Before we understand Word Of Mouth Marketing for hotels, let us imagine that you are a customer. You want to purchase a smartphone. You search online, list down the options, and go to the showroom to check the phones.
After a month of researching, exploring and experiencing, you boil down to three options. The three smartphones are almost equal and so is the price range. You don't know which one to choose.
Seeing no other hope, you call up your friend. “Hey, Which one should I choose between X, Y, and Z?” The Friend replies - “Choose Y. It's the best in the price range. This is all you wanted to hear, and you instantly place the order.
This is the power of word of mouth. In fact, in many cases, it is all that they refer to. Here we will be discussing how you can use Word Of Mouth Marketing For Hotels
What is Word Of Mouth Marketing For Hotels (WOMM)
Word Of Mouth in the hotel industry involves the exchange of information regarding the hotel from one guest to another to encourage or discourage the other guest to use the service. Word Of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) facilitates communication as a marketing strategy.
People will book your hotel only if it's popular with other customers. Customers will always trust another customer over any other source. If that customer is an opinion leader or a celeb, the effect is even more! Word Of Mouth Marketing is also known as Customer To Customer Marketing or C2C Marketing.
Word Of Mouth Marketing for hotels is an essential hotel marketing strategy that one shouldn’t miss. Especially for hotels, customers will prefer to interact with other previous guests to get a fully accurate view of the hotel. The hotel website will list the amenities and show the images, but only a guest can give a holistic review of the hotel. Hoteliers need to ensure that the customers give a great word of mouth.
How To Use Word Of Mouth Marketing For Hotels
Word Of Mouth Marketing has immense potential for hotels. With the growth and penetration of the internet, it has emerged as a powerful tool in the arsenal, since the word can now reach the whole world, instead of being limited to a close circle of friends.
1. Deliver Great Hospitality
To get great Word Of Mouth Marketing for hotels, the hoteliers need to deliver great quality of service. It is the only way to ensure that the guests will talk about your hotel in reviews, social media, and among their circle of friends and family. You need to understand what the customers need and deliver the services accordingly.
2. Add Value For The Customer
In the hospitality industry, providing the bare minimum amenities and bedding is not enough. You need to provide value to the customer. Having a restaurant is not enough, a hotelier needs to ensure that the guests love its food and experience. There are a few things one can do to get beneficial word of mouth marketing for hotels:
Interact with the customer to understand their needs and wants
Train the staff to be well-mannered and handle customers’ grievances and queries in a professional manner.
Evaluate customer satisfaction regularly. Send a survey every time they visit and send it to every customer.
Do something for the guests beyond the usual. For example, you can send them a cake for their birthday or anniversary.
3. Make Optimal Use Of Social Media
Without being on social media, the property is considered to be as good as non-existent. Social media is now a major platform for word of mouth marketing for hotels since it can reach millions of people. Hotels have to be more careful now because any bad experience faced by a customer can now be known to a wider audience.
You can optimise word of mouth for hotels with the help of social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This is where influencer marketing can play a huge role. Reels, Stories, Feed Posts and Tweets are some of the mediums that can be used for Word Of Mouth Marketing (WOMM).
Strategies For Word Of Mouth Marketing For Hotels
1. Influencer Marketing
Influencers have now emerged as mini-celebs in the era of social media. Instagram and Twitter have especially emerged as a platform for various influencers. These influencers have a strong following and hence, many people look up to them for advice and lifestyle choices.
Hotels can make use of Influencer Marketing to their advantage. When you collaborate with an influencer to stay at your property, you can ask them to review your hotel as a part of the collaboration. When the influencer will give a great review to the hotel, their following will be positively inclined towards your hotel too!
2. Online Reputation Management
Hotel reviews are another strategy for word of mouth marketing for hotels. Potential guests will always book the property after going through the reviews. Online reviews - Google My Business reviews, OTA reviews, and hotel reviews are word of mouth taken to the next level. Instead of being limited to a circle of friends, family and social group, the opinion of the guests can now influence any potential guest.
Hotels need to ensure that guests put out favourable reviews to the hotels. For that, hotels need to provide guests with great service and ensure that their grievances are not left unsolved.
3. Referral Programs
Referral programs involve asking the guests to bring their friends to their hotel in exchange for a reward. It is one of the most cost-effective strategies for hotels. It involves encouraging loyal customers to promote their services to others. This will be a boost for word of mouth marketing for hotels.
For example, a hotel can put out this deal - Bring in your friend and get 25% off, ask them to book using this referral code!” This will not only promote your hotel to a wider audience but will also build a deeper connection with the existing customer through additional rewards.
4. Affiliate Programs
Affiliate Marketing is a form of online marketing in which affiliates are given a commission for every sale that occurs through the affiliate link. These affiliates may be bloggers and social media influencers. Collaborating with these affiliates will give you access to a wider audience. For example, if someone writes a blog and the reader books a hotel through the book, the blogger receives commissions.
Word Of Mouth Marketing will always stay since a customer will always trust another customer. For hotels, this strategy is especially important since hospitality is a holistic service - from rooms, dining, and amenities; all these factors are considered when a guest gives a review.
Word Of Mouth Marketing for hotels will always be an essential strategy. Hoteliers have to ensure that the guests have favourable things to say about the hotel.
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