According to the Smith Travel Research Inc., US tourism is on the rise with a 4.1 percent increase in Q1 hotel bookings. In order to stay competitive in an industry as tough as hospitality, it is now as important as ever for hotels to accomplish an important goal: improve guest experience by making customers feel valued. The key to this is creating a personalized experience for each individual. One way to go about this is to learn more about customers by offering coupons, discounts, and other promotional material based on preference.
Improving Customer Experience
Geofencing and proximity marketing are designed to encourage repeat visits and customer loyalty. Proximity marketing allows hotels to capture the information that will ultimately influence behavior while geofencing encourages the customer to keep making return visits. It all begins when a customer opts in on their initial visit. Once they have done so a customer profile can be built so that their return visits are on a more personalized level. Hotels can even capture information for their loyalty program or have guests interact with the hotel loyalty app. Imagine a hotel guest returns to the hotel to see a “Welcome Back” followed by their name sent to their mobile phone. It’s 5PM (Happy Hour) so they are promptly sent a coupon for one free drink at the lounge. This situation is a win-win for both the customer and the hotel because:
1. The customer is happy because he or she received a personal invitation to the bar with a free drink coupon.
2. The hotel bar manager is happy because he or she potentially received an interested patron who will most likely spend more money.
Hyperlocal mobile marketing like this can drive on-site sales and get guests to spend money that would otherwise be spent elsewhere, at the hotel itself. The reason this works is because it stresses convenience and cost savings. The guest was already in the geographic area so it’s convenient for them and they’ve gotten a deal of some kind, so in some way they’ve saved money. The hotel in return has a happier customer, increased revenue, and an increase in customer satisfaction −a determining factor when it comes to customer loyalty.
Increase Local Customer Foot Traffic
Out-of-towners are not the only segment of consumers that hotels can use to drive on site sales. Locals can be steered in through the use of geofencing and proximity marketing as well. Hotels can increase their foot traffic from local residents by providing them with content similar to what they provide guests such as promotional material. Another use is to give locals who frequent the hotel deals at various other locations within the chain. This encourages them to continue giving their business to the hotel even when they go out of town.
Geofencing with proximity marketing is the solution to providing relevant content to consumers quickly, easily and cost-effectively. This technology can be used in hundreds of different ways within a single hotel anywhere from alerting guests of lunch specials to providing coupons to the spa. What this means for hotels is increased foot traffic, improved guest experience, and most importantly increased customer loyalty and repeat visits.