5 ways to become the preferred choice for your guests
While attracting new customers to expand your reach is important, creating a sense of brand loyalty is just as crucial for success. For hoteliers, it can be a difficult balance to strike but there are some simple ways that hotel brands can establish themselves as the preferred choice for their guests.
Customers that don’t feel appreciated throughout their stay may afterwards fail to return, meaning you could be losing a significant slice of recurring revenue. After paying out for a trip, many travellers want to be sure that they’re going to get the experience they want. Meet expectations the first time and offer an incentive to come back, and you could have a lifelong customer that always comes to you first.
Just like when you’re trying to reach out to new guests, hotel internet marketing has its place in boosting the number of retuning customers but other factors are essential too. To get you started, we’ve got five ways to become the number one hotel choice for your customers.
1. Utilise loyalty programs for hotels
One of the key ways to boost customer loyalty is to give them an incentive to come back. Here loyalty programs for hotels are essential. Every consumer loves to feel that they’re getting something extra for their money, in fact six in ten travellers will let potential rewards influence their booking decision. Encouraging guests with points is a common loyalty program strategy but segmenting guests to offer exclusive loyalty deals, such as a room upgrade or free excursion during their stay, can also deliver a return.A established loyalty program not only means more returning customers, it means more guests choosing to book directly, reducing the commission paid to OTAs.
2. Establish a relationship
From the very first booking you should aim to establish a relationship with each customer, understanding why it is that they first choose your hotel. Having your staff interacting with your guests while they’re visiting the hotel means you can provide offers and interact in a way that encourages them after they’ve checked out.
3. Consider the user journey
Guests want simplicity when it comes to booking. Even if their initial stay was good and you’ve deployed an efficient hotel internet marketing strategy, they won’t return if booking was complicated and time consuming. Mapping out the user journey to make it as simple and hassle free as possible could be the extra bit of encouragement guests need to return.
Remember that smartphones are increasingly the access point for consumers. Many tourists will at least research their trip while on the go and over half will ultimately book via mobile devices, it’s not a segment you can afford to miss out on. Whether they’re booking through a dedicated mobile app or through your website, you should offer a consistent, user friendly experience to all consumers.
4. Stay in touch
To encourage guests to come back, don’t forget to ensure you stay in their minds. Even top hotel brands can be forgotten despite a great experience if they don’t maintain contact. To begin with, make sure you send a simple thank you for your stay email. This should then be followed with regular, interesting emails that provide updates, promotions, and content that will make your guests eager to return.
5. Ask for feedback
Asking for feedback is a simple way to improve loyalty and provide you with invaluable data to make improvements. Requesting feedback during check-out or as part of follow-up communications shows that you value their opinion. Make sure you respond to all feedback, both negative and positive, to cement this. Where actions need to be taken, show that your hotel is proactive in addressing concerns.