Solid guest communication has never been more crucial: guests need access to up to date, factual, reliable information about your property. This information can be displayed on OTAs, your website or via proactive guest communication. In all cases – good communication is key to setting correct expectations and easing any concerns guests may have around their trip.
So, how to get this right? Below we have gathered a collection of materials to guide you on guest communication today. From how Staycity Group has managed to communicate clearly and efficiently throughout the challenges to how to nail your Tripadvisor listing.
- CASE STUDY: Staycity Group is a brand that operates a collection of diverse yet complementary brands with properties in seven countries across the Asia Pacific region. Skip to the blog post below to read all about the brands strategy and how they kept demand up even in the most difficult times.
- eBOOK: Tripadvisor: Have you updated your Tripadvisor presence? In this eBook you will find out all about the new Tripadvisor listing and how to get the most out of it. Tripadvisor expert Becky Foley explains how this is vital for your visibility and success as a brand. Read now
- eBOOK: Effective Communication to Drive Trust and Bookings. If you have been searching for a digital ‘handbook’ with communication tips and advice for hoteliers and accommodation providers, then you have come to the right place. Download this eBook and get the latest best practices. Read now
- WEBINAR: Post-COVID-19 Communication. Last but not least, if you want ALL of the above in a watchable format, download and watch our webinar dedicated to clear, efficient, and successful communication, here. Watch now
Staycity Group Brand Strategy to Survive
As an operator of self-catering apartments, Staycity Group is well positioned to cater to the changing needs and expectations of travelers in the time of the coronavirus. In a recent ReviewPro webinar, Rhonda Meehan, Group Quality Manager, shared how her company uses multiple communication channels to reassure travelers of safety, attract bookings and set expectations.
The Dublin-based company operates two brands, Staycity Aparthotels, a collection of 21 properties across the UK, Ireland, France and Italy, and Wilde Aparthotels, a premium brand with properties in prime city center locations, including Covenant Garden in London and Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.
“Although we are self-catering apartments, we very much operate like a hotel as well,” Rhonda Meehan said.
Putting COVID-19 Policies & Procedures into Place with Rhonda Meehan
How has the company fared during the pandemic? Rhonda outlined what three things Staycity Group has been doing in order to continue thriving during a global pandemix.
“We are quite fortunate in that most of our properties remained open because we have kitchens and self-catering and access to washer-dryers. We accommodated a lot of key workers and people who needed emergency accommodation. Now, our properties are all fully open to guests again, albeit with some reduced services.”
1. Activating Multiple Channels
At a time when people are reluctant to travel and concerned about safety, effective communication is critical, as is the ability to reach travelers on the many channels they use to plan trips. Meehan outlined the tools and channels Staycity Group is using to communicate COVID-19 safety protocols.
- Website information
- Informational videos
- Pre-arrival email
- Online check-in
- Keyless entry
- Digital appliance manuals
- WhatsApp QR code
- Company App
2. Leveraging Partnerships
The company is also leveraging partnerships to help inform travelers and build trust. COVID-19 safety checklists have been completed on the Tripadvisor listings of all properties.
The company is sending a team to train for Failte Ireland’s COVID-19 Safety Charter, a government-backed initiative to build confidence in domestic and overseas visitors.
Participating businesses can display their accreditation to reassure their customers that the charter’s safety protocols are being followed.
3. Asking For Feedback
How does the company know its initiatives are working?
“We currently operate both an in-stay survey and a post-stay survey powered by ReviewPro,” explained Meehan. “We decided to amend some of the survey questions and add new ones to ask for feedback on how guests think we are doing with everything COVID-19 related.”
The company now asks the following survey questions:
- “In this new era of travel, our top priority is to keep guests safe. How did you find the level of safety protocols we have in place?”
- “Is there anything else you would have liked to have seen in operation in terms of COVID-19 safety measures?”
- “Would you like to tell us more?”
In addition, Staycity Group uses our Online Reputation Management platform to monitor and analyze online reviews.“I think it’s really important to listen to guests and adapt where needed,” Meehan said. “We have received very positive feedback to date, but obviously we need to keep listening because things are changing all the time.”
- First, for smaller and larger properties alike, it’s important to promote your safety measures on multiple sources. Display them on your website, in your newsletter, by video, on social media, etc. It’s good for guests to feel informed, and it will give them the confidence to book your hotel.
- Build trust in guests by consistently upholding safety measures on property. Ask guests for their feedback using surveys and QR codes, follow through on their concerns and respond to your reviews. If you listen to guest feedback and adapt where needed, it will build trust and drive more bookings.