The Big “O” - Driving Guest Engagement Online, On-the-Go, and Onsite

By Mark Johnson President, Loyalty 360 - The Loyalty Marketer's Association | May 19, 2010

"Customer Engagement" It's a term you've heard about quite a bit over the last couple of years - and one that should be at the forefront of your marketing efforts.

But what is customer engagement? Is it satisfaction? Is it loyalty? Is it recommending your brand? It's all of these - plus more.

Engagement is all about strengthening the emotional connection between the customer and the brand by consistently delivering (if not exceeding) the brand promise at each and every touch point. Customers that feel this emotional connection are more satisfied, more loyal and more apt to become ambassadors for your brand.

The 2009 PeopleMetrics Most Engaged Customers Study supports this definition --- and takes it a step further by showing the reverse impact of disengagement. Based on feedback from 20,000+ consumers, the research found that:

  • A fully engaged customer recommends a brand nearly 4 times more often and does an ambivalent customer who is setting "on-the-fence" (on average 11 recommendations vs. 3). By contract, an actively disengaged customer will tell, on average, 3 people to avoid (yes - AVOID) a company and its services

  • 13% of fully engaged customers post to a blog or website about their positive experiences. The actively disengaged customer is 4 times for likely than a neutral customer to post to a blog or website about their poor customer experience.

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.