While using OTA’s and GDS are excellent means to increase the hotel’s revenue, reach and visibility within the hospitality sector, these channels usually take a considerable commission per booking, making it difficult for the hotel to scale.
That is why hoteliers are constantly working on increasing their bookings through direct booking channels where they have more control over their revenue and opportunities to upgrade their strategies.
However, this can be a double-edged sword decision as the more hotels invest in direct channels, especially in social media, the greater their customer care volume will be. Managing all communication channels of a hotel, keeping track of bookings and requests, whilst maintaining positive customer satisfaction can be a challenging job. Although this might seem overwhelming to manage, hotels must maintain an updated communication with their potential customers.
Moreover, the hotel industry prides itself on being one of the most customer-centred sectors and responsible for delivering memorable experiences to its customers. The communication of this industry with its guests has been unilateral for many years until the revolution of social media changed the dynamics of the customer’s demands.
Now travellers are looking to develop a closer relationship with the businesses they engage. From connecting directly on a social media platform, using instant messaging tools, or even sharing their experience to inspire others, this has now become a must in their travel list.
HiJiffy’s solutions are designed to help hotels optimise their operations by centralising all their communication in just one platform and automating tasks that can be repetitive and time-consuming. This way, teams can focus on more guest-centred activities and ensure they deliver a service worth a memorable stay.
Even though there are many other messaging platforms hotels should be leveraged to communicate with their guests such as Whatsapp, Line AI, WeChat, we will be focusing on the benefits of Instagram and Google Business.
How do Instagram and Google Business help hotels to increase direct bookings and optimise their operations?
Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms today, with over 1 Billion users and over 500 million active accounts engaging with business profiles. This means a huge opportunity for hoteliers to connect with their audience and potential guests.
Moreover, this platform uses two of the most powerful marketing tools, images and the power of sharing. Hotels can take advantage of these features to promote their facilities, communicate their promotions, attract travellers, and retain guests. By being present on Instagram, hotels are likely going to receive more queries, requests and even bookings, which pressures hoteliers to increase their workload with a new communication channel to handle.
With Hijiffy’s integration, hotels can activate the Booking Assistant in their business Instagram accounts, through an Instagram Chatbot, and allow their customers to book a stay while they flick through their hotel’s photos and check what others have shared, all without leaving the app. Now hoteliers can use Instagram not only as a promotional or communication tool but also as a means to generate direct bookings.
Google Business has become almost mandatory for any business opening nowadays. The sidebar widget on Google’s main page provides relevant and up-to-date information about venues, products and services at a glance and within seconds. Sometimes what customers are looking for is already available on the Google Business side page, sparing the customer going through the website looking for these details.
Hotels are also susceptible to this behaviour, and although it may seem contradictory to traffic generation strategies, it can actually serve as an advantage to capture guests attention and generate a booking opportunity.
HiJiffy’s integration with Google Business provides an automated Booking Assistant solution available to provide relevant information, handle requests and even close a booking, all without leaving the “golden” first page in Google. This is possible through the messaging feature of Google Business connected to HiJiffy’s AI-powered solution.