Covid-19 is not only turning our private lives upside down these weeks and months. The spread of the coronavirus also has a massive impact on many industries worldwide. Cancelled rooms and flights and thus absent guests are hitting the hotel and tourism industry very hard. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, up to 50 million jobs are at risk in the global travel and tourism industry due to the current pandemic.
In such an uncertain and challenging situation, hotels are not only wise to pay close attention to a transparent and consistent guest communication, but to develop a long-term strategy to rehabilitate themselves in the market and make up for losses once the coronavirus crisis is over. The current situation has a huge impact on daily operations, but it might also be considered as an opportunity to rethink internal processes and to consider new technologies which can positively impact your business in the long run.
Professional and consistent guest communication during coronavirus crisis
Being in the middle of a crisis, a professional and transparent communication is extremely important. Many travelers are worried about the travel restrictions being added daily by governments. Therefore, hotel owners should stay connected with your guests and show them empathy. Leverage your digital communication channels like website, email, SMS and social media to inform about updates and to make sure your guests feel fully and well-informed. While you don’t have to share your full crisis plan publicly, it is recommended to let your guests know how you prioritize employee and guest safety, how you handle cancellations and rebookings as well as any preventative measures of your hotel business.
Now, but also beyond the coronavirus crisis, hotels should implement a communication strategy that creates a lasting, personal experience throughout the entire guest journey and that delivers the right message at the right time.
Use the current coronavirus period to optimise and digitalise hotel’s procedures
As after other crises, we most certainly will see a catch-up effect as soon as the coronavirus crisis has been overcome. After travel bans, curfews and “social distancing”, the need for travelling will increase significantly. In order to make the most of this potential and to emerge stronger from it, hotels should use the current situation to optimize internal procedures and evaluate new technologies which help them gain a competitive advantage in the long-term.
During times of crisis, it’s inevitable that hoteliers will experience a revenue downturn and that they are forced to cut back their expenditures in various areas. However, when the demand starts to recover, it’s time to make wise investments. Strategic digital tools that increase operational efficiency, save costs in the long run and generate additional revenue should especially be on the priority list of forward-thinking hoteliers.
During such an uncertain time like the current coronavirus crisis, hotels are wise to ensure a consistent and transparent communication with their guests. They will appreciate being treated fairly and will remember your hotel and your service in the best possible way. To recover from a crisis like this and to make the most out of the catch-up effect afterwards, hoteliers should use this time to evaluate new tools that offer the most strategic benefit for their business. Gaining new competitive advantages can strengthen the market position and will surely pay off in the long run.
About the author
Moritz Klussmann is CEO and co-founder of Customer Alliance, one of the European market leaders for Customer Experience Management and Online Reputation Management. In his role, he is responsible for the strategic focus and profitable growth of the company, and is significantly driving the development of the product.