Repeat guest bookings for your hotel should be easy, right? You’ve already done the hard work and managed to attract customers to stay with you. Now, it is just a question of converting them from one-time visitors into regulars.
Unfortunately, repeat guest bookings for a hotel are not always the case. Even if you have done everything in your power to make a guest’s stay comfortable, some factors can sway them to book with a competitor.
Not counting the poor experience a guest may have gone through at your property, they might choose to stay at another hotel if they get a better deal. Or it may simply be a case of wanting a change of scenery and trying a new property for a different experience.
Before we look into ways to increase repeat guest bookings for your hotel, let’s understand why returning guests are essential for branding and revenue generation.
Importance of repeat guests
To be clear, repeat guests are customers who have previously stayed at your property at some point in time. Therefore, they know your hotel’s service, brand, and location. So, why are repeat customers worth the investment? Let’s find out;
Require less effort – Since returning guests know about your hotel, convincing them to stay again requires less effort. As a result, marketing for repeat guests is a cost-effective endeavor that even smaller hotels can take on without bending their budget too much.
Branding – Repeat guests are the best example of a successful branding strategy. Moreover, these customers become your spokesperson, helping promote your property by word of mouth.
Personal relationship – With returning guests, the hotel and staff have the opportunity to build upon a personal connection. This makes the customer feel welcomed and eventually leads to them not only booking again but also spending more at the property.
Familiarity – Returning to the same hotel also holds many advantages for the guest. One of the primary reasons is the familiarity factor. As guests have previously stayed at the property, they are more relaxed and not worried about any surprises.
Ways to increase repeat guest bookings for your hotel
Working towards increasing the number of repeat visitors at your hotel is a collaborative effort. It requires action both on-site and off-site. Here are different practices you can implement to make your hotel more attractive to guests who have previously booked a stay with you.
The work towards guaranteeing a guest will return begins on the ground level. It is paramount that during their first stay, they receive personalized and memorable service. Cater to any special needs they might have.
Also, a parting gift is a great addition that will remind them of your hotel long after they have gone back.
A follow-up email after a guest has left is the first step toward building a long-term relationship. Typically, a part of email marketing, it can include a thank you note or request for feedback. This makes the guest feel valued and that you sincerely care about their thoughts.
Among the most affordable ways to increase repeat guest bookings for your hotel is email marketing. It is also quite extensive and thus best handled by a hotel marketing agency, such as Adigital.
By developing a personalized email marketing strategy for your hotel, the agency can continue to water the seeds of the bond planted when the guest booked with you for the first time.
Email marketing can consist of everything from updates about new facilities in the hotel and events in the city to upcoming special deals or simply wishes for a festive season.
At the same time, you must continue to sell your rooms directly and subtly. For this, you can offer personalized discounts to guests if they return for a stay.
Moreover, when they re-book, you can give them deals for their birthday month or additions like free spa sessions, room upgrades, dinner coupons, and the like.
While the above might seem generic, the idea is to personalize these packages based on guest preferences collected via Big Data on their earlier visit.
Remember, exclusive deals and promos make customers feel appreciated and thus more likely to book with you again.
Therefore, it might even help if the emails requiring action come from the manager rather than the sales team, again highlighting the relationship between the hotel and the guest.
Email marketing can often be one-sided. Thus, you must always keep all lines of communication between the hotel and guests open. Inform the customer that they can contact the hotel via WhatsApp, DMs on social media, customer care, chatbots, and emails.
At the same time, you can use these lines of communication to ask customers for surveys and feedback.
Most importantly, do acknowledge their input, whether positive or negative. And if it is the latter, request another opportunity to serve them better.
Having a loyalty program that awards points for repeat bookings is an excellent way to increase direct bookings.
Unlike email marketing, a loyalty program is something the customer can follow and plan independently.
Members are aware of the number of stays they must book before getting a free one. Or the unique advantages loyal customers receive, ranging from room discounts to free use of spa facilities.
Website SEO and social media
A digital marketing misconception is that it typically attracts new customers. That is not the case. Building a hotel website that ranks high on Google solidifies your brand. It acts as an influential factor whenever a new or repeat customer comes across it online.
Similarly, encouraging guests to follow you on social media helps keep the hotel fresh in their minds, especially when they are planning a return trip to your destination.
Marketing practices that help increase repeat guest bookings for your hotel tend to be pocket-friendly. Thus, they should be implemented by all hotels, whether big, medium-range or even bed and breakfasts. Adigital can help strategize your hotel marketing plan to cater to new and repeat customers across various verticals for maximum revenue generation.