Questions from holidaymakers - Annoying duty or chance of free advertising?

Many holidaymakers are currently in the planning phase. A timely and direct communication with potential holidaymakers is a must. Compared to the competitor, this can be the decisive factor for the booking decision.

Direct communication with potential guests

In the digital age, customers and guests place high demands on corporate communication. One is used to being able to communicate directly and in real time with companies of all kinds via social media. But not only the standards for customer communication have changed drastically as a result. In the service sector, too, the regular overfulfilment of expectations, for example by delivering goods well before the announced deadline, has led to a change in the customer's perception. 

However, this does not have to be a disadvantage - on the contrary. Here you have the chance to gain a decisive advantage over your competitors without significant additional effort or costs: 

  • You build up a relationship of trust with the potential guest
  • You can respond individually to wishes and questions
  • You differentiate yourself from your competitors
  • You create transparency
  • You're more likely to be recommended
  • Your hotel profile becomes more credible

The question feature on HolidayCheck

On HolidayCheck, guests and interested visitors have the opportunity to ask questions about your hotel. Frequently these are questions about the equipment of the hotel, but more and more frequently also about the surroundings, the leisure possibilities and further various topics. The HolidayCheck community is always ready to help out and usually responds pretty quickly. Questions such as "Is there an indoor pool?" or "Is there an ATM nearby?" are gladly asked and answered by the community to the best of their knowledge. The option of additionally classifying an answer as 'helpful' increases credibility.

However, these answers are not always very detailed, not always exact and sometimes questions are asked which cannot be answered by the community. Answers from the community carry the risk of being subjective and not in the interest of the hotel. So make sure you take the opportunity to actively counteract this. A friendly and factual correction to certain questions from the point of view of the hotel itself not only prevents misunderstandings, but also shows that you take the concerns of your clientele seriously. This also applies to comments on questions and answers which can be corrected by the hotel.

No different than at the hotel's own reception desk you have the chance to respond directly to the wishes and needs of your guests. You even have the advantage of being able to provide good service before their holiday and proving your hospitality. Therefore the guest feels more valued and taken seriously. By having the questions answered directly by the hotel in public and visible to everyone on your hotel profile, you can cast a good light on your hotel and therefore give your hotel profile more credibility.

Not all answers are alike

There is a lot to consider when dealing with customer questions online. Both the questions and the answers are visible to every user and can have a positive or negative impact on the customer's perception of your hotel. More and more customers expect individuality and a personal relationship with their business partners from today's corporate communication. Addressing the customer by name, reacting promptly to comments and questions and responding to personal wishes are the minimum requirements for successful communication. 

In order to implement all this, we have summarised some tips for you here:

  • Answer as soon as possible: Since the customer is in the inspiration phase for the next holiday and probably checks several hotels, time is a critical factor here. The hotel that responds fastest has the better chance of being selected. The faster you react to their questions, the more they will feel valued.
  • Speak the language your customers speak: One's own language is undeniably the one that is best spoken and understood. Be careful with online translators. Even if they usually provide correct translations into the desired language, a native speaker will always notice that the translation was done by a machine. When in doubt, good English is definitely an alternative.
  • Be friendly and helpful: Actually self-evident and yet not to be underestimated. The customer will take this into account and include it in his considerations when choosing his holiday destination.
  • Username and greeting: Always use a consistent username with the name of the hotel: e.g. Hotel Atlantica. Also nice are friendly greetings like "Your Team Atlantica". 
  • Adress your customers personally: (Dear Mr. X/Dear X...) A personal approach promotes customer loyalty and is a sign of attention. Be careful with using the first name. What some target groups take for granted and are absolutely socially acceptable is a no go in other target groups. You should be able to assess your clientele very well.
  • Dealing with ready-made answers: Of course, there is no reason why you shouldn't have a catalogue of standard answers to save time and effort, but also to exclude the different tonalities and writing styles of your staff. Standard texts should, however, be checked before publication to ensure that they really address the customer's partial question in every detail. Nothing is more annoying from the customer's point of view than a standard answer.

Here is an example of a successfully answered question:

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