When you’re in the hospitality industry, you pretty much have no choice but to have a multichannel marketing strategy. After all, someone who is upset about their hotel room might complain to you via email, while another guest may go to your website’s chat feature to sort out a question they have. Another person could call to address their questions, and yet another might share an Instagram picture with their friends about how incredible the service of your airline was. There are nearly endless options today for people to interact with brands, and hospitality is one industry that has to use them all in order to be relevant and meet consumer expectations.
But… that’s a lot of channels to manage, and can be overwhelming. It also can result in very disparate efforts that cost you in terms of money and your personnel’s time, but not yield all that much in return. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to take a deep breath and look at your multichannel strategy with new eyes. Here are our recommendations.
What’s your Strategic End Game?
First, review what your corporate strategy is. For many hospitality companies, the goal is customer retention. Keeping the same restaurant-goers, airline passengers, hotel guests, and so on is a whole lot easier – and more lucrative – than finding new ones. This is why loyalty programs are so common, and competitive, among hospitality brands. But you have to make sure, whether retaining your customers is your strategy or you have a different one altogether, that every channel you use for customer service (and marketing) must reinforce that strategic vision.
Let’s say you’re the Support Operations Manager at a Casino, and you’re finding it challenging to get repeat business from previously loyal customers. Look at all your existing channels, and see which ones support the goal of winning over this group of customers. For instance, consider social media. Are you regularly engaging with your customer base on social media, and offering them incentives and resources that keep them coming back? It’s very plausible you could have a hole in your social media approach or content strategy. These two things are very important, especially in hospitality. In fact, Deloitte found that, when social media is part of a buyer’s journey, customers convert at a 129 percent higher rate and are four times as likely to spend significantly more than those without a social component. Furthermore, a study found that 65 percent of respondents said that user-generated content had influenced their travel plans. So your content channels and social media are two key areas to look at when evaluating how you can better support customer retention.
Better Channel Management
Once you connect the dots between which channels will help you achieve your overarching strategy, it’s time to think about how you manage them. It’s not enough to have several of the right channels in action; they also have to work cohesively and allow for easy insight into what’s working or not working. If you’re working with different pieces of programs or building something in house and are using some separate systems alongside it – you might be missing an integral piece of the best Omni-Channel strategies.
In order to maximize your Omni-Channel approach, it’s ideal to have one single solution that encompasses all the channels you use (or at least can integrate with the other systems you need). The goal here is to use one platform to see your customer journey and review your stats. If you’re trying to analyze metrics such as average handling times, social media engagement, and chat response times each separately in a vacuum, you’ll never see the complete picture. And this is exactly why we built our own solution, ConectysOS, to give our customers visibility into all of their channels – and help them optimize every one.
It can be challenging to handle Omni-Channel strategies well, but you can do it – especially if you place special emphasis on the channels that drive your overall strategy forward and improve how you manage those channels. And you can always contact us if you’d like more help setting up, managing, and/or optimizing your business processes.