Monthly Archives: December 2019

How to Develop a Winning Content Calendar

2020 content calendar

 

 

Developing a content calendar is an effective way to plan how your bed and breakfast communicates with guests. A winning content calendar is one that leads to more views, likes, shares, bookings, sales, and revenue!
 

Your Ideal Guests

First, think about who you are targeting–your ideal guests. When you know who you are trying to attract, then you can think about what they want to see. Why do people choose your accommodations over your competition? Reasons include your location, their lifestyle, your reputation, and much more.

Monthly Content Calendar

I recommend developing a content calendar for every month of the year. Think about the main messages and topics you want to communicate to potential guests. It is important to stay consistent for branding purposes. Be clear on what you’re about.

Show Consistent Themes

While sharing a variety of content is excellent, you want to convey around 10 consistent themes (this is just a suggested number). This is what you want to be known for. This allows potential guests to get to know you and your accommodations. As you draw followers, you can engage with them in a variety of ways including asking them questions.

Once you’ve identified your “Big 10” then you can plan your calendar. This will depend upon your location as well as what you want to emphasize about your B&B. Consider focusing on any of the following topics:

  • Accommodations: show what makes your inn uniquely awesome
  • Activities: things to do inside and outside your inn
  • Amenities: such as what’s included in every guest room
  • Community: local events, how you contribute, etc.
  • Events: private events you host like parties and weddings
  • Food: share delicious looking pictures of what you share with guests
  • Holidays/special days: major holidays, seasons, fun holidays, food holidays
  • Local area: attractions, local businesses, restaurants, shopping, venues, etc.
  • Niche: green leader, pet-friendly, romantic, vegetarian, etc.
  • Packages: consider having a variety of options including seasonal packages
  • People: owner(s), innkeeper(s), guests (with their permission)
  • Promotions: products, services, partners, contests, etc.
  • Quotes: your own, funny, motivational, or thoughtful
  • Reviews: share positive guest reviews
  • Tips/Trivia: travel tips, did you know?…

Variety Is The Key

It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being social. It’s a good idea to space your posts out so that there is a variety.

Think about the pictures, videos, and books you may want to share. By planning ahead of time, you will save time and be more consistent. For 30 posts in 10 categories, you need 3 posts in each category.

Be sure to store your images all together. Give specific details that describe the image. For example, “Breakfast French Toast Guest Smiling” In addition to any professional photography you have, you can create your own images. Be sure to use good lighting.

Blog Posts

At a minimum, you should be blogging at least once a month. Each blog post is another way for someone to come to your website. Depending upon what they type in search engines, you can become known for your information about something in your area. Be sure to tell people about your inn in part of each post. Tie it into the blog post topic.

E-Newsletter Updates

Consider sending an e-newsletter on a monthly basis (or every other week). The key to doing that is to (with their permission) enter the email addresses of your guests as they stay with you. In addition, you can ask them to opt into your e-newsletters on the home page of your website. That way you can develop the connection you have with previous guests as well as prospective guests.

Social Media Presence

Determine how many posts you will create for each social media network each month. Consider having a presence on networks like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. You do not have to regularly use all of them, but at least have your profile and one post sharing your name, location, and website address. I recommend choosing to regularly post on the social media networks your target audience uses most.

For example, the following are a selection of special days from the 2020 Calendar Year.

January

  • 1) New Year’s Day
  • 5) National Bird Day
  • 6) National Cuddle Up Day
  • 14) Dress Up Your Pet Day
  • 21) Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • 28) Fun at Work Day

February

  • 2) Groundhog Day
  • 14) Valentine’s Day
  • 17) Random Acts of Kindness Day
  • 18) Drink Wine Day
  • 20) Love Your Pet Day
  • 25) Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday

March

  • 3) Day of Unplugging
  • 6) Oreo Day
  • 11) Napping Day
  • 14) Pi Day
  • 16) World Sleep Day
  • 17) St. Patrick’s Day

April

  • 1) April Fool’s Day
  • 3) Don’t Go To Work Unless It’s Fun Day
  • 7) National Beer Day
  • 11) National Pet Day
  • 12) Easter
  • 22) Earth Day

May

  • 4) Star Wars Day
  • 5) Cinco de Mayo
  • 11) Eat What You Want Day
  • 12) Mother’s Day
  • 25) Memorial Day
  • 25) National Wine Day

June

  • 1) National Donut Day
  • 16) Father’s Day
  • 19) National Kissing Day
  • 20) First Day of Summer / Summer Solstice
  • 21) National Selfie Day
  • 30) Social Media Day

July

  • 1) International Joke Day
  • 4) Independence Day
  • 7) Chocolate Day
  • 15) National Ice Cream Day
  • 17) World Emoji Day
  • 30) International Day of Friendship

August

  • 1) National Girlfriends Day
  • 9) Book Lover’s Day
  • 10) National S’mores Day
  • 16) National Tell a Joke Day
  • 20) National Lemonade Day
  • 26) National Dog Day

September

  • 1) International Bacon Day
  • 2) Labor Day
  • 19) Oktoberfest Begins
  • 21) First Day of Fall
  • 27) World Tourism Day
  • 29) Coffee Day

October

  • 1) World Vegetarian Day
  • 3) National Techies Day
  • 6) World Smile Day
  • 19) Sweetest Day
  • 27) Make a Difference Day
  • 31) Halloween

November

  • 1) World Vegan Day
  • 11) Veterans Day
  • 15) America Recycles Day
  • 26) Thanksgiving
  • 28) Small Business Saturday
  • 30) Cyber Monday

December

  • 1) Giving Tuesday
  • 18) Bake Cookies Day
  • 19) National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
  • 24) Christmas Eve
  • 25) Christmas Day
  • 31) New Year’s Eve

Post With Purpose

The most successful people consistently post with purpose. Even if that purpose is to convey how fun your inn is! It is important that your marketing has a strategy. Developing a content calendar is an excellent marketing strategy.

If you’d rather be serving your guests than blogging or being on social media, I get that! You’re welcome to contact Kristi Dement of Bed & Breakfast Blogging for a free 20-minute phone conversation.

20 Best New Years Resolutions for Bed and Breakfasts

SMART goals

New Years resolutions can be a successful way to set goals. The best goals are SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. First, we will talk about these 5 components to SMART goals. Next, will be a list of 20 areas for bed and breakfasts to set marketing goals. For each area, a SMART goal example will be given. Let this inspire you to achieve your B&B New Years resolutions.

 

Specific

The more specific you can be with goals, the easier it will be to attain them. In other words, vague goals don’t lead to consistent improvement. For instance, instead of having the general goal to “exercise more” you should specify the type of exercising you will do. The easiest way to exercise is to find a physical activity you enjoy doing.

Measurable

You must know how you will measure your progress. For example, a house painting company may set goals as to the average size of the houses they paint as well as how many houses they paint in the coming year. This makes it easy for them to know if they are reaching their goals.

Achievable

I do believe in dreaming big and achieving great things. However, most people will never score a perfect 300 in one game of bowling. Set goals that are possible to realize. As an illustration, a retail store with a location that gets more customers coming through is more likely to sell more than that same retail store if it only receives a handful of customers every day at another location.

Relevant

Each goal must be relevant to your overall goals. For example, juggling three balls at a time may be a worthwhile goal, but will it help you if your main goal is to make more money? It is rare to have a steady career as a professional juggler. However, since it has other benefits like improving hand-eye coordination and physical fitness, this may be an excellent hobby.

Time-Bound

Goals with deadlines are more likely to be achieved. Furthermore, if you have a large project (like a report), you can list the specific tasks involved (such as researching, reading, outlining your points, and writing several drafts) and set deadlines for those tasks. By holding yourself accountable (or having someone else hold you accountable), you have exponentially increased your chances of completing your overall goal.

The 20 Best Marketing Resolutions For Bed and Breakfasts

  1. Advertising: Boost 1 Facebook post each month for $X
  2. Associations: Belong to 2 hospitality associations each year for a total of $X
  3. Awards: Earn the TripAdvisor Award of Excellence this year
  4. Blogging: Blog once per week on topics relevant to your inn and local area
  5. Branding: Buy & Sell this # of coffee mugs with your B&B name and logo
  6. Content: Develop a monthly content calendar with consistent themes
  7. Email: Send e-newsletter every 2 weeks to those on your growing email list
  8. Events: Host this # of weddings, private parties, and/or retreats and earn $X
  9. Extras: Get a mini-fridge for each guest room as an added room amenity
  10. Local ambassador: Develop exclusive partnerships with 5 local businesses
  11. Packages: Add 1 holiday, 1 seasonal, and 1 occasion package for your guests
  12. Photography: Update professional photography for website for $X
  13. Press: Get published in Bed & Breakfast Magazine or be featured in the news
  14. Reviews: Respond personally to each online guest review in a tactful way
  15. Reputation: Set up a Google alert for your B&B name online (to stay aware)
  16. Reservation software: Increase your occupancy rates by X% from last year
  17. Rewards: Set up a frequent guest program and incentives for guest referrals
  18. Search engine optimization: Strive for 1st page of Google for certain keywords
  19. Social media: Post 2-3 times per week on 3 different social media channels
  20. Website: Increase page speed (how fast the content loads on your website)

Your B&B New Years Resolutions

If you would like some assistance setting, achieving, and even exceeding your B&B New Years Resolutions goals, you are welcome to contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging. I offer a free 20-minute phone consultation. Best wishes to you and your B&B business in the New Year!

 

How to Organize an Effective Content Strategy

The word "strategy" Effective content strategy begins with identifying your target market. Who is most likely to want what you offer? For bed and breakfasts, much of this depends upon why guests are visiting your area. Typically, those who stay at B&B inns pick the area first, then their accommodations. Think about why people come to your area (including your weather and local attractions). Additionally, reflect on what your inn provides that others do not (such as your amenities, breakfasts, and the events that you host).

Use Keywords To Attract Your Target Market

Know who you are trying to attract (your target market).  Moreover, pick a diverse range of keywords related to their interests.  For example, list out relevant keywords describing your:

  • Amenities (“game room” or “tearoom”)
  • Breakfasts (“farm fresh produce” or “accommodates special dietary needs”)
  • Ideal guests (“adventure seeking” or “romantic couples”)
  • Leisure activities (“antique shopping” or “wine tours”)
  • Local area (“mountain views” or “business conferences”)
  • Packages (“girlfriends’ getaway” or “honeymoon package”)
  • Retreats (“writers retreat” or “yoga retreat”)
  • Seasons/times of the year (“fall foliage” or “Valentine’s Day”)
  • Services (“catering” or “spa services”)
  • Uniqueness (“historic” or “pet friendly”)
  • Your other businesses (“gift shop” or “restaurant”)

Content Creates Opportunity

The content you offer is an opportunity for them to learn more about you. In other words, stand out (clarify your unique selling points) from your competition (other places of hospitality). For instance, guest packages are a great way to attract people who appreciate that you make plans for them (such as floral arrangements, premium chocolates, restaurant gift certificates, tickets to concerts or sporting events). Furthermore, people are willing to pay more for something that is already planned and included.

Your content includes what you share on your website, blog, brochures, emails, social media, and advertising. Your content formats include articles, videos, infographics, short reports, and more. Share pictures, videos, and stories of what happens at your B&B (with permission from guests). Guests want to know what to expect before they arrive!

Develop A Strong Reputation

As your guests experience your hospitality, you can develop a great reputation (from word of mouth, reviews, and press). Be sure to know what is being said about you and your inn online. Respond appropriately and promptly to all guest reviews (how you handle any criticism you receive speaks volumes to others).

Content Answers Questions

To save time and be consistent, answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) in your content. This can include estimated drive time to popular destinations and your process for guests to check in and check out.

  • What inspired your business? (such as a person or mission)
  • What AHA! moments has your company had? (major lightbulbs)
  • How has your business evolved? (process of changes)
  • How do you feel about your business, our customers, and ourselves? (state goals)
  • What’s a unique way to tell your story? (be creative)
  • What do you consider normal that other folks would think is cool? (stories from guests)
  • How will your company make a difference? (ex: eco-friendly)
  • Why should your company matter to guests? (what is in it for them?)

The more information you provide on your website and the more questions you answer, the more likely web visitors are to act. They will contact you, read more of your website, follow you on social media, and book a room. Be sure to attract more guests with calls to action.  Encourage them to contact you, connect on social media, and book now.

Blog Post Content

  • Behind the scenes information (including photos of staff and fun facts about them)
  • Breakfast (share images, recipes, and details about how you serve breakfast)
  • Events (that your inn will be hosting or local events)
  • History of your B&B (such as its founders and current owners/innkeepers)
  • Holidays (how your inn celebrates specific holidays)
  • Improvements (such as any redecorating, remodeling, or added amenities
  • Incentives (for frequent stays or guest referrals)
  • Occasions (celebrating anniversaries and birthdays or hosting reunions)
  • Problems you solve (such as adding enjoyment and reducing stress)
  • Professional memberships (like Select Registry or a state B&B association)
  • Reasons why guests love to stay (think about the compliments you receive)
  • Recommendations of local businesses (who may return the favor)
  • Reviews from previous guests (include quotes)
  • Room information (including pictures, list of amenities, reason for its name)
  • Specials like mid-week discounts or savings for specific groups (like emergency workers, senior citizens, and veterans)
  • Tips about your local area (including restaurants and attractions)
  • Your own Top 10 List (that relates to your B&B or local area)

Benefits of Regularly Adding Content

One of the most important aspects of blogging, is to consistently do it. The search engines reward fresh content by making it more visible online. They give preference to websites which continually add new information.  In addition, a blog post is one more indexed page on your website. Thus, it signals to the search engine spiders that your website is active.

Plus, you are keeping in touch with people and staying on their radar. Reminding previous guests about why they should come back again and compelling new people to visit for the very first time is an effective content strategy.

Become The Local Expert

Bed and breakfasts with blogs establish themselves as being an authority on hospitality and their local community. By offering helpful, travel-friendly advice, bed and breakfasts can get the attention of those wanting to know more about your local area while also telling others what makes your inn an ideal accommodations choice.

The effort you put it now will pay off well into the future because people will be able to view your blog posts years from now.  Providing valuable content means your content will spread.

Share In Social Media

In addition to sharing content on your own website, you can create content for other websites, social media, and issue press releases to attract media attention. Blog posts can be shared in social media to expose yourself to a whole new audience.

Let guests know how to connect with your bed and breakfast on other social media websites. When you share your blog on social media, this lets people know more about you and your bed and breakfast inn.  Have a presence on one or more of the following websites can make a big difference in your visibility online.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Linked In
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • YouTube

The more information you provide on your website and the more questions you answer, the more likely web visitors are to contact you, read more of your website, follow you on social media, and book a room. These are all profitable results from an effective content strategy.

Editorial Calendar

One way to organize your content is to create an editorial calendar. This is where you decide what content you will create (earlier in this post is suggested ideas for blog posts and questions to answer), in what format (images, text, video, etc.), schedule how often you will create it (such as daily, weekly, or monthly), when you will create it (specify the day and time), and where you will share it (ads, blog, website, social media, etc.).

Increase Your Visibility and Profitability

Do not forget the power of blogging to become more visible in the search engines. In addition, the power of video to highlight your B&B and local attractions. Lastly, the power of social media to spread your message. By following this advice, you will take attract more guests to your bed and breakfast as well as position yourself as an expert on your local area. Thus, having an effective content strategy is key to the success of your business.

 

How Super Thinking Can Be Super Profitable

Book Cover Super Thinking and Book Cover Influence The Psychology of Persuasion

 

In Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg and Lauren McCann, the authors define “super thinking” as the ability to think better about the world. You can use it to your advantage to make better personal and professional decisions. Super thinking can be super profitable.

 

Make Better Decisions

We all make numerous decisions every day. Obviously, it would be better to be right more and wrong less. In order to be wrong less, you must increase your empathy with other people, opening up a deeper understanding of what they may be thinking.

For instance, seek to understand their frame of reference. Moreover, interpret the other person’s actions in the most respectful way possible (by giving them the benefit of the doubt).

Take every opportunity to figure out what actually causes things to happen. There may be an immediate cause, but the root cause (the reason for their behavior) may not be the real reason they did something. Ask “why did this happen” until you reach the root cause(s).

Life Can Be Unpredictable

You must continuously adapt to what life throws at you. You have free will and can actively make decisions. You can increase the probability of a successful outcome for yourself. However, many aspects of life have variability. Of course, not all things can be predicted with certainty. For example, you cannot entirely predict how someone will respond to your actions.

When People Are More Likely To Leave Reviews

People share more “out-of-the-ordinary” stories. For instance, people will be more likely to write a review when they had a terrible experience or an amazing experience. People do not usually write reviews about average experiences. That is why it is so important to exceed expectations!

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

  • Known knowns: you already know how to deal with them based on past experience, you need to execute that known plan
  • Known unknowns: it is not known how someone else will react
  • Unknown knowns: the risks you may not thinking about, but for which there exist clear mitigation plans
  • Unknown unknowns: the least obvious risks, which require a concerted effort to uncover, you still remain unsure of its likelihood or consequences

Try to get a full picture of the system to make better decisions. For instance, analyze different scenarios. For example, pose questions like “What would happen if…”

Characteristics That Lead To Accurate Predictions

  • Intelligence: brainpower is essential, especially the ability to enter a new domain and get up to speed quickly
  • Domain expertise: the more you learn about a particular domain, the more it helps
  • Practice: good forecasting is a skill you can get better at over time
  • Working in teams: groups of people can outperform individuals as long as they avoid “groupthink” (you must evaluate all ideas critically and establish a Devil’s advocate position)
  • Open-mindedness: people who can challenge their beliefs tend to make better predictions
  • Training in past probabilities: people who look at past probabilities of similar situations will be better able to assess the current probability
  • Taking time: the more time people take to make the prediction, the better they do
  • Revising predictions: those who continually revise their predictions based on new information will be the most successful

6 Types of Influence

The authors summarize Robert Cialdini’s Influence Models from his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

  • Reciprocity: you tend to feel an obligation to return (or reciprocate) a favor, whether the favor was invited or not
  • Commitment: if you agree to something small, you will be more likely to continue to agree later
  • Liking: you will be more likely to take advice from people you like, and you tend to like people who share characteristics with you
  • Social proof: drawing on social cues as proof that you will be making a good decision
  • Scarcity: you become more interested in opportunities the less available they area, triggering your “fear of missing out” (FOMO)
  • Authority: you tend to follow perceived authority figures

Apply Knowledge From Other Areas

Thus, the central theme of this book is that you can apply specific models of thinking from different fields to help you solve problems. What’s common knowledge in one field can be secret in another. In fact, many secrets may be hidden in plain sight. You need to know where to look. Super thinking can be super profitable.

 

Why You Should Appreciate The Value of Local Tourism

Phil Bruno, Treat 'em Right, "the guest experience is key!"

 

 

The value of local tourism is what Phil Bruno, President of the experiential marketing firm Treat ‘em Right, teaches others. Phil graduated from St. Louis University with a degree in Travel, Tourism, and Transportation. After working about 20 years for Fortune 500 companies, he came back to his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri.

Phil is a world-class consultant, trainer, and speaker specializing in helping large and small organizations in travel, tourism, and hospitality. Through his online e-learning courses in twenty different cities, he has trained over 40,000 graduates.

Customized Solution

Residents of cities don’t necessarily know what there is for visitors to see and do. Treat ‘em Right visits your destination to uncover opportunities for enhancement and improvement. Based on first-hand research, they design a customized solution to help you extend the stay and pay of your customers.

Exceed Expectations

Treat ‘em Right helps you deliver state-of-the-art experiences that exceed visitor’s expectations. They work with stakeholders and experience providers by sharing the latest tools and training to benefit anyone who interacts with guests. Phil has demonstrated that better training leads to higher employee satisfaction and higher visitor ratings.

Personalized Experience

According to Phil, you must offer something that is memorable and outside the range of the normal experience. In the service industries, it’s the little things that add up to create the personalized experience that visitors want to blog, brag, and most importantly – return to your destination. Treat ‘em Right trains every member of your hospitality community to go the extra mile so guest feel noticed, appreciated, and valued.

Video Training

His training teaches valuable communication skills and educates people about different management styles. When you focus on putting quality into people, the industry becomes better. He develops video training, in conjunction with local convention and visitors bureaus, to educate employees on their local areas. There is a test after each video lesson. The city will send employees a certificate after they complete the course. The goal is to share their city’s brand promise with its hospitality and tourism employees.

From Phil Bruno’s Website:

Some of Phil’s Clients:

  • Destination Cleveland
  • National Park Service
  • Niagara Falls USA
  • Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • St. Louis Cardinals
  • The Gateway Arch
  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum

Brand Awareness

Destination marketing is now converting to destination management organizations. As a result, the focus is much more community involved. Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus bring brand awareness to their communities. Coming to town is considered “being on brand.” The goal is to exceed the expectations of visitors by offering an incredible brand experience.

Advocacy

Much of Phil’s work is focused on advocacy for the tourism industry. Many people do not realize how much the tourism industry does to lower their taxes. Each household saves money each year because of the tourism industry. Phil is focused on educating communities about what tourism does by bringing money to their economy.

Treat ‘em Right

I appreciate Phil speaking with me about his work. To learn more about Mr. Bruno and his company Treat ‘em Right, visit his website. I know Phil’s destination marketing videos are helping thousands of people. Innkeepers can educate their guests about their area in conversation, display tourism brochures, and ask guests what they like to do and share local recommendations. Appreciate the value of local tourism!

Blogging and Social Media

Another great way to inform visitors is to feature local businesses and destinations in blog posts and on social media. Then when people search for a city and an activity or place, perhaps one of your blog posts will show up! That is a benefit of providing regular blog content.

Contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging for a free 15-minute consultation. Learn how improving your marketing will improve your business. I can help you with blogging, email marketing, social media marketing, and more.

 

Are You Focused On Your Guest Experience?

Book Cover "The Customer of the Future", Author Blake Morgan, Big Data, Feedback

 

Guest experience should be at the top of your hospitality priority list. According to Blake Morgan, in her book The Customer of the Future, how we make people feel has a significant impact on their perception of us. Moreover, today’s customers prefer to interact with companies that make their lives easier and better.


Focus on Guest Experience and Happiness

In fact, research suggests that people find more lasting happiness from investing in experiences than in buying things. A “guest experience mindset” occurs when every decision the company makes is based on what is best for the customer. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos recognized the importance of this when he stated, “If we start to focus on ourselves, instead of focusing on our customers, it will be the beginning of the end.” Thus, the guest should be at the heart of everything your B&B inn does.

5 Qualities of Guest Experience Focused Leader

  • Energy for influencing change: positive attitude, genuine, high standards, efficient, motivated, caring, organized, and effective communication
  • Neighborly: listening, approachable, flexible, humble, showing empathy, going the extra mile
  • Good judgment: sound decision making, forward thinking, strategic, inspiring greatness in others
  • Problem solving: creativity, innovation, clever solutions
  • Consistent say/do ratio: transparent, honest, trustworthy, committed, integrity

A Zero-Friction Customer Experience

According to the book, your goal should be a zero-friction customer experience for your guests. Companies succeed when they figure out efficient ways to solve common problems. For instance, focus on how you can continue to create a more seamlessly efficient process. These means accommodating the needs of your guests, solving their problems, and asking questions to determine ways to overcome challenges.

When guests first enter your accommodations, make sure their experience is pleasant. In addition, identify the added services you can create to make their stay even more attractive as well as to encourage return visits.

Stays Should Be Meaningful and Memorable

The hospitality industry is changing quickly. Therefore, accommodation providers should make a traveler’s stay both more meaningful and more memorable. According to Sharon Cohen, Vice-President of the Fairmont Hotels Brand, they ask two fundamental questions:

  • What are our guests telling us?
  • What needs have yet to be articulated?

Role of Technology in the Guest Experience

Of course, technology is an important asset in helping to bring the guest experience mindset to life. Chief Experience and Innovation Officer, John Padgett, designed magic bands for guests of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Ocean Medallion. Moreover, this includes 7,000 sensors and 4,000 digital interaction points.

The magic bands track passengers’ movements on the ship (helps them locate loved ones); makes personalized recommendations of what to eat and do; lets passengers charge purchases throughout their time aboard; allows guests to lock and unlock rooms, turn lights on and off, adjust room temperatures; and much more. Thus, this provides a more seamless guest experience.

Customer Feedback and Personalization

It makes sense that customer feedback is critical to finding out what your customers like and want from you. In fact, studies show that guests would gladly give up some data to a trusted company in exchange for a desirable customer experience. According to author Blake Morgan, “personalization” allows businesses to treat their guests more like people and less like wallets. The key is to focus on guests, designing great experiences specific to their needs, and telling amazing stories about them.

Measurements Lead to Better Decisions

However, if you can’t measure something, you can’t improve it. That’s why analytics is so important. Analytics is the discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns of data, and the process of applying those patterns toward effective decision making.

The Customer of the Future book describes “customer centricity” as focusing on a small group of your most valuable clients and surrounding them with relevant options. In other words, find your best customers. Then, look for ways to expand your relationship with them. Analytics helps companies to be better listeners, provide more relevant experiences, and be where their guests need them. What does the information you have about your guests tell you?

Real-Time Offers and Customer Loyalty

This book asks what real-time offers can you make your customer? How can you better meet your guests’ needs throughout their experience? They recommend that businesses create special programs for their most loyal customers. How could you apply this to your hospitality business? What program could you develop for your biggest fans? For example, perhaps you can create an incentive program for frequent stays and guest referrals.

Guest Journeys and Customized Communication

Think about your guests’ journey and the relevance of your communications with them. Why are they coming? What is their story? How can you give them a better guest experience? According to Blake Morgan, there is no one definition for customer experience and no “one-size-fits all” approach. Thus, we must be looking for ways to connect with our guests in a more personal way. In conclusion, companies that create an amazing guest experience make it their intention to do so.

 

Do you live in a Downton Abbey?

Downton Abbey The Film Cast

 

Do you live in a Downton Abbey? Even if your bed and breakfast is historical, it may not have all the drama that came with the 6-season television show called Downton Abbey. One of the most talked about shows on television is the highest rated drama that PBS has ever had.

 

Available (at the time of this current posting) on Amazon Prime, and released in theaters in 2019, Downtown Abbey: The Motion Picture, features the beloved Crawleys and their intrepid staff who prepare for a royal visit from the King and Queen of England in this grand cinematic experience.

 

Highclere Castle

The show and movie is set at Highclere Castle, where people may have lived as long as 1300 years ago. The structural work on the interior of the Castle was finally completed in 1878. Once built, the Castle became a center of political life during the late Victorian era.

Important Visitors

In many ways Highclere Castle epitomized the confidence and glamour of the Edwardian period in the first few years of the twentieth century. Visitor books record the house parties full of politicians, technological innovators, Egyptologists, aviators and soldiers.

First World War

During the First World War, Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, transformed the Castle into a hospital, and patients began to arrive from Flanders in September 1914. She became an adept nurse and a skilled healer. Hundreds of letters from patients and their families bear testament to her untiring work and spirit of generosity.

Earl of Carnarvon

The Castle returned to a private home. In 1922, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon and Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, the first global world media event.

Second World War

Following the death of the 5th Earl, his son, who then became the 6th Earl, returned to Highclere where he lived until 1986. During the Second World War, the Castle briefly became a home for evacuee children from north London.

Current Day

The current (8th) Earl and Countess of Carnarvon live partly in the Castle and partly nearby but remain closely involved in the Castle’s day to day life and future.  If you live in a historical bed and breakfast, your guests would love to hear about its history–including the drama! Then you can answer the question, “Do you live in a Downton Abbey?”