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26
July
2016

Make customers for life: How to get your hotel visitors to come back again and again

By Lisa Shields

08 : 26h
0

The best sign of a successful hotel is having repeat guests. To make your guests eager to return again, you need to provide them with excellent customer experiences, and this is just as important as attracting new guests. According to a study implemented by Coach Omnium, it was found that 80 % of hotel’s revenue is generated by 20 % of its guests, which proves the fact that customer loyalty can have a huge financial impact. In addition, according to Forrester, it costs 5 times more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones. Here are some more statistics on customer loyalty and retention.

So, it’s beneficial for every hotel to have long-term relationships with its guests. To make customers for life, you need to have the right retention, and loyalty strategy in place. Here we present several ways that will help you get your hotel visitors come back again and again.

1.Create loyalty programs

We all know that people choose one hotel over the other based on two main factors: price and location. However, in 2010, Epsilon Strategic & Analytic Consulting Group conducted research among 400 travelers and found that besides price and location, good reviews and loyalty programs were also considered to be a motivating factor in their decision process.  

To see whether loyalty programs are beneficial for hotels, let’s take a look at the study carried by The Centre for Hospitality Research. It was carried out among 50 000 hotels in North America over two years to find out whether loyalty programs were adding value for hotel guests. The study revealed that once a traveler signed up for a hotel’s loyalty program, the frequency of his/her stays increased on average by 48 %. Moreover, the study found  that such programs increased room revenue by about 58 %.

Besides the fact that loyalty programs increase profits, the frequency of stays and guest spending, they also create a great opportunity for hotels to gather a lot of valuable information about their guests, like who their guests are, where are they from, how old are they, what are their preferences and so on. All of this can be used by hotels to create personalized experiences.

Here are the top 5 hotel loyalty programs you need to get acquainted with.

2. Make your guests feel special

Hotels that go that  extra mile for the convenience, and pleasure of their guests are the most successful ones. Those customers that feel appreciated are more likely to come back again and recommend your hotel to others. Some ways you can make them feel special are:

  • Add personal touches to their rooms. For example, leave their favorite flowers or box of chocolates in the room to surprise them.
  • Invite a special guest chef and provide all of your guests with an excellent chance to taste extraordinary dishes.
  • Create some fantastic offers in low season in order to attract people and make sure to share this information first with your previous customers.
  • If you know that, for example,  a couple is going to come back to the city in February, offer them some special discounts/gifts on Valentine’s day.

Make customers for life: How to get your hotel visitors to come back again and again

These are just some of the examples you can use in order to make your guests feel No. 1, which will definitely increase their loyalty.

3. Encourage feedback

When your guests’ stay in the hotel is over, and they are ready to go home, make sure to ask them about their experiences, about all of the things they liked and disliked. This needs to be done in order to make sure that everything was perfect, and they were satisfied. Even if there are some things that they didn’t like, then try to understand these problems and solve them till their next stay.

According to Short’s survey results, it was found that guests are most likely to complete feedback surveys within a few days after their stay (35%) or right at check-out (35%). About 41 % of guests prefer to take online surveys, 22 % of them would like to take it at check out on a tablet or on the hotel’s mobile app. This means that more than two-third of your guests would like to take online surveys instead of paper-based ones. Make sure to take into account these facts in order to increase your chances of getting feedback.

4. Keep in touch with customers

Make customers for life: How to get your hotel visitors to come back again and again

After your guests leave your hotel, you need to make sure that you keep in touch with them in the future. Of course, if they had a positive experience, they would like to come back again, but there’s no harm if you give them a little nudge to booking another stay.

Whether it’s an email newsletter, a reminder card, or a holiday greeting card, create a system for reaching out to previous customers. Create and maintain a database of their contact information including phone number, email and social media pages. However, make sure that all of your messages are not just promotional ones: share some useful information about the community with your customers to make them feel that you care about them.

5. Be social with guests

Besides sending them emails, make sure that you are also social with them, because nowadays, one of the best ways to keep in touch with your customers is engaging with them on social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Social media networks are great places to build and maintain relationships not only with your current customers but also with potential ones. You can share useful information, images, ask for feedback, organize competitions and so on. Here are 5 tips to opimise your hotel marketing strategy.

In order to engage with your customers, after setting up your social media profiles,  you need to let them know about it. You can Include social media buttons in your email newsletter, email signature, website, business cards and any other online pages like Trip Advisor. This will increase the traffic and will create long-term relationships with your customers.

So, here we have it: five ways that will help any kind of hotel, whether boutique hotel or hotel chain, to make customers for a lifetime. Implementing these strategies will get your hotel visitors come back again and again. Are there any other strategies you are currently using in your hotel? Please share them with us in the comments below.

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