With customization in consumer technology more prevalent than ever, hospitality brands are now upping the ante when it comes to digital customer service experiences that feel personal.

Brands that have long pursued Millennials must now consider the digitally native Gen Z consumers, and how to continue staying relevant in an always-on mobile marketplace. The challenge in hospitality tech is optimizing the research and booking experience for a potential guest by integrating customer service experiences with social media and offering 24/7 support that feels personal.

According to the 2018-2019 Trekk Blog travel report, 36 percent of travelers are more likely to book hotels directly on travel websites focused on personalization. Many hospitality brands have launched redesigned websites focused on visually captivating content, proprietary algorithms, and live chat features. The goal? Offer potential guests insider intel to assist

with curating individualized trip itineraries based on travel preferences. For many brands, this has two results in mind: help drive consumers to their native site for convenient trip recommendations and in turn, ultimately boost direct online booking.

Hospitality brands that utilize social listening, a social media software that tracks topic and sentiment of online messages associated with a brand, can explore a wealth of information about current and potential customers. This data is then leveraged to offer a better online booking experience. From identifying travel priorities and frustrations to common questions and interests, brands can shape their corporate communications and e-commerce strategy by listening to what target audiences want through social platforms.

What does this all mean? The way brands are connecting with consumers has significantly shifted to digital forms of communication, with social media now an extension of customer service. Consumers that issue a complaint or inquiry via social media now expect prompt responses and solutions to stay in one platform. By integrating live chat features with social media, rather than directing to a help desk or FAQ page on a website, brands can provide immediate 24/7 assistance and a more personalized solution for a current or potential guest.

By staying in tune with consumers’ needs for personalized experiences, brands can maintain an influential audience and strengthen the connection with consumers.