Mobile Marketing Tips for Travel and Hospitality Brands
There are usually two reactions when people talk about travel; extreme excitement or complete dread. Although there are many factors that go into a good or bad trip, the difference usually comes down to one main factor: customer experience.
This is largely because travel involves two very important and personal pieces of your life: your time and your money. And when people have a bad customer experience during their travels, they’re likely to share that with the whole world. It’s up to you to find a way to stop this negative broadcast before it begins. Since people rarely use their laptops on vacation, strategies need to be in place on mobile to prevent, predict, and respond to this feedback.
Here are several mobile marketing strategies that can improve customer experience, drive loyalty, and increase traveler happiness.
1. Take Advantage of Two-way Messaging
The opportunity to connect with customers has never been greater than when you’re in their pockets. Two-way conversations open the door for hyper-personalized, private communication and close the door on frustrating customer service, impersonal robotic responses, and dead-end communication threads. Two-way messaging is an excellent vehicle for delivering stellar customer service. Your team can quickly and easily respond to questions, exchange screenshots, and gather information from customers. By humanizing your communication with customers, you build stronger relationships. Conversational marketing is a huge trend right now, and it’s not going away any time soon.
2. Up Your Social Game with User-generated Content
Encourage people to share their experiences through their social media channels and then repurpose their content on your branded accounts. Not only does this fill your editorial calendar for minimal effort and spend, but it also amplifies your brand by utilizing the social networks of your customers and fans. They’re already posting pictures from their vacation—make the most of it by repurposing UGC. Rewarding customers for their patronage drives loyalty, and sharing their content makes them feel special.
3. Intercept Negative Feedback Before It Hits Social Media
We’ve all seen it happen: angry customers taking to social media to rant and rave about a bad experience they had traveling. There’s something about travel that makes people take to social media more than almost any other industry to complain. Perhaps it’s because people have nothing better to do when they’re stranded on the tarmac or trapped at the airport. Regardless, there are some extremely simple things you can do to intercept those negativities from reaching the general public.
Before blindly directing people to write a review or give feedback, check in to gauge their sentiment first. Ask them a question like, “Do you love us?” If they answer “yes,” direct them to a review site. If they answer “no,” then you can effectively address the issue before it becomes public knowledge. By encouraging disgruntled customers to chat with you in a message center, you’re giving them a more productive feedback outlet and social media or the app store. It is so much more personal and approachable for your customers as well, so you can follow up with questions and updates as you work through their issue. With this channel as a communication option, they’ll feel more comfortable freely giving feedback because they know it won’t be going into a void; there will actually be someone on the receiving end.
4. Bridge the Gap Between Physical and Mobile CX
The customer experience is the sum total of all touchpoints. You need to consider the holistic customer experience from research to booking to checking in and beyond. Find ways to bridge the mobile and physical experiences. Prompt people to download your app with a sign at check-in or advertise your social media handles on your in-flight Internet pamphlet. Connecting the digital and physical world will create a smoother, more cohesive customer experience which further enhances and strengthens the overall perception of your brand.
5. Use In-app Notifications
What better way to reach your customers than directly in-app? Most likely, they’re already in the app checking in or browsing activities. Notify them about events, important news, exclusive promotions, and other features in your app. You can even prompt them to leave a review or give you feedback. In-app notifications allow you to communicate at scale, proactively reach out to minimize churn and educate and delight customers. You can even use notifications to push people to a survey if customer feedback is something you’re looking to encourage.
6. Optimize Your App Store Listing
Your options for mobile marketing strategies are limited if people don’t have your app downloaded. But people won’t download your app if they can’t find it or if it has bad ratings and reviews. Adopt a tool like Apptentive to quickly remedy this and start activating your fans to leave awesome reviews and to improve your app store optimization. Make sure your app description and screenshots are compelling and informative, so customers can quickly understand what your app offers. Don’t know how your app stacks up against others in the travel category? Check out these benchmarks to learn more and identify if you have an issue with your ASO strategy.
7. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
This feels like a no-brainer, but we see companies failing to provide a mobile-friendly web experience regularly. People will immediately navigate away from your page if it doesn’t translate, scale, or function properly on their mobile device. Don’t know what’s broken? Implement a web feedback tool to understand what customers think and feel when they’re on your site.
8. Manage Reviews Across All Channels
From TripAdvisor to Yelp to Google to Apple and Google’s app stores, there are so many places where customers can review your brand. Respond to everyone—thank the positive reviewers and triage the negative ones.
All in all, mobile is an excellent listening post for your team to utilize to better understand the customer experience. Proactively gathering feedback is as important for business results as it is for customer experience. Highly-engaged customers buy 90 percent more often and spend 60 percent more per transaction, and collecting customer feedback can also increase upselling and cross-selling success rates by 15 to 20 percent. And even the business costs of caring for customers can be reduced by over six percent with an active VoC program.
Start using in-app feedback tools and using these mobile marketing strategies to drive loyalty and improve overall customer experience.