If you're looking for a faster and easier way to qualify leads and book more viewings, adopt conversational marketing. Customer engagement on your own platforms is key to retention. Instant communication has surpassed social networks in terms of usage and time. To succeed, you need to conquer the conversational space in hotels.
Integrating instant messaging, AI and chatbots can be a challenge. However, make no mistake—conversational marketing is not just an option, it's an essential part of hotels’ sales strategy. It's the key to captivating prospects, engaging them on their terms, and providing unparalleled value. Studies have proven that companies using this approach see an astounding 19% increase in conversion rates and a 22% decrease in output.
What is Hotel Conversational Marketing?
Hotel conversational marketing is a breakthrough strategy that sparks conversations, improves the prospect journey and boosts revenue. It involves real-time personal interactions via live chat, chatbots and messaging apps.
These solutions intelligently generate essential questions to determine their interest and address their concerns. The prospect maintains full control and can book a room or ask any questions with just a few clicks. This creates a personalized and efficient buying experience that leads to a higher number of qualified leads and bookings. This approach also frees up your team to focus on other important tasks.
There are hotels that have successfully used conversational marketing strategies to increase customer engagement and improve their overall marketing efforts.
- Marriott Hotels deployed a chatbot on their website and app that can give you personalized recommendations and help you book rooms.
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts taps into a chatbot to automate the check-in process and send brand messages to customers’ phones.
- Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts’ chatbot acts like a friendly concierge and has now extended its service to WhatsApp.
Channels and Tools for Conversational Marketing
A new study from Sinch shows that consumers have a strong need for two-way conversations with businesses via messaging channels and apps. Surprisingly, 89% of consumers expressed this preference. Thus, brands that fail to offer such opportunities are missing out on a great chance to actively guide and support engaged consumers on their path to purchase. Let’s take a closer look at the key conversational marketing tools that address this demand.
A chatbot is like a friendly talking assistant that helps customers communicate with businesses. When placed on a website, it allows visitors to have conversations with the company as they would with a real person. Website chatbots are designed to mimic human conversation and create a two-way interaction.
Website chatbots are incredibly important to hoteliers, and the research by Meta provides some compelling reasons why. According to the study:
- 45% of customers want to conveniently receive information about products or prices.
- 35% want instant responses 24/7 for quick help.
- 33% see messaging as a hassle-free way to shop and gather information.
- 31% seek personalized advice that caters to their specific needs.
- 30% want the ability to negotiate prices or take advantage of special offers.
Did you know that 75% of customers want to chat with businesses via messaging, just like they do with friends and family? It's no wonder, considering how often we use our phones. According to TechCrunch, we spend about 5 hours per day on our phones, making it a go-to for quick answers. That's why conversational marketing channels like emailing and messaging apps are so valuable.
Messaging apps also allow providing specific details about various matters, so companies can offer personalized and speedy support. In fact, in many places, messaging apps like WeChat and WhatsApp are the primary channels for personal and professional communication. Thus, it's clear that conversational marketing on mobile-friendly platforms can greatly improve the customer experience and optimize communication.
The digital concierge is an AI-powered system that provides personalized assistance and information to users. It’s highly beneficial to hotels, managers, employees and guests alike. According to YouGov’s Hotel's Digital Divide report, more than 25% of guests want recommendations for nearby restaurants, while more than 20% are looking for suggestions for experiences or room and service improvements.
The digital concierge can answer questions like the Wi-Fi password instantly and give insider tips for shopping, sightseeing and fun activities outside the hotel. A study by HubSpot found that 57% of people enjoy chatting with chatbots because they respond right away. So, a digital concierge is like a friendly helper, always ready to assist your guests and make their stay memorable.
Strategies for Applying Conversational Marketing in Hotels
When adopting conversational marketing, it's important to revamp your online sales process by focusing on three key principles: interactivity, personalization and continuity. Let's dive into each of these essentials and understand how they can transform your promotion strategy.
Written interactions are increasingly becoming the primary means of accessing information. With the widespread adoption of mobile devices, instant communication systems have taken center stage. For hotels, the challenge is to capture and dominate the conversational space where customers spend much of their daily time. So, how can you ensure your content fits seamlessly on mobile screens? The answer lies in a different approach: you need to find innovative ways to optimize and adapt your content for mobile devices.
The renowned psychologist B.J. Fogg introduced a simple equation: Action = Motivation + Ability + Trigger. To encourage customers to act, it's crucial to remove barriers in terms of motivation and provide ample support throughout the booking process. While a “book now” button is effective for highly motivated customers, engaging regular website visitors requires a proactive approach and immediate communication from the hotel's side. By proactively reaching out to your guests and offering support, you can attract the attention of potential customers who might otherwise miss out.
It's important to lower the barriers for others to connect with you. By making your brand image, engagement and communications consistent across different platforms, you can understand what matters to your customers, backing them up at key points of their journey.
By taking a consistent and cohesive approach across different touchpoints, hotels can forge a stronger connection with their guests and create lasting relationships. Continuity ensures that every interaction, whether through chatbots, social media messaging or personalized emails, reflects the hotel's brand identity, values and service standards. This makes guests feel recognized and understood, fostering a sense of trust and loyalty.
In today's competitive landscape, brands are no longer built on one-sided marketing messages alone. Customers today expect more; they want personalized and value-added experiences throughout their buyer journey. By using conversational marketing, you can deliver tailored experiences on the right channels and amplify your promotional efforts.
Explore our hotel solutions and find out which of them best fits your property needs.