When you think of top travel destinations around the world, Dubai is hard to ignore. Aside from it’s impressive urban landscape that includes the world’s tallest building, biggest shopping mall and largest man-made island, the city is a thriving and multi-cultural metropolis. Majid Al Futtaim is a Dubai-based Emirati company that includes 13 major entertainment and retail focused hotels, serving 1.6 million guests annually.
Consumers expect personalization now, yet many businesses are still struggling to translate their data into meaningful actions. According to a Forrester study, 40% of marketers said that personalizing offers and experiences based on behavior is a top challenge for them.
From a technical standpoint, personalization requires detailed knowledge about your guest, so the best way to begin is to make sure that you are pulling together your CRM data along with data available through public social profiles, email and Wi-Fi data. By including all available sources, you will have a fuller view of your guest and more contextually relevant information.
As for translating customer information into actionable insights? Here are 10 ways hotels and tourist attractions can personalize the experience of any guest.
1. Remind them of a previous visit
Nothing helps build a relationship as much as sharing a memory. Hotels are finding more and more creative ways to do this, some even going so far as printing photos from their previous trip and putting them in their room. It could also be as simple as asking if they would like you to make reservations at the same restaurant as last time. Whatever gesture you make it should be defined by the closeness of your relationship with the guest.
2. Suggest an activity
First time visiting the city? Send them a personal message mentioning your favorite thing to do, with a personal sign off. Social monitoring for the terms ‘first time’ can help you find these guests. Or you may want to suggest spa or yoga activities to anyone indicating they’re looking to ‘relax’.
3. Special delivery
For solo travelers, returning to the hotel room at the end of the day can feel lonely. Why not them leave them a comforting amenity such as a dessert plate or movie rental ‘on the house’? People celebrating special occasions are also good candidates for in-room surprises.
4. A handwritten note
As most people in hospitality know, a handwritten note is one of the easiest ways to add a personal touch. The note can be a simple acknowledgement of their visit, thanking them for the mention on social media and an offer to help make their stay more comfortable. If the guest has also posted a photo, printing the photo and enclosing it with the note is a nice touch.
5. Make work a bit more enjoyable
If your guest is travelling on business, suggest some quiet areas of the hotel where they can concentrate, a free upgrade to faster Wi-Fi, or give them happy hour vouchers for the hotel bar so they have something to look forward to at the end of the work day.
6. Lend them something
Perhaps you know that a guest is planning an outdoor activity but you see that it’s going to rain. An offer to lend them umbrellas is a small gesture but one that could be very much appreciated. Kimpton Hotels have a program where they lend guests a fish for their room, with the idea that watching a live goldfish can help reduce stress. Families who are visiting might enjoy boardgames, gaming stations, or a stuffed animal.
7. Help to coordinate their day
Did they mention that they will be attending an event on Twitter? Respond offering a wake-up call, or see if they need help with transportation. Guests who are competing in a local sports event, such as a marathon, might appreciate some energy bars or recovery sports drinks.
8. Make a special occasion even better
A special occasion could be a birthday, an anniversary or a special holiday for the guest. Why not turn this into an even more memorable experience by offering the guest(s) a glass of wine of the same vintage as their wedding year, or for 10+ year celebrations, a bowl of chocolate strawberries – one for each year?
9. Give them something off-menu
When you know a guest is going to be dining with you and you really want to impress, surprise them with a small dish or even writing on their dessert plate that references the context of their current visit or a previous one. If you can see that the guest posted a photo of a dish from a previous visit, you might want to make mention of this, or offer them a new twist on it.
10. Support their wellness routine
Does your guest’s Instagram feed include gym selfies and other workout pics? Offer to lend them some exercise equipment in their room, such as a yoga mat or free weights. You may also want to suggest running routes or point them in the direction of nearby studios.
Location-based social monitoring platforms help you drill down to see content from people who are on site, while providing contextual insights to help you take action in a way that strengthens your customer relationships. Find out how location-based social monitoring tools compare to content publishing tools and other social media tools.