Direct Bookings Going the Way of the Dodo? Let’s Fix That!
Although there are many ways that your hotel can receive bookings from indirect resources, you stand to make more money when guests reserve rooms directly through you since you’re not paying any commission to an outside agency. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to make a great impression to your guests right from the beginning.
If you’ve noticed that your direct bookings have fallen by the wayside, then it may be time to make some changes to your hotel’s business practices. Here are a few tips that you can begin implementing right now:
Revamp Your Website
You might be surprised at how many hotels (and businesses, in general) continue to rely on the website they were using when they first opened up or when websites first became “the norm.” In recent years, it has become increasingly simple for you to create a website that is more acceptable to today’s guests. Or, if you prefer not to focus your time and energy on such endeavors, you can hire an outside marketing team to create the site’s content for you.
Share Your Unique Story
Guests are often interested in the background of businesses they frequent, which is exactly why you should be sharing your unique story directly on your website. In particular, millennials have a tendency to reward businesses with their patronage when they feel more connected to them, and since they are now such a big part of the market, it would be wise to appease them whenever possible.
Engage Through a Weekly Blog
Providing content is a fantastic way to connect to your existing and potential guests. The easiest way to do this is by posting a blog once a week (or more often) that tackles anything from features at your hotel to the local events happening around town that guests might be interested in attending.
Offer Special Incentives on Your Website
Whenever a customer feels as if he or she has received a deal that is better than they can get anywhere else, then that person will often become a stalwart patron. Special incentives that are available only through direct bookings – such as lower pricing, access to a unique event, complimentary food item, best price guarantee, etc. – will draw guests directly to your website. Even with the additional costs involved with some of these incentives, the savings you’ll enjoy by not going through a booking agent will make it beneficial for your bottom line.
Head to Social Media
Instead of waiting for customers to come to you, head over to social media and go to them first. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and SnapChat are perfect for hotels because they allow you to share promotions, pictures, guest stories, reviews, and anything else that you believe would be attractive to potential guests. When utilized properly, social media can take your hotel to a level that you’ve never experienced before.
Focus on What Makes Your Hotel Unique
Today’s guests are no longer impressed by “cookie cutter” hotels that are basically the same as the one right across the street. They’re looking for a unique service, style, photo opportunity, event, or story that they can tell their friends about – which will increase your direct bookings even more! If you can get your hotel to stand out in some way that is unique in the industry or even unique amongst hotels in the area, you will find yourself flooded with business.
Providing your hotel guests with the best in communication options is a great way to provide stellar service. Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, gives your guests superior voice quality and several options that improve the customer experience. Contact Phonesuite today and we’ll get you started on this wonderful piece of technology.