When was the last time you implemented a new system in your business? The ever-evolving technological landscape can prove infinitely helpful to companies who take advantage of budding tech. It’s a different story for those who fail to adopt it.
Automation has become the ultimate way to deliver a consistent brand experience to customers. It streamlines business processes like marketing, customer service, and support. With the escalating spread of COVID-19, current circumstances are making automation more vital than ever. Business owners worldwide are beginning to realise that automating aspects of their operations could be their key to success. In this article, we’ll explore a few ways that utilising automation can assist you, your team, and your business during this time and into the future.
Email & SMS Automation
Email campaigns triggered by your customers’ actions are a valuable and straightforward way to add automation into your marketing mix. They’re also a great place to start when it comes to automating your business. There are countless uses to these direct-response style emails that you can also apply to SMS, from automatically sending quotes and booking details, welcoming guests, or even offering upgrades or promotions prior to arrival in a bid to boost revenue.
Perhaps a more poignant model for current times, is one that can apply to booking cancellations. These are unfortunately increasing as COVID-19 spirals. Rather than thinking about the short-term effects of booking cancellations, try applying automation in a way that will encourage customer retention in the long-term. For instance, this might mean scheduling automated replies to cancellations that offer credit or deals for the future.
Here’s a practical example:
Let’s say a guest made a $200 deposit with their original booking. Offer to hold their deposit for a future reservation and add an additional 20% in value. This will preserve cash on hand and give them an even better reason to keep their booking locked in!
Automated messages are timely, personalised, and always relevant to the specific customer. They’re also opened more frequently, meaning an increased potential for site visits. In addition, you can also reduce manual labour and wages with the help of automated communication (and your accountant will be praising you).
Business Management Automation
Do you regularly run reports on staff or performance? Report scheduling is a great automation tool that some reservation software platforms provide. It’s as simple as setting your filters and creating a recurring report automatically generated at the specified time (weekly, fortnightly etc.). With NewBook, you can set up your reports to automatically get emailed to all parties required.
Automation comes in many forms. As technology evolves in the mobile and Smartphone arena, apps are more popular within the tourism industry. As a result, they’re becoming a common component in simplifying and automating customer experience.
Guests can now manage their own stays, extend and alter their trips, retrieve check-in details, and book facilities or add-ons using self-service apps. When on-site, tools like Self-Service Kiosks, which offer guests site selection features, property info, and more without asking reception staff, are a growing trend aiding in customer experience.
Customer Service & Support Automation
There will always be a place for traditional customer service. However, automating your online support can help provide superspeed answers while freeing up time for your staff to focus on other tasks. Introducing Artificial Intelligence chatbots, which can do wonders for customer satisfaction. Wait times become shorter, processes become more convenient, and answers become more accessible. These are all seriously important things to the modern traveller.
Social Media Automation
Consistency is essential when it comes to running any Social Media page with a tangible return on investment. Content must be optimised and frequent in order to garner reach. Therefore, anything you post should go live during high-traffic periods and should be consistent from week to week. It can be a painstaking process, but the growing abundance of auto-scheduling tools has become a game-changing, time-saving innovation for businesses across the world.
Using popular apps like Hootsuite, Planoly, or Later, companies can curate their content across various social channels weeks in advance and schedule the content to go live at the most opportune times, often utilising an app’s in-built analytics to help them with their content planning!
Automation is undoubtedly the most underutilised yet user-friendly tool available to business owners. From minimising costs, to allowing for more time to focus on other areas, it’s safe to say that most modern companies wouldn’t do business without it! What are you waiting for?