Covid-19: Immediate Steps

As lockdown eases with varying restrictions still in place, here’s what you need to do.

As lockdown eases but with varying restrictions still in place, it is crucial to relay information in a clear, calm and authoritative way, not underplaying the severity of the situation but also without sensationalism.

Assuming you have already added an information page, pop-up or header to your website, keep it regularly updated and dated.

It should include:

  • Your reopening date, if you have one
  • If not, then from when you are taking future bookings
  • Your new, super flexible cancellation policy
  • That gift vouchers are available to purchase (consider adding value eg. 25% extra)
  • Any other product that is available to purchase
  • What measures you are taking in terms of the wellbeing of your staff (the way staff are treated reflects on the values of a hotel, keep this in mind), updated hygiene measures, any social distancing measures you may have introduced
  • Include contact details for customer support including hours of operation for any questions or concerns.

Communicate the facts clearly, acknowledging global health authorities and government guidelines to reassure your guestsand give them con dence in your decisions. As lockdown eases, this information should be given a standalone page detailing precautions your business is taking going forward.

Implementing a thoughtful, sensitive and sympathetic marketing strategy in the midst of the pandemic might seem a dauntingtask, but the trick is to communicate with empathy. Be more human – remember you are speaking to people with a shared experience which connects us all. Look at any marketing campaigns you have recently been running. Assuming these have been paused where possible, you might think about reestablishing with adjustments to the audience demographic. Refocus on a local market, and keep it specific and relevant. This will help attract new customers once restrictions have been lifted but before short-distance travel is reinstated. I’ve expanded upon digital marketing and content ideas in a separate post.

Hotels and restaurants have been wonderfully creative in adding new revenue streams through takeaway services, deli and baked goods, cut flower and wine delivery services; online workshops and masterclasses; wallpapers, fabrics and homewares.

Resist the temptation to offer rock-bottom rates once restrictions have been lifted as it will be di cult to bring them back up again. Instead, look to add value to every purchase. This might be comp room upgrades, cocktails on the house, breakfast or afternoon tea thrown in, or a voucher for a local independent restaurant that needs the custom just as much as you do. This will also demonstrate community and togetherness, which is essential at this time.

Other sales efforts could include getting in touch with cancelled bookings (assuming details held are GDPR compliant) and offer them a discount for their next stay, and generally encouraging direct bookings to decrease fees. You might even consider temporarily limiting your relationships with OTAs for the time being.

Contact Hannah

If you are looking to develop an existing or brand new hotel concept,
guest experience or creative strategy, I’d love to help.



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