Expert Hotel Management Company Reveals Secret to Maintaining a Fully Booked Hotel24th January 2017
Every day, thousands of hoteliers across the country ask themselves, “How do I get guests to choose to stay the night at my hotel rather than at my competitor’s?”
In truth, there are a number of different tactics you can use to boost bookings and ensure your rooms are full from season to season. Here, top hotel management company, Michels & Taylor, provide the secret to ensuring your potential guests book their stay with you and not your competitor.
Practise the Gift of Giving
Although 76% of online bookings are made through OTAs, research shows customers would rather book directly with the hotel (if they can do so easily and at the best rate). Although you may not be able to offer a lower room rate than your OTA, you can entice potential guests with added extras such as a luxury spa treatment, bottle of wine or late check out on departure. Guests who know they will be getting the best rates by booking direct will keep coming back to your website and won’t click away to book through OTAs who are, essentially, your competitors. Showcase current offers clearly on your homepage – think hero banners, eye-catching images and interesting buttons.
There is nothing more off-putting than having to click through hundreds of web pages just to book a stay at a hotel. In an age where everybody is short on time and with Google reporting that travellers spend an average of 55 minutes booking a holiday, it is important to make it as quick and easy as possible for guests to book online with you rather than through an OTA or competitor. Use an express booking system for less clicks to generate more bookings.
We’re On the Move!
52% of travellers visit your hotel website after seeing you on an OTA, according to a recent Google report, which means a slick website is a must. However, with 35% of all Millennials using a mobile phone to book travel, and revenue from desktops dipping with 51.8% of travellers booking on a mobile device, it is about time you optimised your website for easy bookings and site navigation on smartphones and tablets.
Live in the Moment
It might sound obvious but make sure your booking engine displays real time availability. Potential guests looking for a last minute deal will find it frustrating to find they are unable to view rooms that are available immediately and will find somewhere else where they can. It is also worth noting that 65% of all same-day hotel reservations are made via a smartphone, so keep booking paths short, slick and sweet on mobile devices to boost bookings.
Keep One Eye Open
Do your research. Make sure you are clued up about competitor room rates, packages and offers and then set yours accordingly. You don’t want to price yourself out of the market, but remember, underselling yourself can be just as costly.
Research suggests that guests read around 6 to 12 reviews before booking. Inviting key influencers – from bloggers to YouTubers – to stay in return for a review is a quick and easy way to reach millions of potential guests with the added benefit of gaining links back to your website. Also, with guest reviews emerging as the third most important criteria for travellers, showcase real time reviews from Trip Advisor on your home page for authentic referrals.
We’re not talking at parties. People check their social media more than they talk to their friends these days, with over 400 million active users on Instagram and over 320 million on Twitter, so ensure you are using it wisely. Social media allows hoteliers to showcase their hotel, promote packages and offers and engage in conversation with their guests, allowing you to listen to invaluable feedback and forge great relationships with guests. With 92% of consumers trusting social media above all other forms of advertising, it is worth investing your time into social media marketing.
A good hotel management company knows that nothing boosts bookings like a good quality hotel with great service during your guest’s stay but offers, online engagement with potential customers and a fully-optimised website will see rooms go from empty to fully booked in no time.
Need help with filling rooms? Michels and Taylor, the expert hotel management company, are here to help.