Identify and attract the right hotel customer
Every hotelier aims to attract more guests, sell more rooms, increase occupancy and profitability. When we talk about attracting the right hotel customer, as a hotelier, you first need to know who they are and what value they add to your overall business. Once you identify your hotel’s right guest segment, the next course of action – attracting them – will become a lot easier.
Let’s see how to go about it.
Who are you?
We know you manage a hotel, but how do you identify yourself? Is it a business hotel operating in a city’s central business district? It would help if you positioned yourself as a property that is ideal for business travelers. Now, as a business hotel, if you want to target corporate executives, you should work toward creating the right amount of branding for your property. Similarly, if you are a luxury resort, you should do your best to establish the much-needed brand niche among leisure travelers. The same strategy goes for other guest segments, too.
Let’s start with branding. For this, you need to invest in marketing. For example – Google Ads. Collaborate with your OTA partners to promote and increase your hotel’s OTA ranking. Have your marketing team execute this. Position your hotel as “XYZ The Business Hotel in Bangalore.” Tie up with corporate organizations, offer them the right/special corporate rate. Look at your competition and their room rates and how they package their offerings for this guest segment. In this context, you can also look at bleisure (business+leisure) travelers. While business travelers might not have time to explore nearby attractions, bleisure travelers will still find some time outside work for leisure activities.
Things to highlight
- Proximity to the airport, central business district, IT parks, event centers
- Well-equipped meeting rooms, conference halls
- In-house dining option
- In-house or nearby coworking spaces
- Free, high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity
- Flexible check-in/out timing
- Airport pick-up and drop
- Easy to find electrical outlets in rooms and lobby areas for laptop and mobile charging
- In-room work desk or lap desk
In addition to the amenities as mentioned above, you need to promote some of these below-mentioned services to attract bleisure travelers –
- Attractive discount on one extra night stay to turn your business guest into a bleisure guest
- Extended stay option at a reasonable room upgrade cost, post they are done with their office work
- Well-maintained spa, sauna, gym
- Hassle-free cab services to visit nearby tourist attractions
- Help desk to find out local attractions, including celebrated restaurants, or any events
Get off the mark with the right marketing strategy to position your property as something that takes care of leisure traveler’s niche needs. Work on improving your Google and OTA ranking with accurate descriptions and images.
Things to highlight
- Your locality – be it a jungle or a hill station – promote natural beauty with high-resolution images
- Customized services – family package, group package
- Lots of options to choose from – rooms, cuisines
- Room with coffee machine and other in-room amenities, including access to OTT platforms
- Easy and cost-effective room upgrade
- Complimentary breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Special discounts on food and beverages
- Kids play area
- Pet-friendly features
- In-house gift shops
- Nearby attractions and how you help them get there
Implement the same approach and strategy for other guest segments, including boomers, millennials, and Gen Z. The core thing here is to –
- Know who they are and what they want
- See how you can fulfill their needs
- Market your property on the right channel at the right time
Be found easily
This is highly critical. It would be best to be everywhere as today’s guests look and book hotels on multiple platforms, irrespective of their segments and preferences. Strengthen and improve your presence/ranking on OTAs. Don’t forget to ensure that your Hotel PMS is integrated with a channel manager solution for efficient OTA distribution. Run PPC ads to ensure that your property name appears in the top 5 positions on the search engine result page. Invest in social media marketing to generate more bookings from those popular platforms. Remember to leverage the power of compelling visual content in all your marketing activities. It is simple – if you want to be bookable, you need to be visible.
Oh yes, when we are talking about being “bookable,” ensure that you offer a mobile booking facility to your guests as they love to book hotels from the convenience of their smartphones on the go. For this, you must have a mobile-optimized booking engine. You can also showcase your hotel via a virtual tour. It will indeed work in your favor.
Handle guest reviews delicately
Be prompt and professional while replying to guest reviews on social media platforms, hotel review/booking sites. Appreciate a positive review with humility and be polite while responding to a negative review. In both cases, your action should indicate that you value your guests’ opinions. Plus, highlight good reviews on your social media pages, website, and other marketing collateral. It helps you gain the trust of your potential guests while influencing their booking decision in your favor.
Offer loyalty programs and rewards
These are the best ways to thank your guests for staying with you. Devise attractive, helpful, and meaningful loyalty programs that guests would love to opt for. Your programs should be distinctively different from business guests to leisure guests. Personalize your program and enable guests to choose from a wide range of rewards. Carefully package the whole thing to make it attractive and desirable to maximize their participation. In simple words, they need to see value in your reward points, and they need to know that you will do everything possible to offer them a memorable stay during their next stay.
The last piece of advice
Now since you have done everything to bring your guests to your property, pay attention to the most important factor – your hotel customer service. Anticipate their needs, respond to their requests quickly. You may even consider offering them more self-service options. In essence, you need to do everything to exceed their expectations. Once you win over their trust with your top-notch hospitality, most of the battle is over for you.