Starting with the Pareto Principal, 80% of effects should come from 20% of the cause. What dos this mean? Basically, 80% of business should come from 20% of customers! In the accommodation industry that might seem a bit far-fetched, but you get the idea? REPEAT business is essential for success!!
As we can all admit we don’t generally visit the same place twice, if we do it’s generally local. So, we can probably say the Pareto principal is not relevant to the accommodation industry? Wrong! This principal is very relevant but just with a little twist. This twist I like to call RECOMMENDATIONS!! A recommendation from a previous customer is almost the same as a repeat customer why, because it significantly reduces the cost of acquisition of a new customer.
So, what are some simple steps you can take to get repeat business and recommendations?
Always capture customer’s data:
Capturing the data is one thing, we also need to tools to store and manage it. Not only that we need to know how to effectively use it! So, How do we use it?
Firstly, Send customers a thank you email after their stay.
Secondly, we should be sending customers a monthly newsletter or at least an update about the property.
Finally, encourage your customers to come back, send them promotions and discounts. Offer customers an incentive to refer their friends to your property E.g. refer a friend and get 1 night free off your next stay with us or a discounted room rate, anything that will encourage repeat business and recommendations.
Improve front of house service:
Front of house service is critical; with the use of online reviews and ratings we simply cannot afford to have bad customer service in our hotels. Guest need to receive the best possible service and staff need to go above and beyond to ensure that happens. It’s the simple things that matter e.g.
– Calling Guest by name
– Walking them to their room upon arrival
– Giving them tips on restaurants and attractions
Owners and managers should keep a close eye on customer service, it should be monitored on a regular basis and we should be asking customers for feedback. After all the customers are the reason we are in business, their opinion matters!
Listen and respond:
A big mistake may accommodation providers make is not listening to their customers. Whether it is online reviews or face-to-face feedback, it’s imperative to listen to your customers and most importantly respond.
Many people think it if they brush the bad online reviews under the carpet they will go away, incorrect! In fact that makes them worse! Responding to bad online reviews and fixing the problem is the absolute key to success and repeat business.
So, there you have it three very simple ways to increase repeat business and get recommendations!