Your main mission as a hotelier has always been to serve guests in the best way possible. But there’s another important task, too - limiting the influence OTAs have on you. Helping you get more bookings, they also require fees and lower your overall revenue. Fortunately, there are diverse ways to counter this phenomenon, as targeting guest segmentation is one of them.
The main idea behind this approach is to focus on the guest types that drive your reservations. But before that, it is important to study the guests you accommodate. You can start by looking at the bookings you have had so far. With time you will be able to pinpoint categories of guests coming to you more often. These might be elderly people, families with children, business travellers, adventurers, etc. Concentrate on these people to get even more bookings. Here’s what you can do to identify such categories:
Use various online metrics
You should use at least one of the various metrics available online to track when, how and who uses your website and how many actual bookings you get. Perhaps Google Analytics is the most popular such service. All it takes to start using it is to sign up and add information about the website you wish to track. Then include the programming code you will get so that Google knows when it is visited. In a few hours you will already have the first data. The best part is that you get all of this for free.
Take advantage of motivational segmentation
Generally you get either individuals or groups of guests. Both categories travel either for business purposes or for fun. Use this information to create a grid to hold the profiles of the guests you have. With time certain areas will be more occupied than others - you should focus on them. You can also see where guests come from - your local area, region, country or abroad.
Ask your guests to take part in surveys
You can conduct surveys to learn more about your guests. A good start is to ask them why they chose your hotel and what they like and dislike about it. To get even better results, this survey can take place after guests leave your property. Simply use an all-round PMS to send a post-departure email asking them to fill in an online form and answer your questions.
Be active online
Another good strategy is to create accounts with the most popular social media networks and online review sites. Use your presence there to actively promote your property while encouraging your guests to leave their feedback. Among other things, it will shed more light on their preferences and decision to stay at your hotel.
Having identified categories of guests that are most likely to book with you, they should become one of your main targets. Offer them packages and promotions to stimulate direct bookings. For instance, if the bulk of your reservations comes from families with children, you may include discounts on the children rates or add kid children entertainment services. These deals should be updated every once in a while to best meet the ever-changing customer needs.
Let’s face it - you all want as many direct bookings as possible but you will have to work hard to get them. One of the great ways to achieve more reservations is to identify the categories of people who come to you most often and urge them to reserve online. If you follow this strategy your business will grow - and this is for sure.
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About Clock Software
Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.