5 ways to encourage customers to return to your hotel
Running a hotel or bed and breakfast can be hard work, and there's a lot that you have to think about. One of the biggest problems for hoteliers is occupancy rates and encouraging guests to return to your hotel after their first visit. Below, we've put together some top tips for keeping your guests happy and ensuring your rooms are full every night of the week.
Think about the guest experience
The number one way to ensure that guests return to your hotel time and time again is by thinking about their experience at every opportunity. From the moment they book a room on your website to the second they close the door on their way out, you need to be on hand to make sure your guests have a comfortable and relaxing stay, whatever their needs or demands.
If you want to see your hotel through your guests’ eyes, you could ask staff to run through a mock check-in, where you act as a guest and get a feel for the service. You could play Hotel Inspector and spend a night in one of your rooms to check for any issues. That way, you'll be able to make notes that you can bring up with cleaning and room service staff to improve their skills and ensure that every aspect of your guests’ stay has been covered.
Regularly reviewing and analysing your service will keep you on your toes, while guest reviews and feedback should be addressed whenever necessary to continually improve your offering. If guests are satisfied, they’ll tell their friends and return to you when they’re next in town.
Make breakfast count
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so don’t cut corners when guests come down for their Full English. As breakfast is the last meal your guests will have with you before they go off on their travels, it’s important that you get it just right - if you don’t, they might not return.
You should start by reviewing the quality and range of products you have on offer. Today's discerning guests expect local, quality produce that’s been cooked to their taste.
You should also consider the dietary requirements of your guests by providing halal meat and vegetarian and vegan options, and the finishing touches, such as letting natural light into the room, adding a flower to each table, and having relaxing music playing in the background.
And finally, think about your service. Your staff should know the needs and expectations of your guests and understand the importance of time. Busy guests want to enter the breakfast room and have food on their table in a matter of minutes; if front of house is too slow or the kitchen is running behind on orders, the overall breakfast experience could be compromised.
Give them a parting gift
Most people say that first impressions count, but in the hospitality industry, it's often the last impressions that have the biggest impact. If you want to thank your guests for choosing your hotel, and show them how much you enjoyed having them, you should consider investing in hospitality confectionery to give away at the end of their stay. It's the perfect parting gift.
An attractive box filled with chocolates and other goodies will, no doubt, put a smile on your customers’ faces, and give them something to talk about with their friends when they return home. You could even add your hotel’s branding to your box to add an extra touch of class.
At Confectionaire, we offer a wide range of confectionery for hoteliers and bed and breakfast owners, designed to suit your budget and requirements. Simply get in touch with a member of the team, and we’ll be happy to talk you through some of the options that we have available.
Run an online competition
Digital marketing is one of the most effective methods of promoting your accommodation online, and as well as using Facebook to build an audience and writing blogs to rank on Google, you should consider running a competition on social media to encourage people to try you out.
A single social media competition can boost your audience by as much as 34%. Create a post and offer a free night’s stay in your hotel if they like your page and share it with their friends, and you’ll quickly grow your audience and have lots of new followers to speak with. Over time, those new followers will see your other posts on social media, and they may even choose to book with you. Oh, and remember to promote your hotel after your competition ends; ask the winners to share a review of your hotel, and take photographs of them enjoying their stay to share online.
Ask guests to write reviews
Online reviews are worth their weight in gold. If you can persuade your guests to leave a review about your hotel on Facebook, Google or TripAdvisor, you’ll boost your chances of being seen by potential customers, and your hotel will naturally be shown ahead of your competitors. In fact, 83% of TripAdvisor users check before booking a hotel, while 96% consider reviews to be important when looking for a place to stay during their trips.
There are lots of ways you can encourage guests to share their thoughts when they get home; you could send them a friendly reminder via email, or even enter them into a prize draw to win a free night's stay. And as we've already mentioned, offering guests a memento of their stay in the form of a confectionery box can leave a lasting impression, one that is sure to increase the chances of a more positive review and sentiments towards your establishment.
There's no denying the work involved in running a successful hotel, but the simple truth is that if you deliver a great service, guests will want to return every time. Try out some of the techniques we have mentioned in this post, and don't hesitate to get in touch with Confectionaire if you’re looking for luxury confectionery to make your hotel experience even more appealing.