The hotel industry can be a fierce battlefield, especially as home-sharing rises as a disrupter in an already cluttered market. So, how do you stand out?
Consider these statistics from Google’s Travel Moments research:
- 82% of the travellers haven’t chosen the accommodation provider they will book with when they first start thinking about a trip.
- A user can have thousands of digital touchpoints – over an extended period – before they make any decision.
Add to this the mushrooming accommodation options in every size and form.
Standing out – being that sticky story – in a user’s mind is not as easy as throwing a deal their way or pushing your loyalty programme. In this world of infinite choices, fierce competition and the desire for instant gratification, an in-person experience, and compelling storytelling will help stay ahead. But guess what, that’s not enough either!
Let’s look at some ways your property can get a leg up on the competition.
Provide legendary service and create evangelists
Go back to basics and work on delivering an exceptional hospitality experience. Your guests will go on to become evangelists for your property – in today’s social language, influencers. Get your guest experience right and its loyalty generating power will follow, setting you apart from your competitors.
Be human in your interactions. If you’ve made a mistake, admit it. Apologise. Don’t try and sweep the negative online reviews under the carpet. You’ll win hearts at the end of the process for your honesty. Listening to your guests is important – pay careful attention to what they’re saying about you and what they’re saying about your competitors. Find the gaps and areas to improve.
Tell a compelling story
In the toughest of times, it is good storytelling and a brand with solid foundations that is more likely to last the storm. Invest in building a brand that resonates with the people you’re targeting.
A big mistake many hoteliers make is building a brand and then forgetting about it. Remember, brand building is not a stamp in time but an evolution. Good brands respond to the changing time and customer needs to stay relevant and remain top-of-mind.
Build emotional connections with value-add marketing
Move past simply talking about yourself to creating content that will help your guests plan a great trip. Be their local guide. Provide helpful planning information. Share exceptional destination pictures. All these activities go a long way in establishing a sense of trust that acts as the foundation for a long-lasting loyal relationship with your brand.
Be an innovator
It’s all good to match your competitor’s facilities, but what will set you apart from them is offering that something extra. This could be something as simple as an escorted local guide service or a hassle-free check-in. Learn about new technologies and how you can adopt them. Dare to think differently.
Know what your competitors are up to
You can only beat them if you know them. Keep a hawk-eye on your competition, their activities on various platforms and rates on various channels like STAAH RateStalk helps you pick your five top competitors and show you their rates for any seven day period. Comparison data are presented in a simple table and interactive graph.
Gather data and use it to your advantage
Yes, good deals and smart pricing is more than likely to help you win against your competition too. Remember copying your competition like for like, or trying to beat their price may not always be the best solution – it could seriously impact your ARR. Instead, think of how you can add value or improve the experience while maintaining a room rate that makes business sense.
What tactics do you employ to stay ahead of competitors? Is it working? Keen to hear at firstname.lastname@example.org.