There’s no question that the hotel industry has been booming in recent years. And there’s no sign of that stopping anytime soon. Currently, there are over 700,000 hotels in an industry that is worth over $570 billion worldwide. These numbers will only go up in the future. But as the numbers grow, so too does the competition.
With so many hotels around the world with so many different price options, standards, and locations it gives the customer a lot of choices. The question is how would you expect someone to stay in the same hotel twice if there are more out there to experience at what could possibly be a lower price?
Hotels have to exceed every customer’s expectations every time they stay. Delivering more than what they expect is the route to developing loyal customers and retaining them.
But this shouldn’t just happen for the duration of their stay. Their expected experience should be surpassed before, during and after their stay with you.
The online digital experience for customers plays a huge role in a lot of industries. Hotels are not exempt from this. They should be using technology to their advantage and impress their customers from the moment they visit their website.
Watch on Demand
Repeat Bookings: How to re-engage and upsell customers with personalised engagement
What does customer loyalty look like for hotels?
As mentioned before, the way to win your customer’s loyalty is to exceed expectations and provide a service far superior to what they’ve had before.
Loyal customers will begin to trust your hotel, regardless of the location and price. They book a room with you knowing that the experience is going to be of quality, and they don’t mind spending the extra cash to do so.
You’ll know that your customer retention efforts are coming to fruition when the guests walking through your lobby become familiar faces.
Customer reviews play a massive role for hotels. In fact according to research, it ranks in at the #2 spot amongst industries where consumers are most likely to have read reviews.
Good reviews show off the superior experience that you provide, while also showcasing the trust that people have in your hotel and what you provide. When you start to generate these types of reviews it will be another indication that your work to increase customer loyalty is working.
Word travels fast about the quality of hotels. Even faster when the quality of service and the experience is poor. It’s imperative to the success of a hotel that people only have positive things to say about it.
Importance of the Online Experience
These days the first place customers get to experience your brand is online. This is where you lay down your marker and leave a good first impression. You will lose your customer to someone else if the first experience with you isn’t up to standard.
But it doesn’t just stop there. Providing a superior online experience starts before they even make a booking, and shouldn’t ever really finish.
Here, we’ll have a look at what you can do in the lead up to your customers’ stay with you and how you can continue to engage with them after it.
Engaging with Customers Before Their Stay
Communication prior to the booking can set your customers up for a well prepared and easy going stay. It can also add an air of excitement for them as they count down to their getaway. But this is also an ideal time to offer add ons to their experience.
Sending a message about these add-ons, like booking a parking space, pre-ordering drinks, or booking a time slot for lunch/dinner are just a few examples of ways to engage your guests.
It’s important that you use the data available to you to send your message at the best time possible. For example, if you know the date of the booking, a good time to send your message might be the day before.
Engaging with Customers After Their Stay
So what happens after you’ve gone through your pre-booking campaigns and the customer has had their experience? What you don’t want to do is let them go off into the world and have them never hear from you again.
Your post-booking campaigns are an incredibly important aspect of creating return customers.
The Xtremepush Journey Builder in use to set up automated post-booking campaigns
Thank you emails with links to review sites are a great way to re-establish contact with customers, and also creates the opportunity to give your business a better online look with good reviews.
Some other messaging to stay in contact with previous guests is to send updates on what’s happened or been added to your hotel since they last visited. This increases the chances of people returning to your site and reducing churn.
Finally, people need to see the benefit of always going back to you. So setting up a membership scheme is a good way for people to see some sort of reward for being a loyal customer.
Our intuitive email builder can be used to create an email about a members club. And, our segmentation tool to make an informed, data-driven decision on who to send it to. In general, you would want to send this type of message to users that have visited your site a lot as they are more likely to be your most valuable customers.
How Xtremepush helps to Drive Repeat Bookings
The Xtremepush platform provides the best channels of communication to ensure that your customers keep coming back. Below are two examples of channels that we’ve seen our customers in the hospitality industry use successfully to retain their customers.
Using on-site messages is a great way to increase conversions on your website. When setting up these types of campaigns, it’s important to set your message to pop up when a particular event occurs.
This means that your onsite message is delivered to the right person at the right time. As well as this, it means that the user won’t be bombarded with loads of different messages all at once, enhancing the user experience.
As always, we suggest you use a/b testing to your advantage here and figure out what works best for you and your customers.
Although it can be tough to stand out from the crowd in a customer’s inbox, email is still an incredibly popular channel to run campaigns and communicate with your guests.
Unfortunately, not every booking happens in the end and some can fall through. Email is an ideal channel to use to ensure the customer that there are no hard feelings and that you hope to see them in your lobby at some stage in the future.
Of course, as mentioned earlier, you can use email for your post-booking campaigns to encourage customers to leave reviews, promote your membership scheme, and keep them informed about news and updates in your hotel.
Xtremepush is the world’s leading customer engagement, personalisation and data platform. We work with various top brands within the hospitality industry. Schedule a personalised demo of our platform to learn more about how we can help your brand drive repeat customers and increase revenue.