Last month I was very lucky to spend some time with one of the world’s most successful hoteliers DJ Rama, owners of the incredible Auro Hotels which we see all over the country. DJ and I had a brilliant chat which lasted just under two hours, and as you can imagine most of what we were talking about was business and the hospitality industry. DJ had some fascinating insights and something which we spent a great deal of time talking about was the importance for hotel owners of not just attracting clients, but making sure that guests who have stayed with them, come back again.
Not only does DJ understand the importance of this but he also has a wealth of strategies which he uses and has used over the years in his own hotels to ensure that guests come back and stay with him again. If you own a hotel or if it is something which you are thinking about getting into, these are some top tips on how you can ensure that guests not only enjoy the stay at your place but that they come back again and again.
There is no shortcut to getting people to come back to your hotel again because the first stage is simply to wow them with what you are offering them. The absolute key to this is that you are absolutely on it when it comes to service, from every single person who the guest interacts with. There is a reason why hotels are still sought after despite the rise in private rentals that we have seen, and that is because people still want to be treated well and to receive great service. If you expect someone to come back to your hotel then the very least that you have to do is give them outstanding service from start to finish.
Another key aspect of the guest experience which so many hoteliers get wrong is the basics, the simple stuff and the details which customers are most certainly looking for. These are things that are incredibly easy to get right and they make a massive difference to how the guest feels when they stay with you. Things like giving them a selection of pillow choices, ensuring that they have charging points next to the bed, providing ample space in the shower and putting a curtain up which won’t let water escape and ensuring that the blinds and curtains actually make the room 100% dark. These are very small details but if you get them wrong, you can guarantee that the customer is not coming back again.
Beyond the experience of the hotel which the customer has, you can also look to offer a rewards scheme which could also encourage them to come back to your hotel again. This is something which is really going to help you nail those business customers who are likely to be visiting again in the future and the way in which you build it is completely up to you. For example, you could offer a 4th stay free after 3 visits, or you can offer points on everything that the guest spends inside the hotel, which can then be used on meals or even one stays at the hotel. This will help you in two ways, firstly it will encourage the customer to come back, and secondly, it will increase the amount of money which they spend in-store.
Straight Up Discount
A bold move but on which is sure to work is offering your guests a heavy discount on a future stay, but add a time limit to it. For example, when the guest is checking out you can ask them how their stay was and if they are happy, you can give them a coupon for a discounted stay, with an expiry date of 3 days. This will add some urgency to the customer’s decision and in the main, they are not going to wish to leave an offer on the table.
Ask For Feedback
Asking for feedback is going to be excellent for you in terms of helping to improve aspects of your hotel, and it is also going to be an impressive thing from your guest’s point of view. When you ask guests this, personally, don’t ask them to fill out a form, they will be impressed at your attention to detail and your quest for improvement and this could also be a little seed that is planted in their head, which they will remember the next time that they are in town.
Remember that your efforts should not just be placed on bringing in new customers, once you have guests, do what you can to bring them back.