If like us, you aren’t panic buying or wearing masks to work yet but are worried about how the Coronavirus will impact your hospitality business, we thought we would share some advice and a couple of examples of travel companies’ response for their customers that we like.
People are just a bit nervous, need confidence before booking and are looking for reassurance. So we are recommending flexible re-booking/cancellation policies, clearly stated, potentially with pop-ups. E.g. Should you need to cancel your booking, you may transfer the value of this booking to any future booking within the next four months.
Cruise companies have been in the news and are on the front line. One client has shared with us a message she received from a cruise company. She had booked a cruise and was nervous about paying and losing money if they needed to cancel because of travel restrictions. She received a reassuring email from the cruise company (sent to all their clients) saying they are changing their cancellation policy for a temporary period. If a booking is cancelled due to the Coronavirus, the deposit / payment will be safe and held for a future booking. The client now feels happy to carry on planning her break, knowing they won't lose any money if they need to cancel.
This second example of how a hotel has shared discreet advice about the Coronavirus without shouting too loudly and panicking guests. Hotel St Moritz in Cornwall has added a small FAQ to the footer of its homepage which links through to this page of advice stmoritzhotel.co.uk/coronavirus-latest-information/
You could also add a pop-up to your website linking to a page of information like Lincombe Hall lincombehallhotel.co.uk/
Offers to consider putting out – for clients in rural locations with access to the great outdoors we are recommending an Escape to the Country/Coast type message for people who want to get away from it all and into the fresh air. The alternative to this could of course be “Escape to Reality”. The Cheltenham Festival has gone ahead this week because it is outdoors.
Refer to the virus as Coronavirus rather than Covid-19, the later sounds like chemical warfare. And refrain from words like “outbreak” and infection”
If you’d like us to help with any of the above, please do let us know.
The Clockwork Team