April 24, 2024

Hotel branding: The impact of personalising chatbots to fit your brand strategy

The importance and potential of personalisation

Hotel branding goes far beyond a sleek logo and a defined colour palette. It is an all-encompassing process that aims to position a brand in such a way that it is not only recognised and identified by potential guests but also that they prefer it over competitors’ offerings. 

Create unique experiences that will be remembered

You can create an unrivalled hospitality experience that expresses the essence of your hotel branding based on deep insight into guests’ needs and preferences. Digital interactions are a key element here, and conversational AI is a powerful tool for hoteliers. Imagine a chatbot that is not only able to communicate in the same language as your guest, but can also adopt the tone of voice that makes your hotel unique. This form of personalisation creates an experience tailor-made for each user, saves time, significantly improves the customer experience and ensures that the guest feels truly understood, valued and at ease. And hopefully, impressed too!

To unleash the full potential of this strategy, let’s dive deeper into the meaning of hotel branding and explore how a customised chatbot experience can revolutionise your relationship with your guests.

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What is hotel branding?

Hotel branding is the art of communicating the essence of a hotel in such a way that it clearly stands out from the competition and builds a deep bond with its guests. It extends beyond the visual aspects of branding into a process of communicating a set of values to guests, emphasising the intangible aspects of the business. The aim is to achieve uniqueness and recognisability. A hotel’s identity is created through marketing activities that include designs, symbols, interatcions and words, and is built on a clearly defined purpose, guided by the question “Why?”

A key part of a branding strategy is online presence. In today’s digital world, where the first impression of a hotel is often made online, it is crucial that its digital presentation and accessibility are considered an essential part of brand-building. The way a hotel presents itself on its website and through social media, and how accessible these platforms are for guests, plays a key role. Social media has become an important source of information for travel planning, with 60,6% of the global population being active users.

With thoughtful hotel branding and by using channels effectively, a hotel can not only increase its visibility, but also build a deeper relationship with its guests to offer them an unforgettable experience.

Why is hotel branding important?

Hotel branding is vital in remaining unique, attracting guests, and standing out from the competition. If travellers can recognise a clear, appealing brand identity, they are more likely to decide to stay at your hotel. A well-established brand is difficult to copy, especially if it is protected. Guests will remember your hotel and choose the experience of it over others because of the emotional connection they build with your brand.

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Key components of a successful hotel-branding strategy

Hotel branding starts with the name, design style, logo, typography and philosophy of the hotel, all of which are at the forefront of branding. Similarly, your employees should express the philosophy and vision of the hotel brand and communicate with guests in a way that reflects the image of your hotel. The most important point of contact with a potential guest is your website’s quality and social media presence. Once these foundations have been established, you can consider using cutting-edge hotel technologies, such as a chatbot that communicates in exactly the desired way – in other words, on brand.

Why a good website can change the experience

A well-designed website can significantly impact the experience of potential guests by using visual communication to guide customers based on their problems and provide them with a trouble-free website experience.

Here are a few facts about the importance of a website that is visually appealing:

  • Hotels with high-quality photos on their websites see an increase in conversion rates of 15% as guests feel more welcome and trust the hotel more.
  • Websites with videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results.
  • Bookings are 67% more probable when a video tour is available.
  • 74% of customers feel frustrated when a website’s content is not personalised. 

These facts underline the critical role that a visually appealing and personalised website plays in enhancing the guest experience and conversion rates.

Why more and more hotels are relying on personalised chatbots

Chatbots can significantly increase customer engagement by offering your website visitors a personalised experience and proactively identifying and addressing their needs. They create an emotional bond by giving the (accurate) impression that the hotel looks after every guest individually, and they thus convey a feeling of personal care and attention.

In times of staff shortages, chatbots offer valuable support by giving the feeling that guests are communicating directly with the hotel reception. They also ensure consistent brand communication, as they always act in the same style and tone, which helps to strengthen the hotel’s identity.

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How to ensure consistency when using a chatbot

To guarantee consistency when using a chatbot, it is important to choose the tone and type of communication carefully and maintain this throughout. Here are some points that can help:

  • Set the tone of voice: Decide how you want to communicate with your guests. Should the chatbot’s greeting be formal, friendly, personal, authoritative, clear or even humorous? It is important to remain consistent without seeming impersonal. This consistency should also be maintained when answering FAQs.
  • Note target group: The communication should appear human, not like a bot generated by default. Highlighting special features, such as a name or a specific icon/avatar for the chatbot, significantly improves the experience.
  • Create a greeting message (a notification to draw attention to the chatbot): This should stand out and make guests feel that someone is available if they have any questions or need support, which imparts a sense of security.
  • Select a welcome message (first message in the chatbot): Opt for an initial message that makes guests feel welcome without being too generic, which could give the impression that the bot can’t answer their questions.
  • Ensure 24/7 availability: Guests from different time zones or researching at night or outside working hours should not have to wait for an answer.
  • Enable multilingualism: The chatbot should be able to communicate in multiple languages to welcome guests from around the world and make them feel comfortable.
  • Offer quick-reply buttons: Simplify communication for guests with predefined answer options for frequently asked questions without restricting the option to form custom replies.
  • Consistency across different channels: Allow the target group to choose their preferred communication channel, but keep communication consistent, including on social media, which also serves as a source of inspiration for travelling. Your personalised chatbot should also be integrated with social media.

These strategies help ensure consistent communication, improve the user experience, and increase guests’ confidence.

Custom look and feel with HiJiffy’s conversational AI

If you personalise your chatbot or the widget on your site, you naturally want them to be in your corporate colours and include your logo. Here’s a checklist to ensure that your chatbot is optimally personalised with HiJiffy:

  • Add a chatbot title and logo: This can be the name of your hotel.

  • Decide on widget placement: It’s usually in the bottom right corner, but the position, alignment and size are up to you.

  • Use your brand colours in the widget and add an icon/logo of your hotel: It is also possible to use GIFs.

  • Give the chatbot a name: This makes it more personal and gives it a human touch. Be creative and consider using part of your hotel name. If you wish, you can also name the chatbot after one of your employees.
    • Examples: “Leo” at Leonardo Hotels, “Magic” at Magic Costa Blanca

  • Select a chatbot avatar: Many hotels opt for a robot, but you can choose whatever you like. GIFs are also possible here.

  • Design quick-reply buttons in company colours: Depending on the colour, you can select the text in white or black so that it is easier to read on a dark or light background.

Even if these adjustments seem small, they are all about user-friendliness, readability and brand awareness. With these steps, your chatbot is ready for use.

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Chatbots are indispensable tools for customising your hotel brand

Personalising your brand is essential in the hospitality industry and should be seriously considered as the opportunity to make each guest’s journey as unique as possible. Chatbots offer an excellent opportunity as they can increase efficiency and significantly improve customer satisfaction (CSAT scores) by enabling personalised interaction. 

Automation does not mean that personalisation has to fall by the wayside. In fact, it is crucial to consider the personalisation capabilities of a chatbot when selecting and implementing it. Through carefully selected customisations – from the integration of brand colours and logo to naming and avatar selection – the chatbot can effectively become an integral part of your brand identity, offering guests an unparalleled, personalised experience.

Senior Marketing Executive DACH

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