Direct communication is at the centre of personalising your approach to customer retention. In order for your guest to value your business over your competitors, they need to view your hotel as an experience rather than a simple convenience. To achieve this you must reach out to the guest and express interest in making their stay as welcoming and as enjoyable as possible.
But with the current trend of OTA bookings, it can be challenging for a hotelier to gain access to the guest before their arrival, which leaves room for many inconveniences that can sour the final experience. Gaining a loyal customer may seem tricky but it is far from impossible, in fact, many businesses are now focusing their attention on customer retention strategies as a way of increasing revenue and certifying their brand. And they manage to achieve this with the help of their personal hotel reservation system. This is how they do it:
- Send Automated Emails to Those Who’ve Stayed
- Having a personal hotel booking engine opens new channels of communication between you and your guest. You can now make certain that you’ve provided a follow up to their requests to upgrade their initial room to an apartment, and you’ve used the opportunity to provide them with an offer on some of the additional services your hotel provides, a spa day or an organised event.
- Formalities should also not be overlooked, as guests often need assurance that their stay is guaranteed. An automated email confirming their reservation followed by a thank you note bearing your hotel’s name is enough to seal the deal. Following their stay, you may ask for feedback via a simple survey which aids your own business practices by allowing the client themselves to point out discrepancies as well as to compliment your achievements. And finally, remind the guest that your business may have much more to offer by sending in promotional newsletters be it seasonal or based around large holidays and events.
- A client is much less likely to consider looking into other options if they have previously stayed with you and you have already beat the competition by emailing them a special offer.
- Direct Bookings Technology
- Your hotel booking engine holds the most value to your business as it allows you to retain 100% of your profits from bookings. The software itself is on par with the ones used by OTAs as it is easily integrated into your website and it supports a mobile version, allowing your guests the same ease and accessibility, and at the same time giving you the access to some hidden revenue. Once a guest has taken an interest in your hotel you can upsell them on a host of special offers such as room upgrades and dinner reservations. This kind of flexibility allows the guest themselves to personalise their stay, increasing their chances of having a better experience and possibly returning a second time.
- Online Distribution & Channel Management Technology
- While having an integrated direct booking engine is crucial to your hotel’s revenue management strategy it is not in itself an alternative to listing your hotel in online travel agencies. The benefits of using OTAs are unrivalled and should be used to their fullest capacity, but that does not seem to be possible for many of the smaller business owners who do not have the time and resources to dedicate staff exclusively to managing all channels and reservations. Hence why many turn to solutions such as Clock Software’s Integrated Channel Manager which is exclusively dedicated to optimising your hotel’s online distribution.
- Such a system uses data analytics to determine the best rate-per-room which can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your rooms are always going listed at the best price possible. Yet if you choose to make amendments to the listings you may do so at will.
- Overbooking also tends to be an issue when having the same rooms listed across several platforms, but the channel manager allows you to set up rules that prevent this from happening. It even automatically lists late cancellations the moment you receive notice of them. This entire process does not require a team to maintain since the PMS is cloud-based and intuitive enough for a single person to manage at leisure.
- Guest Loyalty Programs to Increase Bookings
- Focusing your attention on gathering loyal customers would determine whether your enterprise would sink or swim. Nowadays anyone can list their apartment on Airbnb and while there’s a certain type of customer for every sort of business out there it would be difficult for your business to retain financial integrity if it is drowning in a sea of newly minted competitors.
- Building a loyal customer base in that sense is not only about establishing a returning source of revenue but also a way to build a name for your business with the help of the most reliable source of all, the guests themselves. Traditional marketing has its part as well, but your guests will certainly not miss an opportunity to share their experience both in person and via social media.
- Take a note of the opinions they voice and use that to build a loyalty program that will encourage your guests to both return and share the experience with others.
- Remarketing to Hotel Researchers
- Acquiring as much data as possible about your potential guests is just the start of executing the successful remarketing of your hotel. Standing out has never been more challenging which is why your business will need to stay attuned to the demands of the times. To do this you must take into consideration both the guests’ demands and your current marketing’s own shortcomings. Maybe your website does not drive enough bookings, maybe you’ve put off setting up social media accounts for your business. Maybe the offers you email your customers no longer reflect their demands.
- Your first step is to understand where your customers get the most value for their money. Not every hotel is going to be a vacationer’s dream come true, but those are far from the only clients you can acquire. Focus on building a business-driven clientele in the offseason, use keywords such as corporate discount when emailing potential guests, make certain you understand what drives them to choose your location.
- Maybe they are on a budget when it comes to room pricing, but at the same time are far more willing to spend on an open bar in order to entertain some investor or overseas executive. Think of the demands they make and reflect them in your advertisements for the following season. Make certain that your online presence reflects your current marketing strategy, but don’t overdo it, or you risk alienating the customer. Once you have established a well-focused campaign you can expect an influx of new guests.
You may also find interesting:Hotel Tech Trends: 5 Tips That Will Make Your Hotel Stand Out
Mastering Hotel Distribution: 5 Tips To Get You There
5 Key Benefits of Having Central Reservation System
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.