Top 5 Big Ideas for Your Hotel Revenue Management Strategies
How to stimulate revenue in a changing travel landscape
By John Smallwood, CEO of Travel Outlook
As the travel and hospitality world turns the page on a period of uncertainty, we begin a new chapter in the industry centered around recovery, rebuilding, and renewed efforts towards revenue optimization.
Last month, revenue professionals came together for the annual Revenue Optimization Conference (ROC), where industry leaders outlined, brainstormed, and planned to implement new revenue management strategies to cope with the ever-changing landscape of the hospitality industry in 2021 and beyond. The Revenue Optimization Conference laid the foundation for revenue professionals to evolve their recovery efforts with a variety of new revenue management strategies.
To find out more about the comprehensive recovery and rebuilding plans created at the Revenue Optimization Conference, continue reading below for the Top 5 Big Ideas for Your Revenue Management Strategies.
1. Get creative and drive revenue with your perishable inventory
Just as businesses all over the world in every industry pivoted and adapted to survive the last year and a half, hospitality professionals must do the same to continue increasing revenue in 2021 and beyond.
Even as travel continues to rebound from the last year, there are still ways to increase revenue with little to no increased overhead using your hotel’s perishable inventory. As those in the industry know, hotel rooms are considered perishable inventory. When left vacant, that room’s revenue opportunity for the day is gone forever.
Hotel rooms, however, are not the only perishable inventory on a hotel's property. Meeting rooms, outdoor spaces, event spaces, and more can all be leased to increase revenue. Pool areas can be transformed into a private club for local residences with a monthly or annual membership. Hotel rooms and meeting rooms can be utilized as on demand quite spaces to be used for business calls and small meetings.
Additionally, for properties near airports, rooms can be rented out to weary travelers for half days or by the hour, so travelers can shower and rest during long layovers. These rooms can still be made ready to be booked for the evening.
2. Bring the restaurant to your guests
Take out is not a new concept, but thanks to the last year and a half and the rapid advancement in technology, it’s a booming industry. Apps like Uber Eats, Post Mates, and Grub Hub have become increasingly relevant.
The convenience of having food delivered to your home, or in this case your hotel room, cannot be beaten. So, instead of fighting this immerging trend that is likely here to stay, adapt to it. Add grab-and-go options, outdoor picnic-ready baskets, and exclusive in-room dining menus that feature the perfect menu items for a cozy night indoors. Make your restaurant a staple on all available delivery apps and services.
3. Adopt new or alternative revenue practices
In 2021, choice is king. Guests want more flexibility and the ability to customize their itinerary to fit their schedules and needs.
No one wants to conform to the rigid structures of the past; they want hospitality on their own terms. Hotels can take advantage of the increased desire for choice by adopting new and alternative revenue practices that allow for more choice.
For example, for a fee, guests could handpick their hotel guestroom and their check-in and check-out times. Additionally, hotels can add new perks to keep up with changing times like utilizing guestrooms as co-working office spaces or for rent meeting rooms.
Increase revenue and appeal to new customers by adding more choice in every step of a guest’s purchasing journey, from booking to checking out.
4. Rethink your rewards program
Rewards programs exist to keep customers coming back. While the current trend seems to be slashing rewards programs and minimizing benefits for members, shifting your rewards program can help facilitate new revenue streams and increase brand loyalty.
As we’ve stated before, brand loyalty supersedes channel loyalty. If a customer is using a third-party booking site to book reoccurring stays at your property, they should be rewarded for their brand loyalty, not punished for booking through OTAs.
Expand your loyalty program to reward a broader sense of brand loyalty that includes travelers that may be booking your property through OTAs.
5. Outsourcing makes sense now
After a year and a half of uncertainty, customers are craving reassurance. Be sure you have a friendly, well-trained voice on the other end of your reservation line that can answer questions with knowledge and authority.
Add the element of human touch without having to relegate a staff member to phone duty in the reservation department. Instead, outsource to a properly trained hotel call center. Not only will a hotel call center help craft your brand's image through a strong first impression — which we all know is vital to customer retention — but they’ll do so while increasing direct bookings at a higher average rate.
Professional hotel call center agents are highly trained in the nuances of the hospitality industry. Call center agents assigned to your property will be educated on every aspect of your hotel so that they can help sell your property’s unique features. When your reservation department is handled by an outsourced hotel call center, you can shift your focus back towards current guests to ensure they have the best experience possible.
We are, without a doubt, in unprecedented times as travel professionals. The landscape of the travel and hospitality industry has forever shifted, and we must know how to adapt, recover, and rebuild. ROC was just the beginning of a long rebuilding journey that is sure to reveal new paths to revenue in this renewed industry.
As we continue to move through the recovery period, we must approach new opportunities with an open mind and be willing to pivot as the industry and travelers continue to change.
John SmallwoodMore from John Smallwood
About Travel Outlook
Given its progressive approach to the voice channel – in terms of performance, training, transparency, testing and the tools used to measure performance – Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center has become the premier voice reservations team in hospitality. Travel Outlook"s valued client list includes Viceroy Hotel Group, Outrigger, KSL Resorts, Proper Hospitality Group, Pacific Hospitality Group, Highgate Hotels, Columbia Hospitality, The Irvine Company, Catalina Island and many others. Travel Outlook"s team and approach increases sales conversion and helps to create more effective voice communication between hotels and their guests, resulting in improved social scores in addition to increased voice channel revenue. For more information, visit www.traveloutlook.com.