The communication between organisations and customers is extremely important and the effectiveness of the communication channels will influence the success of an organisation directly. (UKEssays, 2017) The medium over which the message is transmitted is called a ‘channel’. A multiple communication channel-strategy can be used as a tool for the hostel industry in order to advertise it and to increase bookings but also to deal with e.g. complaints.
When using multichannel communications, different channels can be used for different purposes and messages can be perceived through different senses at different times. Messages can be offline as well as online and may be delivered by face to face, telephone, letter, email, social media or other channels. The goal of the multichannel approach is to figure out which channel mix creates most value for the hostel as well as customer by offering ‘brand relevant experiences through multiple touch points that combine effectiveness in achieving relationship goals while being as cost effective as possible’. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013) However, ‘touch points’ may change over time which is why the organisation needs to stay flexible, know their customers as well as current changes within the industry. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013) Furthermore, differentiating between segment groups is important in order to choose the right communication channel(s) for the specific target as not every group can be reached by the same channel(s). (Peelen & Beltman, 2013)
Internet based communication such as websites, email, social media may be considered as the most suitable communication channels for the hospitality industry, thus hostels, that managers can take advantage of nowadays. (Pearson, 2012)
Websites are important in order to reach a wide audience and may be useful for a two-way-communication. The hostel can demonstrate on the website what it offers and can post information about any changes whereas customers can share their good experiences as well their complaints. (Pearson, 2012)The feedback may be essential to businesses who want to improve the customer’s experience. However, managers will need to react to the feedback instantly as it can damage their image and reputation. (Washcovick, 2018)
Emails are used as one of the most frequently marketing tools. However, it should not be underestimated as it is crucial to take the same care and just as much time as e.g. creating offline messages such as letters. (Pearson, 2012) Furthermore, it is important to create personal emails which are not addressed to the mass market as those emails may be perceived as spam and result in a dissonance regarding your hostel.
People use social networks increasingly when searching for information. Therefore, social media provides platforms for a customer-to-business as well as a customer-to-customer communication. Social media platforms can help hostel managers to engage with their customers and can provide interaction opportunities between the guests to ‘enrich guest experiences’. (Murphy, 2018 )
Despite the communication channels mentioned other channels can be used; however, their purposes and benefits must be understood well in order to use them effectively.
Murphy, H. (2018 ). Hospitalitynet . Retrieved September 2018 , from Optimizing Online Distribution Channels: The Case Of Hostels : https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4067041.html
Pearson. (2012). Communication Channels. United Kingdom: Pearson.
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. Pearson.
UKEssays. (2017, May 15). Retrieved October 7, 2018, from Communication process in hospitality and tourism : https://www.ukessays.com/essays/management/the-communication-process-in-hospitality-and-tourism-industry-management-essay.php
Washcovick, E. (2018, February 7). Marketing Bitz. Retrieved October 7, 2018, from Why it is important to respond to reviwes: https://marketingbitz.com/why-it-is-important-to-respond-to-reviews/