Despite an increase in technology usage, hotel companies are finding it harder than ever to increase guest counts. Guests now have the ability to price check between multiple hotel destinations within seconds. They also have other accommodations options. Instead of sitting back frustrated about the declining customer numbers, it is important to adjust the business model and meet today?s hotel customers where they are at.
The internet is required for success
For many years, the internet was considered a useful tool for increasing hotel business success. Today, however, the internet has become not only a valuable, but necessary part of everyone?s lives. This means that you must be on the internet in order to succeed. The majority of hotel customers are on the internet and if you do not have a strong presence, you will miss out on this large customer base.
In addition to having a strong internet base, it is also important to incorporate the internet into every aspect of the hospitality visit. Customers expect the ability to book, check in, request additional amenities, and check out, all from the internet. This also means that the business webpage should be mobile friendly and be free of any WiFi errors. Mobile queries within the travel category have increased more than 50% over the last year. This requires a strong property management system hotel program. The best hotel management software programs quickly become outdated and thus, should be updated every year.
Extra amenities are no longer considered extra
Extra amenities were once a bonus to hotel customers. Now that customers have the ability to view numerous hotels at once, they need something else to make their decision. Extra hotel amenities, along with competitive pricing, are a great way to encourage a customer to choose your hotel location over another similar one. Extra amenities include updated rooms, great location, on site massage services, breakfast services, room service, a workout room, and complimentary concierge services.
The importance of review sites
Travel review sites are extremely popular among customers planning a trip. These customers turn to these sites for reviews, location information, and photographs. Review sites are one of the most important decision making factors. Besides price and location, bed and breakfast travelers look to the following when deciding where to stay, consumer reviews (50%), photos (47%), friend?s recommendations (46%), flexible cancellation policy (43%), and the ability to book online (43%). Hotel management or property managers that do not pay close attention to these sites run the risk of losing potential customers.
Don?t forget about your current customers
Another common mistake that hotel managers make is focusing too much on increasing customer count that they forget about their current and loyal customers. A single customer that is loyal to a brand is more valuable than the potential of a new hotel customer. In fact, building loyalty with 5% more current customers would lead to an increased average profit of between 25% and 100% per customer. Property management system hotels might struggle with building loyalty because they are not regularly on site. For this reason, property management system hotels should have a strong loyalty program in place too.
Employees are the face of the business
It is also important to remember that even with the best property management system hotel program in place, the employees are the face of the business. Taking care of your employees will ensure that your customers are also well taken care of. Programs like recognition and service awards, along with increased employee benefits will decrease employee retention rates, which will also increase the customer?s overall guest experience.
The hotel and hospitality business has changed. The internet has been a strong influence on this change. Hotel businesses not only need to be on the internet, but also need to have a strong presence there. Additionally, loyalty programs and extra amenities will help to increase customer loyalty and eventually the businesses success.