Learn how to face the competitive challenges of communication in the hospitality industry and deliver a unique proposition.
The cultural diversity of Asia is unmatched anywhere else in the world. A short flight and you’re in a country totally different to the one you left, in terms of language and culture. This is especially so in South and Southeast Asia, making the region highly attractive to tourists and travelers both near and far. However, for those in the hospitality and travel industry in the region, there is the challenge of communicating effectively with customers, delivering a unique proposition and standing out, due to the huge number of operators.
This challenge can be overcome by understanding the communication trends in the industry, the technologies behind these trends and formulating a sound plan for communication in the hospitality industry. In this article, we’ll examine some of the hottest trends and discuss how and why multichannel communication and messaging systems can help to better connect hotels with their customers. What we discuss here applies to both inward and outward operators in Asia, as the region is also home to a burgeoning middle class and growing upper class that are looking to travel, both within and out of the region.
Mobile Bookings and User Tracking Data
Think about the last time you fantasized about and looked up a place to visit. How did you look it up? Most likely, you used your phone—and so does most everyone else. According to Google, 79% of consumers completed a travel booking after doing research on their smartphone. These figures are from 2017, so it’s a no brainer that the trend is booming in the post-pandemic world, as people everywhere look to travel and move around again.
In fact, from 2021 to 2029, mobile bookings are expected to grow at an annual rate of 12% or more. The Asia-Pacific region is also expected to provide the highest growth potential for online booking, with China and India leading the charge. There is also the fact that, globally, the share of mobile bookings was 41% in 2021, and 44% in 2022 already.
Given these stats and the obvious trend, it’s time for the industry to adopt a mobile first, omnichannel experience for bookings and communications with customers. Technology can also help in this regard to accurately track your customers across the entire user journey. This data can then help you tailor and personalize each stage in the journey, which can help to improve conversions and reduce customer acquisition costs. Mobile dominates the whole journey in Asia and, therefore, should be a focus for any service provider.
Multichannel Messaging Is Crucial
The idea that mobile means email or texts is outdated. Today, using mobile technology, there is a huge range of messaging channels, and consumers have their own individual preferences. This is especially so in Asia, where mobile is second nature. These messaging channels are things like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and more. Apart from your website, email and text, to be successful today, your hospitality or travel business should be present on all major platforms too, and especially the platforms most favoured by your target group. WhatsApp is also very important as many prefer it for communications, while if you have any interest of marketing to China, then your presence on WeChat is absolutely non-negotiable, as it is the center for most of Chinese online social activity.
Over 25% of the APAC workforce is made up of millennials. This generation is reaching its peak productive years, and they’re digital natives. That means, if you want to attract them, you need to be very digitally present and very digitally reachable.
This is also a generation that, on average, spends 9.7 days per month on dining out and going to live entertainment. That’s huge, and it tells us that these are fun-seekers, often looking for experiences they haven’t had before. Thus, packaging and marketing your product or service as an experience itself is crucial.
Personalizing your customer journeys is essential if you want to stand out among the crowd and deliver a unique proposition. Fortunately, in an Asian context, getting access to customer data is not as challenging as in other regions, as Asians are generally more willing to share data, particularly if it is going to help make their experience better. In hospitality, there are numerous data gathering points for customers before, during and after their usage of your services. In fact, some properties that have embraced data-driven personalization have seen their subscriptions rise by 50%. Especially when targeting millennials, personalization matters.
Communication in the Hospitality Industry with CPaaS
CPaaS stands for Communications Platform as a Service, and is a cloud-based solution that allows businesses to add real-time voice, video and messaging features using APIs. To put it simply, a CPaaS can revolutionize your communications and quickly address your requirements for a multichannel, even omnichannel, communications system.
These solutions are easily integrated with your existing systems as they are cloud-based and use simple APIs to integrate. In essence, they help you to unite your entire communication and data-gathering operation, including social media messaging, into a single, seamless solution. This makes it easier for your people to handle your customers and your business to deliver exceptional levels of personalization.
Syniverse is a world leader in CPaaS and provides a complete range of solutions using its secure global network. The platform’s customers include the likes of Marriot, MasterCard, American Airlines, Google, and Amazon. Syniverse has mastered mobile multichannel messaging and provides a range of solutions for businesses of all sizes, particularly for hospitality and travel in Asia, helping you to connect with your customers like never before.
Why Omnichannel Messaging Should Be Your End Goal
Customers, particularly in hospitality and travel are looking for experiences. Therefore, customer experiences matter in this industry, probably more than in any other. Creating an ecosystem where uniformity of customer experience exists regardless of communication channel used can help your hotel or other travel-related business standout, through exceptional customer experience. In fact, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience.
After all, in terms of travel and hospitality, people are coming to relax. They’re coming to be pampered, to experience something out of the ordinary, and naturally, they’ll gravitate to those service providers who treat them best and make them feel special. This is why, if you are looking to improve communication in the hospitality industry, multichannel messaging, data gathering and personalization are key, and a robust CPaaS can bring all of these elements into one seamless, easy-to-use platform that will not just delight your customers but your staff too—a total win-win!