Someone once shared a quote with me, “The quality of the experience will be remembered long after the price has been forgotten.”
The nature of the hotel industry is centered around service efficiency and comfort. But in an industry that is highly saturated, you’ve got to make that first impression last. And although it’s a struggle to make that lasting first impression before customers can even decide to book a stay in your hotel, many have also neglected the part where they ought to continue extending their service to their guests even after their stay is over.
Regardless the size of the operations or brand, here are four useful fool-proof tips that can help delivering that impactful first impression, and of course, maintaining it throughout the lifespan of the brand. Let’s get that engine running!
Own a comprehensive website
Big or small, your hotel needs a website that looks professional and has all the necessary functions. There is a cheat sheet to making it look professional — hire a photographer to take professionally taken photos of the hotel’s interior and exterior, edit them, and get it up on your site. It’s the ultimate business hack.
Unfortunately there isn’t any simple hacks when it comes to the functions though, but it’s not a crime to start off with just a few basic features. Think social media integrations and a visible ‘book now’ button for immediate call to action. Over time you can add more features such as accurate room rates, live room availability, as well as the ability to book directly from the website.
Offer latest technologies
Adding to my last point, of course incorporating the ability for guests to book rooms directly from the website requires you to have an online payment gateway, which is basically a system that works with your booking engine in order to securely carry out payments online. Needless to say, partnering with a reputable and reliable gateway would be ideal.
Having your own mobile app plays a huge role in giving your guests the impression that your hotel is serious about business. Offering useful features such as allowing guests to book rooms, checking in and out to minimize waiting time, and more that could help in the reduction of waiting time. The list can go on!
Encourage reviews and feedback
We live in a ratings-driven world; it’s the best way to gain trust and increase discoverability, especially when its up on third party hotel booking sites such as TripAdvisor because of its extremely large user base. Opening up to allowing guests to give feedbacks — whether positive or negative — goes a long way in contributing to the growth of the hotel. Apart from the benefits of receiving valuable feedback for improvement, it could also be used as a platform to showcase your commitment to customer service, which helps in maintaining the reputation of the brand throughout all channels.
Implement a member program
The competition is steep in the hotel industry, and although different people have different priorities when it comes to selecting a hotel of their choice, it’s a known fact that a offering them great and personalized experiences increases the chances of them revisiting. Implementing a hotel loyalty program for your brand reaps many benefits. Having cold hard data and information about your customers enables you to study their behavior and interests in order to offer a more tailored approach. The various tools available are also highly useful in maintaining positive engagement between your guests and brand, allowing them to feel valued via members-only exclusive rewards, benefits and more — which subsequently leads to effective customer retention in the long run.