Keep Guests Coming Back to Your Hotel
In order to have guests coming back, you need to provide an outstanding service
By Victoria Lim, Freelance Lifestyle Writer
According to one survey, about 8 percent of return clients generate 40 percent of your entire profit. Nowhere is this as true as in the hotel business. In fact, here, the numbers in favor of regulars might be even greater. People, even those who love to travel, enjoy certain routines, so, if they like your hotel you can expect them to come back year after year. The problem with this is that a lot of hoteliers believe that they are a passive party in this, whereas they need to invest a considerable amount of effort in order to persuade their guests to come back. Here are five techniques that have proven themselves to be incredibly useful in this regard in the past.
One of the things that visitors to your hotel notice first is the general enthusiasm level amongst your staff. How quick they are to respond and how willing they are to accommodate them are important, yet, these two things are expected by default, therefore, it might not even be considered as a factor. Still, how do you make your team care about their job? Truth be told, this is a million-dollar question that most entrepreneurs would like to know the answer to. The simplest way to answer this would be to say that you need to focus on three major areas: make a pleasant work environment, treat them as valuable members of your staff and be the leader they deserve.
Enhance the ambiance
The next thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that your guests don't return to the hotel but to the sensation they had when last they visited. Sure, they may forget the number of the room or the face of the receptionist but they aren't likely to forget if the room had an unpleasant odor about it or if it was unbearably hot. With this in mind, you need to pay special attention to these sensory metrics and ambiance enhancers. Naturally, we're talking about getting only the best air conditioners for your rooms, using quality air fresheners and even resorting to more organic means like fresh flowers and scented candles.
Encourage them to leave feedback
You can't win everyone over, however, sometimes, we learn the most from those who run away. A thousand guests can praise your hotel as loud as they can, yet a single complainant can point out to an error that has made dozens walk away in silence. In order to make sure this doesn't happen often, you need to encourage your guests to speak up whenever they feel there's something wrong.
Of course, sometimes your guest will be completely off point, complaining about something that wasn't your fault or even wrong, in the first place. Even though there are some who claim that the guest was always right, protecting your staff at these crucial points might play a huge role on their enthusiasm to work for you, which is something we discussed earlier on.
Keep in touch
Finally, in order to stay on their minds, you need to keep in touch. Of course, we're not suggesting that you should phone them on Saturdays to check how their week at work was. Still, in the era of social media, urging them to follow you and then following them back might have some incredibly positive consequences. You can like their post from time to time or even send them birthday wishes through a social media IM. All in all, this is a low-effort-high-reward type of scenario (one of the few there are).
At the end of the day, it all comes down to one thing – in order to have guests coming back, you need to provide an outstanding service. Showing that you care about them even after they leave (something we discussed in the last section), having an enthusiastic personnel and working on the ambiance instead of the layout are just some of the ways to do so. Apart from this, asking what went wrong may not bring the lost visitor back but it might improve the experience of all your future guests. With this in mind, your work is never done and you always need to keep the long-run in mind.