By now we all have our channel managers in place with rates and allotments taking care of themselves, with the help of these amazing sites it has now given us more time to focus on our favourite option direct booking clients.

We all know that feeling when a direct booking comes in, the added excitement of knowing no-one will be helping themselves to a portion of the payment your guest is making.

How do we get these guests to book direct and how are we able to keep them coming back and telling friends?

Direct bookings are all about you, the majority of clients will check out your website before making an on-line booking. This is your capture time!

Your website is so important, it must load fast, they are shopping around and don’t have time to wait for your site to load. You may have the most amazing website, if it doesn’t load fast no one will have the opportunity to see it. Banner a promo code on the website not necessarily with a percentage, a direct booking discount code will have them thinking about receiving an even better price from you. A promotion code gives you the freedom to adjust the discounted rate when it suits you.

Some Important Focus Areas-  

 Use social media as much as possible, the Konnector is a great tool to get your name out there and have potential clients talking about your accommodation. Another promotional code can be used here.

 An easy quick loading website with lots of photos of your fabulous accommodation and sunny photos of the surrounding areas.

– Mobile optimisation is more important than ever, everyone has a phone or tablet and are more inclined to make spur of the moment purchases with their phone.

 Google mobile searches give preference to mobile optimised sites.

 Gallery with professional photos of your rooms and surrounds, optimise your images so they load quickly, ensure the best photos are at the top, if they have a little more time to browse and are seriously considering your property you need to showcase as much as possible.

 An incentive to book direct, think about what you can offer on your website without offending your channel.

 Don’t forget to add a promotional code to your brochures too, inspiring people to book direct without you forever being held to a percentage discount. This way you can keep track of where your bookings are coming from by using different codes. 

The Booking is Made Now to Keep the Client Spending and Have Them Return

From the first booking confirmation email it is time to start the relationship with your client. They will already have seen the range of extras through the booking engine on your website, now give your guests up-sell options tailored to their needs, theme parks or local attractions for families, sunset cruises and hot air ballooning for couples. You have saved on commission from this direct booking now it is time to make your own commission from the local tour companies.

Affiliate with local well organised tour companies so you know your special guests will receive the same high standard you are offering.

Once you have your guest on site look after them, remember names or keep a simple list behind your desk, offer help to dining out, where to go and what to see, it all helps to build trust in you and after all you know your area they need all the help from you that they can get. This all adds to the overall experience that you are providing.

Explain to your guest when they are checking out that they will get a discounted rate next time, or mention your accommodation to their friends for further bonuses.

Direct Mailing: Now your guests have stayed with you it’s imperative that they come back next time when they are in town. The best way to achieve this is by capturing their email address and re-marketing to them. Remember that the email address doesn’t always come with the booking so you will need to collect this upon check-in.

Now you’ve got the information it’s important to use it! Customers will forget you if you don’t communicate with them. Sending regular emails with discounted rates is the best way to receive repeat business.

These simple suggestions are aimed at helping you to use all the avenues available to you, social media, channel managers and website optimisation will all work for you to bring a larger number of guests to your accommodation.