One of the key goals for most hoteliers is to build guest loyalty that will rise to be repeat guests. Not only will repeat guests return to your hotel more times, but they will also help to promote your business to friends and family and raise your brand visibility and reputation.
Here are 7 simple and effective tips to help you create guest loyalty and keep guests coming back
1. First Impressions Matter
First impressions are crucial in helping to create lasting positive bonds with guests. However, a guest’s experience doesn’t start once they arrive, but rather at the point of booking. As such, it’s essential to try to make the booking process as simple and efficient as possible. Avoid asking guests to fill out numerous forms. Instead, try to make the process as easy and smooth as possible.
The online booking experience on your direct channels must be so good travelers won’t leave your hotel website. Hotel Expert Christoph Hutter explains how to do that: [The importance of the online booking experience]
Another important aspect to consider at this early stage is staff interaction with guests. Make sure that you can be easily reached and accessible across a range of channels, particularly via social media, as well as on your own website and Facebook.
Ensure that your staff always interacts in a friendly and polite manner with guests at all times and that inquiries are handled and responded to in a timely manner.
2. Offer Guests Suggestions For Activities
Similarly, it’s useful to remember that you can start interacting with guests once they have made their booking.
You can help them to become more excited about their stay by providing them with ideas and suggestions for things they may want to consider doing during their time with you. For example, you could send them some information in advance about local events or activities nearby which they might want to attend.
You could also share your local knowledge and give them an insight into local lesser-known locations or “hidden gems”. It’s useful to try to tailor your suggestions to guests in order to create a more personalized experience.
For example, families will likely be looking for different experiences for elderly couples or a group of young travelers. Make sure that your suggestions are relevant and help guests to plan ahead. One of the best ways to create guest loyalty is by listening to them and giving what they are looking for.
3. Use Technology To Engage And Interact With Guests
Technology is an important and common aspect of daily life. As such, it’s particularly effective to make use of it to help you stay connected with your guests and to help them to have a more enjoyable experience.
“Increasingly, hotels are turning to apps as a way of providing guests with a range of self-service options, including checking in and out online. This can be even more successful if there is an option to communicate directly with a member of staff for more immediate support. Ultimately, technology and apps, in particular, can help guests to have a greater number of options, as well as simplifying tasks,” says Carolyn Bailey, a hospitality blogger at Draft Beyond and Research papers UK.
In this episode of Hotel Cast, we chat about hotel technology trends in 2021 with Hotel Tech Expert, Brendon Granger. Listen to the episode here:
4. Use Social Media
Social media is an effective, simple, and affordable way of ensuring that guests are able to remain in contact with you, as well as helping to promote your brand awareness. As well as posting regular content, you can also encourage past and current guests to share their own photographs and videos of their stay at your hotel.
Social media is also a great channel to gather feedback, as well as to monitor your performance. Ensure that you engage meaningfully with your followers, including critics or displeased guests. By directly addressing their concerns, you can help to promote your hotel and show that you value customer feedback.
5. Make Use Of Email Marketing
You will gain access to valuable customer data which you can use to help you maintain contact with guests after their stay. One of the most effective ways to do this is through email.
Ensure that you segment your email lists so that you send the most relevant information and email campaigns to the correct audiences. Similarly, ensure that you don’t send too many emails, as this can overwhelm guests.
Send guests relevant email campaigns to entice them to return to your hotel. For example, let them know about any special offers or time-limited promotions that you have available.
Creating personalized promotions is also very effective. Another strategy is to share local news or events, such as any fundraisers which you are sponsoring or hosting, in an effort to entice guests to return to your hotel.
Do you know that our award-winning chatbot is integrated with Revinate Hotel CRM, the multiple-time award-winning guest data platform and that together they help hotels create tailor-made relationships with guests? [Learn more here]
6. Offer Guests Freebies
One of the most effective strategies continues to be offering rewards or free things to guests. This can be especially effective if done at the start of their stay.
For example, you could offer loyal guests some sweets, chocolates, or even a bottle of wine upon their arrival. Alternatively, you could offer them a buy one, get one free deal on a spa treatment.
“Allow guests to earn points with each stay which they can then use to get free things or discounts. If done via an app, this can help them stay in control and makes the process more transparent and easier to track.”
7. Update Your Cancellation Policy
Given current concerns surrounding travel restrictions, many guests may be wary of booking stays if they think they may lose large sums of money. As such, ensure that you have an up-to-date and flexible cancellation policy in place.
Although cancellation is never the outcome you want, providing guests with the option to cancel up to 48 hours prior to their arrival can help create trust in your business and boost bookings.
Guest Loyalty is What You Should Be Focusing On
When trying to build a loyal customer base, it’s essential that the customer experience is at the center of your approach. Ensure that the entire guest experience is as smooth and simple as possible.
Above all, ensure that you provide high-quality, courteous, and friendly customer service throughout the process. The result will be loyal guests who have positive memories and who believe that you truly care about them.
About the author: Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at Coursework writing service and Gum Essays and has been involved in numerous projects throughout the country. She also regularly attends business training courses and enjoys keeping up-to-date with the latest developments. A mother of two, Ashley enjoys reading in her spare time and traveling with her family.
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