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#AskDJV Episode 31: Hotels can learn from Apple Customer Service

This week’s #AskDJV Episode 31 is a bit unconventional in the fact that DJ Vallauri talks about his recent customer service experience with Apple Computers.  How does this relate to the hospitality industry, you might wonder?  Read on for more insights into customer service.

 

Hotel Customer Service

Recently, DJ went into the Apple computer store to purchase the Apple Watch.  While the Apple team was pitching him about the watch and explaining all the features and advantages, DJ explained to them that he had purchased another Apple product 30 days ago and that he wasn’t very satisfied with the product.  He knew that it was past Apple’s usually 14 day return policy, but he expressed his concerns anyway.

Customer Satisfaction

Sometimes, it isn’t all about you (the hotel hearing the complaint), it is all about your hotel guest and how they feel, what they want and overcoming their objections (or in this case, DJ’s dissatisfaction with a previous Apple product).  You want to do this in a timely fashion, but more importantly, you want your guest to feel like they matter to you.  The ultimate customer satisfaction comes with a positive review and re-booking your hotel.

Quality Customer Service

The way to provide quality hotel customer service is to listen to your guests, ask their opinions, and find ways to make their experience at your hotel even better than they anticipated.  Every hotel has something special that resonates with their guests.  Look for more ways to improve the quality of your customer service, similar to the way Apple did with DJ.

Check back for next week’s episode of #AskDJV.  We look forward to seeing you!

#AskDJV Episode 30: 3 Tips on avoiding Negative Hotel Reviews

It’s inevitable.  Every hotel is going to have negative reviews at one time or another.  In Episode 30 of #AskDJV, we discuss what you can do to minimize negative hotel reviews.

Negative Hotel Reviews – Tip #1

Be Pro-active.  There are many times a guest will be staying at your hotel and it takes 2-4 hours for someone from the property to even send an acknowledgement to them.  You want to prevent your guest from going to social media marketing channels such as Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor or another OTA and posting a negative comment or hotel review.  Speed is of the essence when it comes to avoiding hotel reviews.

Negative Hotel Reviews – Tip #2

Own the problem or complaint – even if it isn’t your department.  Whether the complaint belongs to you or not, own it, take responsibility for it and try to turn a guest complaint into a positive hotel review.  Don’t blame someone else or look for the “easy” way out of the situation.

Negative Hotel Reviews – Tip #3

Restore confidence and goodwill with your hotel guests.  Remember, to put yourself in your guests’ shoes.  If you were staying at a hotel and someone promptly attended to your issue with a positive attitude, wouldn’t you be more likely to write a positive review about your experience?

Sometimes, all it takes to avoid negative hotel reviews is to be attentive and caring when responding to guest complaints.  Learn more about what you can do to avoid negative hotel reviews today.

Thanks for watching. Until next week!

#AskDJV Episode 29: Hotel Digital Marketing – Social Media Marketing

Are you a hotel sales manager?  Have you ever wondered how to capitalize on your online digital marketing efforts with your offline marketing campaigns?  In this week’s episode of #AskDJV, DJ Vallauri discusses what you can do to integrate your hotel social media marketing with your offline marketing efforts.

Hotel Social Media Marketing

How do you marry both online marketing and real world marketing?  Try some of the following hotel marketing tips:

  • Use something like Periscope (tell stories about your hotel) to stream live video about your hotel.
  • Describe memorable events from working on your hotel property
  • Explain why your hotel is special, but don’t try to “close”, instead, build a community around your hotel.
  • Do not underestimate the power of hotel email marketing. Use this tool as a way to get feedback, earn repeat guests and create a buzz about your hotel.

 

Remember these Hotel Marketing Tips:

  • Show a genuine interest in people
  • Respond to guests through the application, if someone is asking you a question, pause for a moment, answer them, then continue to live stream your hotel video
  • Be Yourself. Be genuine, concerned and a real person.
  • Find a common ground – if you are talking about weddings or social events, stick to the subject matter.
  • Tie your Hotel Internet Marketing efforts with your offline marketing efforts, ensuring that you are reaching your largest guest audience

We hope you enjoy Episode 29 of the #AskDJV show.  Come back next week when we discuss Negative Hotel Reviews and how you can avoid them.

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Until next week!

#AskDJV – Episode 28: How Will Live Streaming Affect My Hotel?

It’s time for episode 28 of the #AskDJV Show. This week, I’m talking about a hotel marketing “game changer” – live streaming. With apps like Periscope and Meerkat more popular than ever, it is important to understand how live streaming can affect your hotel. Watch this week’s video to find out.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

Check back here every Friday for the latest episode and follow me on Periscope (@DJVallauri) and Meerkat.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Until next week!

#AskDJV – Episode 27: How to Avoid Negative Hotel Reviews

It’s time for episode 27 of the #AskDJV Show. In this week’s episode, DJ Vallauri discusses how hoteliers can avoid negative hotel reviews for their properties. Take a look:

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

Check back here every Friday for the latest episode and follow me on Periscope (@DJVallauri) and Meerkat.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Until next week!

#AskDJV – Episode 26: How Does Hotel Information Architecture Affect Your Website Design?

Hello everyone! Thanks for watching this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show! In Episode 26, I’m talking about how your hotel information architecture can affect your website design.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

Check back here every Friday for the latest episode and follow me on Periscope (@DJVallauri) and Meerkat.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Until next week!

#AskDJV Show – Special Episode – Are Vanity Hotel Websites Doorway Pages?

In March, Google announced that they are taking the initiative to shut down “doorway pages”. While this is great news in the world of search results, it is causing confusion among hoteliers, specifically franchisees of branded properties.

Many brands are taking Google’s recent focus on “doorway pages” and confusing property owners by saying that their vanity websites fall into this category. We’ve produced a special episode of the #AskDJV Show to let property owners and franchisees know that this is absolutely not the case. Your vanity website is not, by Google’s own definition, a “doorway page”.

Doorway pages are sites that are set up to game the system. Doorway pages provide no real value to users and utilize unethical practices like “keyword stuffing” in order to achieve search engine rankings and take visitors to another website. Google says “[t]hey are bad for users because they can lead to multiple similar pages in user search results, where each result ends up taking the user to essentially the same destination.”

A property’s own proprietary vanity site offers a wealth of information to site visitors — from hotel policies to nearby attractions and everything in between. Watch the special edition of the #AskDJV Show for more information as well as how you as property owners can respond if your brand tell you that you are required to shut down your vanity site because it is a “doorway site”.

What hoteliers need to know about “doorway pages”:

– They are spam pages that have zero content or value for users and acts as a gateway to another page.
– They are landing pages that act as a funnel, offering little to no new web content for site visitors.
– They use “spam” techniques to gain high search rankings like keyword stuffing and black hat SEO.
– Vanity sites offer relevant content that site visitors find useful, thus they are not considered “doorway pages”.

Push back against your brand’s attempt to classify your vanity site as a “doorway page”. Explain that you are spending your own money, outside of the franchise fees, to promote your property and drive more business to the brand website. After vanity site visitors select your property, they are taking to the brand website to book their reservation, not some other OTA.

Continue to evolve and market your property against your competitive set. You need to differentiate your hotel from not only other brands, but sister brands under your own brand’s umbrella. Property owners, you should still utilize vanity sites to differentiate yourself and share what is unique about your guest experience. This is particularly important given that your property’s page on your brand’s site is built from database driven content and looks exactly the same as every other branded property listed there.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I’m happy to help any branded property better understand the truth about “doorway pages” as well as why your propriety vanity site is essential to your business and the furthest thing from one.

– DJ Vallauri
Founder & President, Lodging Interactive

#AskDJV – Episode 24: Tips on Social Media Engagement

Thanks for watching this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show! In Episode 24, I’m sharing tips for how to jump-start your hotel’s social media engagement.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

Check back here every Friday for the latest episode and follow me on Periscope (@DJVallauri) and Meerkat.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Until next week!

 

#AskDJV – Episode 22: Domain Name Registration

Thanks for watching this week’s episode! Today, I’m addressing a question we often receive from prospects:

“I’ve purchased domain names that I’d like to set up to drive more traffic to my website, how do I do that?”

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Until next week!