4 Effective Ways Hotels Can Utilize Telephone Marketing Opportunities

By Mark Williamson CEO, PHMG | September 16, 2018

The customer is always right. And nowhere more so than in the hospitality industry where customer expectations are extremely high.

From remembering guest names to offering a glass of champagne on arrival, hoteliers have to be well-versed in the art of customer service and the small touches that make a big difference. 

These extras can really make a difference to customer satisfaction, retention, recommendation and ultimately revenue.

But it's not just the face-to-face experience where customers should be made to feel appreciated.  We live in a virtual and digital world which has transformed the customer journey beyond recognition. The telephone is often your company's first interaction with potential customers and should be treated as instrumental in converting leads into sales.

Whether they're calling to book a room or enquire about the price of a treatment in the hotel spa, a customer is immediately forging that all-important first impression of your brand. And we all know that first impressions last. And bad first impressions can destroy brands. Especially under the immediate and far–reaching spotlight of social media.

This becomes increasingly pertinent in the light of recent independent research which revealed that 59 percent of Americans will never buy from a company again if their first call isn't handled to expectations. 

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Coming up in January 2019...

Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.