In a previous article, we talked about nurturing and ensuring guest loyalty being one of the top challenges in the hotel industry at present. With customers quick to go elsewhere if hotels don’t offer them their ideal experience, and painfully high expectations, loyalty is hard to win and easy to lose. There are many tips and tricks for increasing loyalty in hotel customers, such as WiFi marketing for hotels. So what are the top ways to do to it?
First impressions and consistency
It’s an old saying but first impressions count. You need to get your branding spot on from the moment someone comes in to contact with your hotel (on or offline). You must then continue with utmost consistency through every experience they have with you.
Meet all general expectations without question
There is no room for second chances in the hotel world today. Everything from perfect housekeeping through to seamless check-in processes needs to be done correctly 100% of the time. A guest will never return if you can’t get the basics right.
Offer incentives and offers at the right time, in the right way
It’s not enough to offer generic offers. Offers need to be tailored to the individual. They then need to be given at the right time, when they are most likely to be acted on. Furthermore, you need to deliver them in the way which most likely prompts a response, such as physical coupons, text message offer codes or email promotions.
Personalisation is perhaps one of the biggest opportunities to boost loyalty in hotel guests. We all like to be treated as individuals and that should be your aim, no matter how large your hotel business is.
To do this you’ll need to understand your customer. This requires hotel customer data. Collect this data right in the moment using your hotel’s WiFi login page. It’s clever and will give you the information you need to personalise a guest’s stay. For example, this may allow you to leave a gift for a birthday or a bottle of fizz for an engagement.
Our marketing software allows you to collect these valuable guest data. It provides you with analytics and tools to turn one-time visitors into loyal customers. Why not give it a try at your hotel?
You don’t just need the microdata on the individual, but you’ll also be able to nurture loyalty by utilising big data. Big data allows you to look at the bigger picture of patterns and preferences in your guests including things such as seasonal fluctuations or health suite usage by different customer types. This allows you to move on to bolster your strengths and mitigate your weaknesses.
Segment your marketing activities
It’s not enough to just offer incentives or send out generic marketing messages. With the right data at your fingertips, you can segment your marketing activities. This way you can offer the right incentives to the right individual.
For example, offer a pleasure traveller with a family a free hour in your business centre and you’ll make them feel uncared for. Yet offer that same incentive to a business customer who you know uses the business centre and you’ve got a hook.
Make the guest experience a priority
We are in the age of experiences. Millennials are the future of travel. Millennials value experiences in a way generations before them tended to value things. Indeed, many argue that it is this drive for experiences that has fuelled the popularity of Airbnb, a major disruptor to the hotel sector.
Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that hotels focus unrelentingly on the guest experience and how they can improve it.
The guest experience begins long before check-in. From how you communicate about bookings through to interaction during their stay with you, you build a positive experience rooted in trust. Guest experience also involves helping them to enjoy their stay through everything from information on local events or places to eat.
Use loyalty programs that guests care about
With many loyalty programs, guests simply ‘make do’. They accept what you offer and it doesn’t necessarily nurture loyalty. Back with our millennials, 68% show loyalty to a hotel which offers the most rewards.
So make a more conscious loyalty program by considering what your guests actually want. You can then reward their repeat stays in a more meaningful way.
Furthermore, structure your loyalty program in a way which rewards your guests in both the short and long term. You need to entice them to make the next booking but you also need to lure them in longer to coming back again and again.
Don’t forget to reward those most loyal customers for leaving reviews too.
Use the right technology and with confidence
Nothing will undermine a guest’s loyalty to you like a data breach or technology which doesn’t work as they expect it to. From smooth booking and check-in processes through to in-room smart features, your technology needs to be safe and secure as well as intuitive and user-friendly.
Exceed customer expectations
You need to go beyond what your customers expect and deliver them an experience which exceeds their expectations. Again, you’ll need to understand your guest to be able to achieve this.
Exceeding expectations may involve things such as remembering a specific request, follow-up emails containing thanks and rewards, to unexpected gifts in the room.
Nurturing customer loyalty is a vital strategy for success in your hotel. Remember, it’s easier to keep a customer than to win a new one, so it’s really worth the effort.
Want to learn a bit more about the importance of customer loyalty?