In my earlier publication, I mentioned how the Hospitality Industry is evolving rapidly and hoteliers must juggle multiple hats to stay ahead.For someone like a large hotel chain, there is always the required budget for marketing, be it loyalty programs or deep discounts or creating a brand that help them in the long run (think brand recall value), making these large chains succeed over independent / mid-sized hotels.Not always true! For work I research a lot of hotels and that’s when I realized that a surprising number of independent hotels seem to have great service and leave guests delighted time and again. Ultimately creating a great brand name for themselves.Necessity has always been the mother of all invention and hotels always look to outsmart the competition through a few tricks up their sleeves. Sharing some them here,
Get Your Guests Talking –
hotels go to great lengths to serve the guest and make sure they leave delighted. If the service was anything above good, guests would speak about it to acquaintances, but that might just not be enough. Get your guest to leave a review of the stay on online platforms like TripAdvisor, the most sought after review site. This becomes a credible and permanent source of reference for the hotel. When the hotel builds up on more such reviews it becomes a standard and suddenly from a follower your hotel goes on to setting standards.
Make Sure You’ve Understood the Guests –
Would you not love it, if your vendor constantly exceeded your expectation, then why should your in-house guests be any different? Automating a review is only half the job done, use tools like Hotelogix PMS which is integrated with Review Pro and collates the TripAdvisor reviews as part of guest history. So next time a guest checks in, you can see his review, pre-empt his needs and delight him once again.
By doing this, you begin to build a sturdy list of repeat guests, who become brand ambassadors of your hotel. A study by Trust You and Accor hotels says that all things remaining constant, a hotel with a better rating is almost 4 time likely to be booked.
Don’t Over Charge Them –
A lot of Hoteliers would have thought while reading the above, “loyal guests are the second step, how do we get the guest to book my hotel the first time.” Well, you can start with right pricing, use rate intelligence tools to understand the market demand and understand the competition. Make sure you get the pricing right especially during busy seasons such as Christmas, New Year across the world and times like Diwali in India. This will be a great opportunity to attract first timers to the hotel as the demand is high and supply would be limited. Easier said than done, it will perfect over time.
Stay Asset Light –
You always hear hoteliers saying “I’ve just invested a huge amount in X technology or in a certain process” This unfortunately is becoming old school. New advanced technologies like the cloud mean there is no fixed upfront cost to be paid, you pay for only what you use. Be it management contracts of hotels or adopting Cloud based PMS’s like Hotelogix, all of them keep you “asset light”. It also means that there is greater liquidity for you to invest in newer avenues like marketing campaigns, etc.
Stay up-to-date –
Every Hotelier we speak to says that they evaluate a new PMS for their hotels once in 2 years or maximum 5 years. Why? Because, the vendor does not have a feature that the hotelier wants or because the existing server based PMS charges you an obscene amount to give you an up-to-date version of the PMS. Well, with PMS companies like Hotelogix on top of being asset light, all of their product upgrades happen automatically and are complimentary.
Going forward I would dedicate a blog to each of my suggestions above.
Till then, do reach out to me here firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be intrigued to know your thoughts on ways to improve hotel profitability.
Missed the first part of the blog? Read it here