Ever since online travel agencies took off, direct conversion rates in hospitality have been so poor that many hoteliers had simply given up on maintaining and upgrading their websites, instead focusing their attention on the growing influence of social media platforms. But this does not reflect the reality of the guests’ desires.
Mobile bookings have been steadily growing over the last couple of years, and a decline is nowhere in sight. With more and more people taking spontaneous trips, last minute bookings are in their peak, meaning that the usual time for consideration allotted to booking a room is now gone. The guest can make a decision on whether to book with you, an hour before their plane lands, just minutes after scrolling past your listing in TripAdvisor.
So, how do you use this to your advantage and improve your checkout conversion rates?
- Improve Mobile Booking
- A key feature of your website should be its accessibility via mobile devices. People, as a rule, tend to be quite impatient when it comes to what they choose to view on their phone, so if your site takes more than several seconds to load, the guest would simply click away and book someone else.
- Your website’s booking engine plays a central role in successfully completing the checkout process. Invest in a tool which could be easily integrated into your existing platform, which would allow your guests to complete their reservations as quickly as if they’re booking with an OTA, at the same rates per room, but with the added bonus of having a direct connection to the establishment. Using cloud hosting for your hotel’s website would greatly reduce the chances of this happening.
- A user-friendly interface can increase conversions by giving guests a chance to successfully completing the checkout process. If the guest struggles to complete the reservation, either because they are forced to click away an odd number of times, or because some part of the instructions acts as a hindrance then you’re not just going to lose out on potential revenue, you’ll likely leave a bad enough impression on the guest that they might not consider your hotel in the future.
- Millennials, in particular, are easily peeved by technical inconvenience, and since they make up the majority of travellers the mobile execution of your services should be on par with their expectations. You’ll find that adding a call-to-action button for the main actions such as “Book NOW” and “Complete Booking” can be of great help to your potential guests.
- Curious about Booking Engines? Get started with Clock Reservation Demo
- Invest in a Self-Service App
- Personalised experiences are one the most coveted aspects of hospitality. Traditionally personalisation would have been reserved for five-star establishments only, but with the rising demand from guests, software companies have responded by producing hotel self-service apps which allow the guest to make any adjustments to their stay while at the same time giving the hotelier the opportunity to upsell them on a selection of services.
- With the increase of competition in the field over the last decade, the real money’s no longer in the value of the room itself, but rather it comes from solutions like this. Guests, on the other hand, are more than happy to be given a platform to express exactly how they would like to be sold to.
- Create Payment Accessibility
- There are few more off-putting customer experiences than being told that you cannot purchase something because the seller does not accept your preferred means of payment. And with a growing number of payment options available to potential guests, your conversion rates will be directly tied to the options you give your guests.
- This will require that you explicitly ask loyal customers and even seasonal guests as to their preferred means of payment so that you can then implement them in your establishment. Alternative payment options such as digital wallets and prepaid cards are increasingly more popular with the general public as they offer guests both a sense of security and it allows them to set a budget that they can stick to.
- Personal Information Security
- Information theft is a tangible threat which everyone needs to take into consideration when paying for services online. In order to assure your guests that they can complete the checkout process without worry, you can have trust badges issued by the payment companies you work with to assure your guests that your website is safe for transactions.
- Personal Guest Folio - By installing your self-service app your guests can keep track of all their charges through their guest folio. They can pay in a variety of ways using a number of currencies. Guest are much more likely to give themselves a little leeway with their spending if they are sure that they have a way to track expenses in detail.
- Point of Sales Solution
- If your hotel has a bar or a restaurant a point of sales solution can significantly increase the conversion rate for those services by allowing your staff to directly bill the guests’ room or their credit card for the transaction. By not having money change hands directly you are much more likely to upsell them on the particular service and increase your hotel’s revenue.
- Build Rapport with Your Guests
- Loyalty is integral to hotel revenue optimisation, that is if you want to make certain that you keep getting direct bookings then you should guide the hand that makes them. If a guest is happy with their stay, keep in touch just in case, sending in the occasional offer or discount coupon for service.
- Following up with guests, asking for their opinions, the highs and lows of their stay, cultivate a relationship between your establishment and the guest. Returning guests are a coveted prize as they create a flow of income that seasonal guests cannot make up for.
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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.