Truly, technology has been utilized at every level of the travel process, from in-unit luxuries to marketing strategies. But, even with powerful technological tools such as online marketing, email blasts, and high tech rental portals, improving customer experience is now seen as one of the most important marketing tools at a travel company's disposal; fortunately, new technology has made this endeavor easier than ever before. Utilizing a variety of different software, apps, and automated scripts, travel companies everywhere are taking the high-tech route to making their guests' stays more enjoyable and more memorable.
Here are just a few of the most important technologies travel companies are using (or should be using if they're not!)
Automated Pre-Stay, During-Stay, and Post-Checkout Emails
Birgit Daniel of Tropical Escape Vacation Homes, says "a major mistake many travel companies make is a lack of communication during the entirety of their guests' stay. Oftentimes, this can cause confusion pre-stay (where do I go to check in?), disgruntlement during-stay, and complete abandonment post-stay. However, new technology allows travel companies to reach out automatically to guests at all phases; a must, if you wish to keep guests happy and have them use your services again (and save some time while doing so)".
With pre-check-in emails, you can welcome your guests to a luxurious vacation, while during-stay emails can help you find and remedy issues that may have occurred--allowing travel companies to appear pro-active to guests who stay with them. Post-checkout emails, on the other hand, give companies the opportunity to ask about their stay and even prompt past guests to leave reviews, if they were happy with the services rendered. Without a doubt, these type of emails go a long way towards making sure your company isn't forgotten when their next vacation is being planned!
Advanced Customer Relation Management
Utilized for customer retention, advanced customer relationship management (or CRM) tools have made it easy for travel companies to make customer interaction more personable and more profitable. These tools allow travel companies to keep track of every interaction with the guest, giving them the opportunity to utilize information mined from these interactions for future payoff. Dustin Hall of Sunset Nightly Rentals says "leveraging guest data through CRM can help deliver targeted email blasts based on interests and date-of-inquiry". Does your company offer coupons or specials during a certain time of year? Use CRM tools to target past guests by date-of-inquiry and watch as your bookings begin to climb.
Guest Apps for the Travel Experience
If you wish to create a tailored experience for your guests, creating a guest activity information app is an absolute must. Not to be confused with your standard "web portal" app that simply acts as a mobile website replacement, guest information apps--such as the one used by property management company Swantree 30A--can provide all the information your guests need to have a memorable vacation when staying with you. Stock your app with area relevant information, including sightseeing spots, restaurant options--with Google Map directions--and perhaps some under-the-radar activities that only you know about. Or, direct your guests to important on-site locations, such as the customer service counter, snack/gift shops, or even ice machines (if you have them).
Though these apps and luxuries won't directly lead to more sales, keeping your guests happy (and making sure they have an amazing time) is just one of many guest retention strategies made better by the advent of glorious technology!
Why Utilize These Technologies?
Though many seek the services of online marketing, and more when attempting to market their company, the simple fact is that guest experience is one of the best marketing strategies out there. Simply making sure your guests have an amazing time on their vacation will help word spread about your brand, while also improving guest retention rates. Even better, these technologies can help augment more traditional marketing strategies, and can easily become some of the biggest advantages you possess--especially when it comes to online marketing. For instance, automated emails sent to guests can help avoid bad reviews online and attract good reviews, both of which are major factors that Google and other search engines factor into their ranking algorithms. You can also gain entirely new demographics for your targeted email blasts using CRM, and spread good will about your company with your new guest app!
All in all, these technological marvels are geared toward much more than simply improving your guest experience--though that is a noble endeavor. They also might help you improve your rental rates, and augment your marketing endeavors; isn't that worth taking your travel company into the 21st century?