A few weeks ago, we never could have imagined the world would come to a complete halt. This has affected millions around the world and the economy is disrupted. Hospitality industry has never been through a crisis like this before, however many hotels around the world had to make adjustments in their strategies as they try to shore up their profits.
Whether you are the general manager of a luxury resort, the director of sales and marketing or the owner of a boutique property, there are many prudent steps you can take to prepare for better days to come.
While there is no doubt that hotels in almost every country have suffered a steep drop in occupancy due to COVID-19, but it is also imperative that hotels keep focusing on the pockets of opportunity that present themselves.
10 ways to boost hotel bookings and increase revenues
Who are your guests?
First step is by identifying, who your guests are? why are they staying with you? what is the purpose of their stay? This step is important as it will give you an insight into what guests are looking for, this will help you focus on sales and marketing activities.
Leverage on the power of a well-optimized website.
Your hotel website plays a crucial role when we talk about increasing your hotel bookings. A strong digital identity will yield maximum results. Your hotel website is your identity on the web and its presentation should be of paramount importance. So, what are the features should a hotel website have to attract visitors.
- Visually Attractive, easy to navigate and above all it should be user friendly.
- It should be properly optimized for search engines. This makes your hotel website visible on search engines, thus attracting increased visitors.
- Relevant content can garner more traffic to your website.
- Make your hotel mobile responsive.
- Making sure your hotel website does not take time to load, abandoned transactions happen due to poor responsiveness.
Reach out to your past guests.
This is the best way to start after a lockdown, letting your past guests know that you are now accepting bookings online. This is the quickest way to directly access the people who already enjoy your services. Don’t send a regular newsletter instead send a dedicated email campaign about the exciting new change. Some sort of incentive to the existing customers can go a long way. Discounts, rewards and loyalty etc are some the ways to make it rewarding for the guests.
Pictures speak louder than words.
Well, this is true, you may describe your hotel beautifully but what matters is how you portray this to the world. Your hotels gallery page is where guests come to find out more about you. Pictures help them decide if they want to book with you or not. Makes sure you update them with the best pictures you’ve got!
Up to date online information.
Information on hours of operation, locations, services offered and other details must be clear and updated. This information is critical and a deciding factor for guests.
In today’s world, if you want your property to stay ahead, you also have to get innovative and that’s where campaigns play a vital role. Focus on marketing campaigns, email campaigns, ad designs and images. However, what’s also important is conversion, hence make it visually attractive for the customers.
Rewards go a long way
Who does not like a freebie or a discount? You can reward those customers who book directly through the website. Coupon codes for specific day or number of nights can work like a magic wand.
What’s in it for me?
Every customer wants to know what’s in it for me? One good way of enticing customers is to mention the services you offer and the benefits. Mentioning the facilities alone may to get you the votes, so, get creative and describe the services and how the customers can take advantage of it.
Guests are bombarded with tons of ads, flyers, emails etc, the possibility of getting lost is high. Here’s where social proof comes handy. Guests like to know what other travellers/guests think about your property and this is one of the biggest decision-making factors. This is why social proof is a must. Update your page with testimonials, ratings and reviews. Potential customers invariably check different platforms for reviews and ratings hence ensure your property reviews are up to date. Use other social media platforms to reach the targeted audience. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have a wider reach.
Once the booking is complete, be sure to send a follow up email. Ratings on the booking experience are very valuable. A simple thank you note or a discount voucher for the next booking/stay, any information they can benefit from, a different service you offer, can be a game changer.