The increasing spread of Covid-19 has already had a significant impact in all aspects of life, our families, businesses, associates and clients. It is a crisis disrupting the way we feel, think and behave but just like any other crisis, this too will eventually pass.
Until then Mozaik is here to help you manage the implications on your business and propose a set of actions that will get your business back on the radar for the near future.
After closely monitoring the market developments in the tourism industry in Greece and abroad we have come up with a set of guidelines that will help you overcome this disruption, evaluate and meet your marketing and online business needs and maintain an “open communication channel” for current and prospect clients interested in visiting your hotel or the destination in which your hotel is located.
Cultivate Effective Client Communication
- Email customers that have already planned to stay in your hotel in upcoming month/s
Send a generic email to all clients who have booked to stay at your hotel during April/May informing them that you are giving them the opportunity to reschedule their stay to a future date, free of charge or get a full refund if they decide to cancel their booking. A refund might not seem as the ideal solution at the time, but in the long run it will work on your favor as a refund might generate a very positive impact (in terms of reviews/comments) as opposed to negative reviews that the hotel won’t be able to handle.
- Send a Personalized email to customers who have already cancelled
A template email can be prepared, to be sent out to customers who have already cancelled their bookings. A personalized touch for each customer could be added, so that they feel the hotel cares personally for them. The email could include: “Dear Mr. X, we understand the current situation…”, “.. and therefore, we offer you the following options to re-book your stay in the upcoming future. Till Then, #StaySafe”.
- Letter/Message/Video from CEO
A “Message from our CEO regarding Coronavirus” could be placed in the homepage of your website. It could be displayed with either a popup or briefly in the message box that websites usually have in their hero slider.
This message could lead to a landing page with a full message, which must end with 1-2 CTA buttons prompting users to take action (e.g. contact reservations dept). This message can also be communicated via your social media channels. In order to achieve greater visibility among your followers on each account we advise you to promote it.
Adjust your Commercial Policy
- Flexible Cancellation Policy
Apply a flexible cancellation policy (along all rate plans) giving clients the option to cancel their reservations free of charge, up to 7 days prior to their check-in date. High season reservations (i.e. August) could be excluded from the policy.
Avoid making any radical changes on your property’s core pricing strategy. In addition, make sure that your special offers are competitive. The actual reason for not receiving any new reservations right now, should not be attributed to high rates, but the sense of general uncertainty.
Aim in attracting new reservations for later in the season, even from alternative markets (compared to your “traditional” source markets), when the impact from Covid-19 will have been reduced.
Invest in Online Marketing
Believe in the Value of SEO
Taking into consideration that paid promotions are currently minimized it would be wise to invest in organic (SEO) techniques as traffic from organic channels mostly comes from users with a more immediate buying need. With people staying at home, online searches have been on a rise, so we strongly advise you to invest in SEO, offering a significant potential for a high ROI during this outbreak. When things are back to normal, SEO will still be one of the most effective ways to reach consumers, so we are looking at a win-win situation. Mozaik possesses the knowledge and expertise to guide and support you towards this direction and be your SEO strategic partner.
Maximize your Potential with GoogleAds search campaigns
As mentioned earlier, when people stay at home, they tend to search more online. Therefore, keeping your search campaigns active in paid advertising channels (Google, Bing, Yandex) will help your hotel remain visible at any relative search demand. As clients return to the “dreaming” phase of their online travel journey, your property should appear on these searches, becoming part of their dream.
Adjust your Ad copies to the Situation
Fine-tune the content of your paid campaigns so as to include the new flexible booking terms and free cancellation policies the hotel provides for when customers feel ready to book again.
Create a digital advertising strategy for the Local market
When things get back to normal, people will feel ready to travel again. They might be reluctant to visit distant countries and rather select a domestic or close-by destination so being proactive, planning a strategy for that moment, would help you direct them your way.
Alter your Social Media Strategy
Adapt your Content Strategy to Current Needs
Hard-selling posts and similar communication should be avoided for the upcoming period on your social media channels as no one would appreciate them through a time of crisis.
Instead, we recommend that you turn your social media content into an “advert-less”, informative, engaging and shareworthy story uncovering the jewels of your location, landmarks and destination or of past moments worth remembering.
Align your messages with those suggested and provided by Marketing Greece and SETE, adopting a common communication approach.
SETE is also suggesting including the following copy and hashtags in all posts:
Copy: “When the time is right, we’ll be there for you. Till then #staysafe ”
#staysafe #DiscoverGreece #Greece #DreamTravel #LiveToTravel #TravelCommunity #TravelBug #TravelDreamSeekers #VisualsOfLife #StayHome #StaySafe #Covid_19 #NoPeople #TakeAction #FlattenTheCurve
Configure Community Management:
Configuring “community management” for your social media accounts is crucial, as more and more users will be visiting your pages during this period searching for updated information or wishing to leave a comment related to the general uncertainty. Personal prompt responses and user reassurance is important as it shows that you care.
Reset your Working Hours & Dates on all Online Platforms
In many countries like Greece & Cyprus, the State has already announced the temporary closure of year-round hotels, as well as the postponement in the opening of seasonal hotels & resorts, until late April. As a result, we propose the immediate update of opening hours & dates for your business, on your various online platforms, such as Google My Business, Facebook, Apple Maps, Tripadvisor etc.
Taking some time to put together a crisis management plan shows that your business is adequately prepared for a disruptive situation reducing uncertainty for all parties involved. Be ready to confront any issue that may arise and follow a proactive approach that will lead to great customer satisfaction and increased business in the long run.
In the meantime, be well and stay safe as we get through this together.