A hotelier’s guidebook to personalization, part 1.
As a hotelier, your business is dependent on building a good relationship with your customers. This should be initiated on the first platform where you two meet: your website. Building good relations can be done by addressing your customers personally and approaching them with tailored content and information. In other words, it is time to start personalizing your hotel website!
Think about big players such as Netflix, Spotify and Amazon, who show products and content that are tailored to the customer’s needs. They all use personalization in their strategy, and with great success. Now it is time for the industry that is most centered on guest relationships to follow their lead and integrate personalization into their strategy and website!
What is personalization?
Personalization is tailoring your website to a customer’s specific characteristics and preferences. To personalize your website, you can use specific personalization technology. This can help you identify the characteristics of your customers and in turn, you can adjust your website to each individual. Personalization technology includes analytical features in addition to tools to implement your findings in real-time on your website.
Personalizing your website can occur on different levels. The basic personalization can be adjusting your website to the language preferences of your customer and the device that they use (mobile or desktop). But you can take personalization much further. For hoteliers it is especially useful to find out aspects such as: type of traveler, length of stay, and reason for visit. Once you have this information, you should respond to these characteristics in a targeted way.
Why use personalization?
There are many advantages of using personalization in your online strategy. It not only filters the overload of information your customer is receiving on the Internet, but it also helps you:
1. Get to know your customers
Especially as a hotelier it is important to know your guests. You want to provide them with the best experience you can offer, from the moment they enter your website to the moment that they return home. To be able to use tailored content and deals, you first need to know who is visiting your hotel website.
By using personalization technology, you can discern the specific wants and needs of your customer. With this information you can learn more about your potential guests and in addition, this makes it very easy to create buyer personas. These personas will help you better understand and strategically target your visitors.
2. Build strong guest relations
Imagine that you are visiting your favorite restaurant where you have been multiple times. The waitress recognizes you, calls you by name and offers you your favorite drink. There is a personal approach and a friendly atmosphere.These are the kind of restaurants which you have a connection with and where you want to return to. By using personalization technology, these kinds of experiences don’t just stay offline but they can also happen online. When your website uses personalization technology and you show tailored messages to your customers, they will feel better understood and more welcome, an experience they will take with them throughout their entire booking journey and stay at your hotel.
3. Increase your conversions
When you know your customers, you can show them a website that displays the right content and deals that fit them perfectly. For business travelers it might be very important to have a perfect WiFi connection and a suitable work environment, however this may not be relevant at all for leisure travelers. In turn, a family might be interested in a swimming pool and children’s entertainment, while this is not relevant for an elderly couple. By offering the right deal to the right audience, you achieve more effective communication. More importantly, study shows that this will result in more conversions. personalized call-to-actions are proofed to result in 42% more conversions than generic call-to-actions*.
4. Use the gained information in the next phases of the customer journey
Now that you know your customers, you can also use this information in your next encounters. As soon as in the confirmation email of their booking you can add some personalized content. For leisure travelers it might be fun to receive some information about the area and the hotel entertainment, while the business traveler might like to receive information about a car rental or restaurants suited for a business meeting.
Another opportunity to use the knowledge you’ve gained is at the moment your guest arrives at your hotel. Use what you have learned about them, to make them feel welcome. This will result in a great customer journey, from their booking to their check-out.
It is time for the hotel industry to catch up with everyone else and start personalizing their websites. By using personalization they will get to know their customer, build guest relations, increase their conversions and they can use the gained information in next phases.
Are you ready to get personal with your guests? Register here for a free demonstration with our conversion specialists.