5 Significant Ways to Increase Direct Bookings
Direct communication is at the centre of personalising your approach to customer retention. In order for your guest to value your business over your competitors, they need to view your hotel as an experience rather than a simple convenience. To achieve this you must reach out to the guest and express interest in making their stay as welcoming and as enjoyable as possible.
But with the current trend of OTA bookings, it can be challenging for a hotelier to gain access to the guest before their arrival, which leaves room for many inconveniences that can sour the final experience. Gaining a loyal customer may seem tricky but it is far from impossible, in fact, many businesses are now focusing their attention on customer retention strategies as a way of increasing revenue and certifying their brand. And they manage to achieve this with the help of their personal hotel reservation system. This is how they do it:
#1: Send Automated Emails to Those Who’ve Stayed
Having a personal hotel booking engine opens new channels of communication between you and your guest. You can now make certain that you’ve provided a follow up to their requests to upgrade their initial room to an apartment, and you’ve used the opportunity to provide them with an offer on some of the additional services your hotel provides, a spa day or an organised event.
Formalities should also not be overlooked, as guests often need assurance that their stay is guaranteed. An automated email confirming their reservation followed by a thank you note bearing your hotel’s name is enough to seal the deal. Following their stay, you may ask for feedback via a simple survey which aids your own business practices by allowing the client themselves to point out discrepancies as well as to compliment your achievements. And finally, remind the guest that your business may have much more to offer by sending in promotional newsletters be it seasonal or based around large holidays and events.
A client is much less likely to consider looking into other options if they have previously stayed with you and you have already beat the competition by emailing them a special offer.
#2: Direct Bookings Technology
Your hotel booking engine holds the most value to your business as it allows you to retain 100% of your profits from bookings. The software itself is on par with the ones used by OTAs as it is easily integrated into your website and it supports a mobile version, allowing your guests the same ease and accessibility, and at the same time giving you the access to some hidden revenue. Once a guest has taken an interest in your hotel you can upsell them on a host of special offers such as room upgrades and dinner reservations. This kind of flexibility allows the guest themselves to personalise their stay, increasing their chances of having a better experience and possibly returning a second time.