How to get more returning guests and fill empty capacities?
Today, it is very difficult to get the same guests to book repeatedly and constantly from you. Repeat bookings are the sign of happy and satisfied guests. Personal service and consideration from you are important factors that motivate guests for repeat bookings. Yes, the food, facilities, weather, location are also important, but if they didn’t feel comfortable and not welcomed by you and your staff they absolutely won’t return. Getting booked up is the ultimate aim for accommodation owners. Encouraging guests to return is one such way to achieve this goal efficiency. If the guest wants to return they will be likely to tell all their friends and family about you, word of mouth is the best marketing for your property for free.
Here are TOP 5 things you should do to have more returning guests and to have “FULL HOUSE”:
1. Maintain relationships and offer extra benefits for all returning guests
If you are not sure that your guest will come back it is good to give them some discount coupon or special guest card to “motivate” them to make reservation in your accommodation capacity again. You can also offer them some extra benefits when they will return, you can maybe set out a plate of cookies or a dish of candies, arrange a vase of fresh flowers in the room or offer hot chocolates, coffees or teas. Make them feel special and to tell their friends for that unique experience. Maintain relationship with them, send them email for their birthday, wish them happy New Year or just remind them that you were happy for having them as guests and promote some new offers that you will have for the following season. To do that now is simple as never before, you just have to use a proper booking service, which will automatically perform all previously mention tasks.
2. Know your guests
Keep up-to-date with what your guests want, know your guests and be visible in your property, making personal contact with them to build trust and confidence. Knowing your guest’s preferences as well as their tastes and interests, gives you opportunity to take a positive and proactive approach to their return visit by personalizing their rooms according to what they prefer. You can give them to fill a short questionnaire on their first visit, and when they return you can make those small changes that will make them feel more comfortable, happy and relaxed like they are at home. Customize the guestroom to a particular returning guest and for sure they will be back again. According to their wishes you can make a small modification in the room, maybe you can change pictures on the wall, or change the linens into their favorite color. It is also good if the staff and housekeepers know guests names so they can greet them in a personal manner while there are in your property. Give people a reason to talk about you, wow your guest and make it really difficult for them to ever think not coming back to you.
3. Use Social Media Channels to promote yourself for free
“Social media exist to bring people together”
Social media today is a very powerful way to keep and update your guests about the new offers, discounts and basically everything that is currently happening in your property. According to Hubspot 92% of marketers in 2014 claimed that social media marketing was important for their business, with 80% indicating their efforts increased traffic to their websites and 92% of all marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. If you don’t have Facebook Page or Twitter account create them immediately, stay in touch with your customers 24/7. You can also add a YouTube channel where you can post videos from your property, events and happenings and share them later on the other channels. Update the content on a daily basis, post different posts and statuses for your property. Write a blog or have a news section on your website. That will create more traffic on the website and it’s a great way to engage with the guests and to increase your online presence. You can also hire a marketing assistant to do all this tasks, and you can concentrate on running your business while your assistant does the rest.
4. Respond to guests review
This is very important part of your business. Listen to your guest, if there is some problem the first thing they want to hear is “How we can make it better”. Learn from your mistakes, and try not to repeat them. Guests far more often tell friends about bad experiences than good ones. That will be bad for your reputation. You can make 10 thinks right but only one small mistake can ruin everything you built before. The more positive reviews you have on your advert the more likely a future guest to make a reservation. Train your staff to be prepared to respond on any question and to be able to find a proper solution if some problem occur. Have the appropriate training, tools and systems in place in order for them to deliver this.
5. Be a step ahead of your competition
The hospitality industry is highly competitive. Keep an eye on your competitors. Be updated what prices they are charging, marketing promotions, some special offers etc. On that way you can make yourself sure that you offer the best value for the money. There are many ways to track your competitors and be aware of what they are planning in the near future. You should stay competitive, don’t lower the prices when competition do, but make sure that your guests know that you are worth the extra money.