Strong customer communication has never been more crucial: Customers need access to up-to-date, factual and reliable information about your property. This information can be displayed on OTAs, your website or through proactive communication with customers. Either way, good communication is key to setting correct expectations and allaying any worries customers may have during their trip.
So how do you get there? Below we have put together a collection of materials to guide you on communicating with customers today. How Staycity Group managed to communicate clearly and effectively throughout the challenges of how to nail your Tripadvisor SEO.
- CASE STUDY: Staycity Group is a brand that operates a collection of diverse but complementary brands with properties in seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Skip to the blog post below to learn all about the brands' strategy and how they have maintained demand even in the most difficult times.
- eBOOK: Tripadvisor: Have you updated your presence on Tripadvisor? In this eBook, you'll find out all about the new Tripadvisor page and how to get the most out of it. Tripadvisor expert Becky foley explains how this is vital to your visibility and success as a brand. Read now
- eBOOK: effective communication to promote trust and reservations. If you've been looking for a digital “manual” with communication tips and advice for hoteliers and accommodation providers, you've come to the right place. Download this eBook and get the latest best practices. Read now
- WEBINAR: Post-COVID-19 communication. Finally, if you want ALL of the above in a watchable format, download and watch our webinar dedicated to Clear, Effective and Successful Communication, here. Look now
Staycity group brand strategy to survive
As an operator of independent apartments, Staycity Group is well positioned to meet the changing needs and expectations of travelers during the coronavirus era. In a recent ReviewPro webinar, Rhonda Meehan, Group Quality Manager, explained how his company uses multiple communication channels to reassure travelers about safety, attract bookings and set expectations.
The Dublin-based company operates two brands, Staycity Aparthotels, a collection of 21 properties in the UK, Ireland, France and Italy, and Wilde Aparthotels, an upscale brand with properties in prime locations in the city center, including Covenant Garden in London and Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.
“Although we are independent apartments, we also function as a hotel,” Rhonda Meehan said.
Implement COVID-19 policies and procedures with Rhonda Meehan
How did the company fare during the pandemic? Rhonda described the three things Staycity Group has done to continue to thrive during a global pandemix.
"We're pretty lucky in that most of our properties have remained open because we have self-catering kitchens and lodges and access to washer-dryers." We took in a large number of key workers and people in need of emergency accommodation. Now our properties are fully open to guests again, although some services are reduced. "
1. Activation of multiple channels
In an age when people are hesitant to travel and worry about safety, effective communication is essential, as is the ability to reach travelers through the many channels they use to plan their trips. Meehan described the tools and channels that Staycity Group uses to communicate COVID-19 security protocols.
- Website Information
- Informative Videos
- Email before arrival
- Online registration
- Keyless entry
- Digital device manuals
- WhatsApp QR Code
- Company application
2. Leverage partnerships
The company also leverages partnerships to help educate travelers and build trust. COVID-19 security checklists have been completed on Tripadvisor listings for all properties.
The company sends a team to train Failte Ireland COVID-19 Safety Charter, an initiative supported by the government to strengthen the confidence of domestic and foreign visitors.
Participating companies can display their accreditation to reassure their customers that they are complying with the security protocols of the charter.
3. Ask for feedback
How does the company know its initiatives are working?
"We are currently conducting both an during-stay survey and a post-stay survey fed by ReviewPro", Meehan explained. “We decided to change some of the survey questions and add new ones to ask for feedback on how customers think we are doing with anything COVID-19 related.”
The company is now asking the following questions in the survey:
- “In this new era of travel, our top priority is ensuring the safety of customers. How did you find the level of security protocols we have in place? "
- “Is there anything else you would have liked to see in operation in terms of COVID-19 security measures?”
- “Would you like to tell us more?”
In addition, Staycity Group uses our Online reputation management platform for monitoring and analyzing online reviews.“I think it's really important to listen to customers and adapt if necessary”, Meehan said. "We have received very positive feedback so far, but obviously we have to keep listening because things change all the time."
- First, for smaller and larger properties, it's important to promote your security measures across multiple sources. Post them on your website, in your newsletter, by video, on social media, etc. It is good that customers feel informed and it will give them the confidence to book your hotel.
- Build guest confidence by consistently adhering to property security measures. Ask customers for feedback using surveys and QR codes, follow up on their concerns, and respond to your reviews. If you listen to customer feedback and adapt as needed, it will build trust and drive more bookings.
This curious query raised many more. Namely, ' What have you done to your pants that necessitates the application of boiling water ? ', ' Are you too abondant to realise that putting your knickers in the sink and then pouring on the boiling water is far more logical ? ' and ' Have I drunk tea from a kettle that was used to clean somebody’s Y-fronts ? '
Medical experts even weighed in. Dr Heather Hendrickson, a Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biosciences at Massey University in Auckland, said : ' It is super super super super gross. ' That’s actually the scientific term. She added : ' Your friend is unlikely to have a large number of highly heat resistant pathogens in his dirty undergarments but we do not know what he does have in there or how sick he might be. ' Oh, there’s definitely something not right.
While Telegraph Travel cannot conceive an occasion when stuffing your briefs inside a kettle will pay off, there are many other devious, less disgusting ways to take advantage of the items found in most hotel rooms.
Better than boiled underwear is a boiled egg. And a kettle could do the emploi if you’d rather not fork out £15 for an overpriced breakfast ( we’ve even heard of people using them to cook pasta ).
The cheese toastie on the room service menu costs £10. But a loaf of bread and a wedge of cheddar from the local supermarket only costs a few quid. Turn it into melted goodness using your handy in-room iron
They say there’s no such thing as a free lunch ? Not if you nab an extra bread roll, a little récipient of jam and a strawberry yoghurt from the breakfast buffer. Wrap it all up in a shower cap and you’ve saved yourself a tenner.
The British aren’t great when it comes to complaining ( Mrs Richards from Fawlty Towers being the notable exception ), but if you aren’t happy with your room, you’re entitled to say so - and to see the alternatives. Hotels, especially older ones, come in all shapes and sizes, so you might be given a better boudoir. If the hotel isn’t full you might even be get upgraded.
There’s nothing worse than curtains that don’t close properly - they guarantee an unwanted early wake-up call at the crack of dawn. So use a clothes hanger with clips to pin them together.
No in-room speakers ? Put your phone in a mug or glass to dramatically improve the sound quality of your tunes.
Isn’t it incredibly annoying when you want to shave/admire your pretty face after a hot shower but have to wait a good 10 minutes for the mirror to de-mist ? Yes. Yes, it is. Well, free yourself from the shackles of mirror fog. Before you shower ( maybe the night before ) liberally rub a portion of the mirror with a bar of soap. Then take a dry washcloth and buff the soap off. This will keep the mist from condensing on the mirror. And one soaping will last a few days.
Forgotten the plug adapter for your iphone charger ? You could ask to borrow one from reception. Or be really self-sufficient and use a USB port in the back of the TV to charge your device.
Staying in an inner city hotel and wary about someone breaking into your room ? Hang your Do Not Disturb sign on the door and give the impression that you’re still inside having a snooze.
' Consider the unmanned housekeeper’s trolley a smash and grab situation. Pack your bags full of almond butter hand cream and guava face soap with espresso crisps. Take three of everything and get the hell out of the hallway. Even if you do get caught, just say you were out of shampoo, or, even better, out of toilet paper, and thought you’d save them the dysfonctionnement by grabbing it for yourself. Think of it this way : these amenities are here for you, they are yours. We are in no place to dispute the claim that when you wash your hair you prefer to dump fifteen bottles of lavender and poppy seed shampoo all over your scalp like some gooey shower freak. '
And, if the room doesn’t come with conditioner, or you’ve forgotten your phone charger, just ask at the front desk. Hair products, deodorant and phone chargers are apparently the items most often left behind by guests, so the hotel might have a box of each - but ask nicely.