If you run an independent hotel, guest engagement is essential. You’ll want to build a relationship with your customers so that they remain loyal after their first visit. The advantage you have in running an independent hotel, is that you can truly provide some unique engagement that guests are unlikely to get with larger hotel chains. By engaging with your guests, you can get a better sense of what your guests want and in turn, prompt them to book with you again.
This is easier said than done, especially if you’re not a natural marketing whiz kid. And you need to strike the right balance between building your brand and letting your guests get on with their lives uninterrupted.
To help you out, here are five things we think will help you get the hang of engaging guests at your hotel, whether you’re starting from scratch or updating existing strategies.
1. Know your audience
It may be tempting to send out offers and deals to every single one of your previous guests who are still on your mailing list. Unfortunately, this approach is guaranteed to annoy some people. Each guest is different, which in turn should have you trying different approaches in engaging with guests during their stay.
Receiving marketing that isn’t relevant to their interests will create a bad impression of your hotel. Instead, it’s a good idea to drill down into the data, assess which customers will be a match for your various packages, offers and services, and target smaller segments to get the best results.
2. Make suggestions
Guests will feel that you understand them better if you give them a few ideas about activities and offers that are best suited to their lifestyles and desires.
Suggest local events which fall into their areas of interest when writing marketing mail-outs. Just be sure that these are relevant; it might not be appropriate to send a customer who visited alone on business an invitation to the next family fun day, for example.
3. Encourage feedback
Unless you take action to engage your guests after their first visit, they’ll probably forget about your hotel altogether. By simply requesting a quick review following their stay, you’ll stand the best chance to boost the likelihood of repeat business.
You can also try other tactics to earn future bookings. Why not email customers in the run-up to their birthday with a discount offer that they’ll recognise as an opportunity to treat themselves?
If you don’t follow up on the first visit, you’ll never establish lasting relationships with guests.
4. Avoid oversaturation
Remember the balancing act we mentioned earlier? Engagement isn’t about bombarding people with constant blog posts and emails or prodding them for interaction at every turn. It’s about working out the right time to strike and not taking advantage of their contact info too often.
Ultimately, it’s the little things that count. From the unique touches that make guests feel welcome the minute they arrive, to the help and support you provide throughout their stay and beyond, good customer service goes a lot further than an unwanted shower of emails.
5. Share what makes you special
Being honest about what sets your hotel apart from your competitors is the best way to get potential customers interested. And you shouldn’t be worried about being copied by rivals, as imitations rarely match up to the real thing.
You could use social media to give people a behind-the-scenes look at how you operate, from preparing food in the restaurant to choosing quirky accessories to create compelling room designs. Don’t be shy to experiment with new platforms to generate engagement.
These tips are just the ‘tip’ of the iceberg when it comes to guest engagement! So, get experimental and see what works for your independent hotel.
InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.
Call us today on +44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at email@example.com. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.
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