What’s scaring your guests from booking?
By Estefania Escobar, Global PR at Base7booking
From research to reservation, consumers are looking for the perfect hotel. Although budget, location and surroundings may be the main considerations when booking a room, other details can influence their decision process.
Clean and clear channels
Your distribution channels need to be as updated as possible. From room availability to pricing and events in your hotel, your channels need to reflect what's happening in your property. If your hotel has a theme or targets specific travelers, the available information should keep in mind the tone, the languages, and the lifestyle your travelers are looking for. Communicate clearly and make sure all your channels have organized, updated and clear messages. Unity and coherence is essential to travelers. Aspects like free WiFi, airport shuttle or breakfast buffet can differentiate you from your competitors in the eyes of your potential guests. Listing facilities, amenities, security features, and activities within the hotel are a must.
We have mentioned the importance of having outstanding room pictures and how to take them. However, it's a common scenario to see the distribution channels have only room pictures. Have a wonderful lobby, a pool, a jacuzzi in your rooms, a fantastic ocean or mountain view? Is your hotel in the middle of a vineyard in Switzerland? These are valuable assets to portray and that your guests are looking for. For example, your guests are 10% less likely to book a room when there are no pictures, so keeping recent, high quality photos is essential. Additionally, travellers are 150% more engaged with listings that have 20 or more photos compared to those that have less.
Listen to your guests
Your online presence is the presentation card to your potential guests during their research process. Although hoteliers are passionate about their business and they are always working towards providing the highest experience and service to their clients, bad reviews happen. Online reviews are a powerful online marketing tool, therefore hoteliers should listen to the good, the bad and the ugly. Negative situations can often be turned positive by responding to the comment, apologizing for the bad experience, and highlighting the future actions taken to improve the situation. On the other hand, having no reviews can be equally persuasive as having bad reviews. When asked, 24% of customers say they wouldn't book a room if the hotel has no reviews. Added to this, 80% of travellers are interested in recent reviews, and in average read from 6 to 12 experiences from other people.
Click here to reserve
If the reservation process is too difficult, too slow or too lengthy 80% of consumers will abandon the process and choose another hotel. In reality, hoteliers do need basic information about their guests for legal and tax purpose, so optimizing the booking process to make it smooth, easy and friendly will reduce the possibility to see potential guests going to competitors. Other financial costs such as hidden charges influence their behaviour, with 28% claiming those would cause a negative impression.
Check your phone
We constantly mention the importance of mobile devices and the significant rise of smartphone and tablet use around the world with consumers spending more time on their mobiles than on any other device. On average, travellers spend more than 2 hours and opening apps 25 times in a day in average. Therefore having a website that is responsive and attractive in mobile devices is increasingly relevant. Imagine the path potential guest have to follow to reach your website and book a room; do it yourself on your phone or ask a friend to do it, and then optimize it as much as possible to reduce the length of clicks and simplify the experience. If not, 13% of travellers claims that they wouldn't make a reservation when a site is not mobile friendly, and 5% if the website takes long to load.
Avoid scaring your customers away when booking by considering the facts and information we have collected for you. Do you have any questions related to the reservation and booking process? Let us know in our social media in Facebook or @Base7booking, and we'll do our best to help you.