Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them so they don’t want to ~ Sir Richard Branson.
The customer experience is based on perceptions from mental shortcuts people use to identify what is important to them. And more intense and recent the experience is the more memorable it is.
Phycology and study of human behavior tell us that in the end, people will remember the whole customer experience based on only two moments – the best or the worst part.
While hotels are meeting basic needs, today’s customers want and expect much more from each stay. Hotels need to start to transform the customer experience and tune into their needs to drive loyalty and increase repeat business.
The principle of knowing the customer is and has always been, at the core of understanding and delivering an exceptional hotel customer experience.
Today we have to go above beyond this principle and start learning about listening, care, connect and build relationships with employees and customers.
You must understand that exceptional and outstanding customer experiences (CX) start with happy employees.
Why Hotels should connect with their employees on LinkedIn
Employees are an intangible asset for hotels. And we see in today’s disruptive markets that often it is not tangible or fixed assets that differentiate brands, but it is the human factor.
Employees leaving hotels might be replaceable, but their talent, skill set, and knowledge cannot be exactly replaced.
With opportunities everywhere and more of them than before you don’t pick talent. Talent picks you. When your job depends on finding quality candidates or impressing prospective clients, you need your employees to be part of a personal brand that stands out.
LinkedIn is an outstanding opportunity for your Hotel to focus on value innovation in collaboration with your employees.
Start educating and train them so well on how to create an exceptional LinkedIn profile that makes them attractive for any brand today.
Top brands today understand the value of having the face of the company represented on LinkedIn on all levels, and actively engage with customers.
Allowing your employees to showcase their talent and skills helps to put your brand in front of their network, customers, and people who are searching for your hotel.
Create a foundation for employee engagement
As a hotel that is looking to stand out on LinkedIn, you have to start to focus on value innovation and a fulfilling employee and customer experience.
Your hotel’s job is providing your employees with the tools and knowledge that put them in a position delivering a memorable experience every time.
In today’s market, an engaged employee is the lifeblood of a successful hotel customer experience.
Engaged employees speak positively about your hotel among each other’s, to potential employees, and your customers.
In digital marketing, arena engaged employees are even a bigger asset for hotels. Leveraging the power of their unique social network will amplify your brand presence and enhance your reputation as an employer of choice.
As you see the customer experience today impacts a bigger picture that is critical for hotels to understand. If you want to be competitive attracting new talent and skills, you have to be proactive and let your employees play an active part in the customer experience.
On average your employees have a network 10x larger than your company’s follower base.
Educate employees about your culture-first brand presence
The employee and customer experience represent a growth mindset process that can be developed.
Five key processes help us understand customer experience;
- Identify the sweet spots where the customer and your hotel goals align
- Identify key micro-moments in the customer journey
- Identify and understand pain points and moments of delight and surprise
- Experience the customer journey yourself
- Create a visual map of the customer journey
These are the areas you need to educate your employees and let them play an active role.
Employees need to feel comfortable and secure that what they’re sharing and doing is ok.
It is when you turn your employees into brand ambassadors that you create some unique opportunities to leverage their networks.
You have to get your employees excited about the process, they need to understand your hotel’s value proposition and values.
Once you have this in place then together you can focus on value innovation.
Ask your employees to associate themselves with your company on LinkedIn and other platforms.
Help your employees create a profile on LinkedIn that reflects a culture-first brand.
LinkedIn has defined 5 important areas of a user profile;
- Engaging a friendly picture
- Descriptive Headline
- Killer Summary
- Background Image
- Easy ways for people to contact you
Remember that this a dynamic process, so it is ok to make changes here once or twice a month.
Activate your employees and reward them
I have done surveys and talked with hoteliers and the top three challenges are;
- Online visibility
Shifting towards your hotel brand toward culture-first with emphasis on employee and customer experience growth mindset is the key to solving these challenges.
Being more engaged on LinkedIn and other social networks sharing content builds credibility for your employees and your hotel.
Not only do they become brand ambassadors, but they will also become thought leaders and trusted contacts for your hotel.
At this point you want them to become more involved in your loyalty programs. You want them to help you both with customer acquisition and retention.
Encourage your employees to share their hotel stories with their friends, peers, and network.
You must establish what’s in it for them.
Measure and optimize
As indicated, this is a dynamic process, so your hotel needs to ensure you’re continually monitoring it, optimizing it and reinforce it with your employees.
Everyone needs to know and understand the key performance indicators.
Start evaluating what is working, what is not working, iterate and optimize.
It is important to understand that every part of the process is subject to optimization. Don’t fall into the trap of criticizing, blaming or come up with excuses.
Discuss the key performance indicators with your employees. Feedback from them will play a key role when you optimize the processes.
What can you learn from a positive experience or a concern?
Building a strong hotel brand on LinkedIn starts with building a strong employer brand, period. Neither happens overnight. Start listening, care, connect and build relationships and invest in culture first, the employee and customer experience.
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About the author
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Hotel Marketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert that teaches owners, general managers, director of sales, director of marketing and your team members how to use new digital marketing strategies that make every experience count and drives new business