With so many hotels competing for guests, and well-known online travel agents pushing seemingly irresistible deals, it is hard for potential guests to know who to trust. Incorporating trust signals on your site and through your booking engine is an easy way to compete and can help assure you of more direct bookings.
Here are four ways to build guest trust on your site.
1. Open Contact Methods
Digital marketing for hotels suggests that we need to be open and on display. This means it should be easy for guests to contact you in the manner that they are most familiar with. Having a ‘Bookings only’ phone number suggests that you only care about getting customers in. You need to make it clear that you guests can contact you for any reason, even if you do that with a different contact number. In addition to a telephone number, make sure an email address is also easily found, consider adding live chat or a chatbot and, if you are a large hotel brand with the resources to do so, add a social media customer service option too. As long as your contact methods are easy to find and not hidden deep in your site, you are on the right track.
2. Show The Team
With visibility in mind, it helps to showcase your team. Prove that you are human. Have images of key staff and their role. Part of digital marketing for hotels
involves building a brand, and this is an excellent way to help that reputation. A head and shoulders shot that shows the corporate uniform adds an element of professionalism and gives a personal face to your hotel.
3. Live Help
Having a live chat function on your website can be resource heavy, but it does form a valuable part of digital marketing for hotels. People want answers almost instantly and live chat functions on the website makes this easy for them. This is one area you could implement a chatbot to do the work for you, but may hotels utilise reception staff. You can set online hours if needed. The ability to engage with guests in real time will go a long way to building trust and as a direct consequence, more direct bookings.
4. Ask for Feedback
User generated content is a great way to build trust – research from Bright Local shows that 8 out of 10 consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation for a business, product or service. This makes feedback and reviews a crucial tool in winning guest trust. Ask customers to provide feedback and share it on your site. If a customer has made a suggestion, what are you doing about it? Answer these confidently, and do not hide from things that have gone wrong. User generated content
can come from paper forms you ask guests to complete on check out or from an online source.
5. Link to Review sites
Another great way to make user generated content work for you is to have a prominent presence on review sites such as TripAdvisor. Adding the widget to your own site will make sure your reviews are highly visible, showing potential guests that you are confident in your facilities and service. With customer reviews so important to the modern booking process, the option to view independently verified feedback from others can tip a hesitant guest over the line into making a booking.