Having your customers stay at your hotel when they return to your city can have long-lasting effects such as increasing both occupancy and profit consistently over time. Not to mention that it can also reduce many operating costs such as OTAs commissions and advertising fees.
At the heart of getting more customers to return to return to your hotel is customer service. Guests will be more likely to return to a hotel where they are treated like they are important. That goes without saying.
However, aside from offering great customer service, what else you can do?
One of the most often overlooked ways to get repeat customers is through social media because it is fast and free. But it must be done properly. If your hotel does not have a strategy for this, then there is no time like the present!
The object of this is to ask customers to “like” your Facebook page. Once someone “likes” your business page, any information that you post on your facebook will appear on your customers’ Newsfeed. This is very powerful because your customers will see your regular updates. Provided that you gave them the amazing customer services (as I am sure you would have), the next time they are travelling to your city, who do you think they are going to think of first?
Firstly, you are going to need some cards printed with the wording “Enjoy Your Stay? Please Like Our Facebook Page”. Be sure to include a link to your Facebook Page. These cards can be business card size. It would also be a great idea to have a promotion on the card to motivate your guests to like your page. Something like “When You Like Our Facebook Page, You Will Receive a Free Breakfast On Your Next Visit” – I will leave that part up to you. As long as the offer is enticing enough to make them go ahead and do it.
The easiest way to ask is when customers are checking out. When the front desk asks them how they enjoyed their stay, and the customers respond positively, hand them a card with a smile. Then say “I am really glad to hear that. If you had a great stay could I ask you a favour please? Would you mind ‘liking’ our Facebook Page?” Simple, right?
However, asking customers them to give you a good rating and write-up on a Travel Review website can be a little harder. It may be too much to put on the card to ask them to write a positive travel review as well as like your Facebook Page. This should be done later.
When the guest gets around to liking your Facebook Page, send them an email saying “Thank you for liking our Facebook Page, I remember you said you had a great time during your stay. We are having a competition this month where you could win a 2 night stay at our hotel. All you have to do is write a positive review on Trip Advisor to go into the draw! You can find all the details here…”
What if You have Negative Feedback at the Front Desk?
Ask the guests why, and listen. Listen to the reasons that visitors give for not staying at your hotel. If a customer cuts their stay short, Don’t treat this as a problem, treat it as a potential challenge that your team may need to overcome. If there is a service you lack, offer an alternative that might make up for it. For example, if your hotel doesn’t allow pets, recommend a good, local kennel; if there is sub-par mass transit, offer guests free shuttle service to airports or restaurants, etc. Some negative situations can turn into opportunities for incredible customer service and turning unhappy guests into a loyal, returning visitors.
If there is such a complaint, it is always good to have the Front Desk (or other employee) write down the issue. After you have a chance to work on a solution with your team, follow-up with a letter to the customer to tell them that you were concerned because of their complaint, and since then you had a meeting with other staff and management because you wanted to ensure that the issue would not arise again, and tell them what you have done. It would also be great to provide them with some kind of gift voucher for the hotel. Guests really appreciate this. It turns a negative into a positive. This is a great way to make a guest feel important.