who are more likely to be interested in your offer, ultimately delivering more effective marketing campaigns.
Value is the key
Ultimately, if your hotel wants to develop intimate relationships with its guests, proving that you are interested in providing a tailored experience is the key to earning their trust. This is unlikely to happen if your communications with your guests are generic or irrelevant. But, if you can prove your value by delivering communications and experiences that are personally relevant to each guest, the results will be well worth the effort.
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