There are many ways to sell rooms but three of them deserve special attention - your online booking engine, the OTAs and walk-ins. A successful selling strategy would include all three. After all, only one is never enough and won’t be able to generate the revenue you want. Yet, your focus should not be on OTAs, since every reservation comes with a hefty fee. Instead, turn your attention towards your website and the walk-ins you get. They can become your main selling channels, and all it takes is the approaches we will describe. Here they are:
Design loyalty programs for both online bookings and walk-ins
You should create loyalty programs for guests that have walked-in or booked online through your website. To do so, you can offer them real benefits such as discounts, upgrades or free extra services when booking again via your website or simply walking in. Also, you may encourage them to recommend your hotel to friends, family members, colleagues, etc. Thus you will keep on getting bookings through both approaches.
Pay attention to mobile bookings
It is easy to assume that all online bookings are made on the computer, while in reality more and more people reserve rooms via their mobile devices. Here you need to make sure that the mobile version of your website makes it very easy to book a room.
Treat your guests royally and urge positive online reviews
Your attitude towards guests should always be friendly, positive and helpful. This will make them happier and they will feel accepted. At the end of their stay, simply ask guests to write a review on your website or on one of the popular social media. Some of the reviews may not be positive, but if you treat your guests right, you will quickly amass a large number of positive reviews. They will further increase the number of direct online bookings you get.
Offer a bonus program for walk-in guests
One of the ways to have more walk-in guests (remember, they also do not cost you OTA fees) is to design and use a bonus program for them. Again, you can offer discounts, free services or upgrades or even a price-drop for a future stay. The result will be happily surprised guests, more bookings and respectively greater revenue.
Don’t forget the OTAs
OTAs are not the best way to secure bookings but you should not forget them. They are another way, through which you can sell more rooms. Yes, you will have to pay for this service but still your hotel will be full and you will make more money. The best bet is to carefully choose the rooms you give to OTAs and not to share with them all the information pertaining to you.
Being successful in the hospitality business means selling as many rooms as possible every single day and having tons of happy guests. However, you won’t be able to do this if you do not have the right mix of distribution channels. The secret here is to not rely on any one of them exclusively. Instead, try to create the right combination. Only then will you see how your bookings will skyrocket.
You may also find interesting:How to Choose the Right Hotel Channel Manager
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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.