3 Ways To Raise Traveler Comfort Level Post COVID-19
Several months into this global pandemic and the question remains: “When will occupancy levels recover?” Although the exact answer remains unclear, there are two major factors that are going to correlate with hotel occupancy on the road to recovery – time and traveler comfort level.
As hoteliers, we could sit back and wait as travelers slowly start to emerge over the next 6 months and start to feel more comfortable based on what they are seeing and hearing from others, but what about those hotels that aren’t sitting back and waiting? Hotels that are proactive in their social media messaging, sharing cleaning initiatives, and the steps taken to ensure guest safety. Hotels that are quickly responding to online reviews and reinforcing the on-site precautions that the property is implementing. And hotels that are generating positive reviews across multiple online review sites and encouraging guests to leave feedback about their experience.
These are hotels that move the comfort level themselves and are not waiting for time to do it for them. These hotels are instead using this time as a way to gain a competitive advantage in their respective markets. Let’s take a look at three ways to raise traveler comfort level and confidence on the road to post COVID-19 recovery: Social Media, Reputation Management, and Review Response.
In order to stimulate traveler confidence and comfort, hotels need to be extremely active across not just one, but all social media platforms. Up to this point we have been sharing social posts highlighting all the new cleaning initiatives and standards that the property has introduced since the beginning of the pandemic. Now it’s time to feature them in action.
Post, with permission, travelers and employees following these newly adopted procedures at your hotel. Share a picture of guests in the lobby practicing social distancing at check in or an employee delivering breakfast to a guest room with proper protective gear. Travelers are looking for content that they can relate to as they start to imagine themselves traveling again. Help ease their fears by giving them a glimpse into what the “new normal” will look like in the hotel world.
Another effective way to build traveler trust and confidence is through guest reviews and online feedback. Our reputation data at Travel Media Group shows that review flow and guest feedback has slowed significantly during this pandemic, correlating with the record low occupancy numbers we have seen over the last several months.
So in a time where the number of travelers leaving reviews are at a record low, online reviews have become more critical than ever. Our reputation influence program helps generate positive reviews and feedback from guests and help prevent negative reviews that could significantly hurt your business, especially during this time. It is hearing, seeing, and sharing these positive guest experiences publicly that will help raise the comfort level of other travelers as they weigh their options when determining whether to start traveling again.
The final way to build traveler confidence and comfort level is through professional, timely review response. Travelers conducting research during this pandemic are looking for any and all signs of reassurance as they decide whether or not to book your hotel. Review response is an opportunity for hoteliers to provide that assurance. These travelers are putting their safety in your hands and if travelers see that you are not addressing the comments and concerns of those guests you have hosted before them, it does not give them confidence that you will do so for them.
At Travel Media Group, our Respond & Resolve™ solution includes a review response team that professionally responds to all online reviews across all OTAs, TripAdvisor, and Google. We consult with hotels on the careful and strategic messaging our responses send during this pandemic, instilling comfort and confidence in the future travelers that are reading them.
As more and more travelers start to emerge from nationwide stay at home orders, now is the time to be proactive in your hotel’s digital marketing strategy. Use these three pillars to build a foundation of confidence and trust between the guest and your property. Let us help you move that comfort level yourself, gain that competitive edge over your local competition, and hit the accelerator on the road to recovery.