Improving your hotel’s demand generation is no easy feat. Take control of your hotel experience with just a few tactics. Manage expectations, keep your rooms full, be competitive in your market, increase your revenue, and stay up to date with the latest trends to improve your hotel’s demand generation.
1. Managing your guest expectations
A guest booked your “Express Suite” off of a third-party site. When they’re shown the room, it’s not what they saw online and they’re disappointed. Managing your guest expectations, especially when you don’t have total control over your messaging on third-party sites, is a frustrating and frequent challenge for hotel managers.
Hotel News Now suggests that one way you can manage your guest expectations is be being “painfully authentic.” They list, for example, the Casablanca Hotel in New York City, which describes its Classic Petite Room as not offering a view and not recommended for couples on long stays.
Ultimately, if you can control the messaging around your hotel and your rooms, you can better manage your guests’ expectations. The best way to do this is to have accurate, but appealing photos and descriptions wherever potential travelers see your property.
2. Keeping your rooms full
Maintaining a high occupancy rate is one of the most important components of a hotel’s viability.
Unfortunately, there’s no single silver bullet for empty rooms—but, according to Allotz, event-led bookings can help boost your occupancy levels. They recommend that you hone in a local event like a music fest or sporting event and create a package around it with your hotel in the middle. Include tickets to the event as well as transportation to it. Offering an all-inclusive bundle can fill rooms and entice customers that might not have considered the event, or your hotel in the first place.
For instance, hotels in and around Reno offer Before and After the “Burn” Detox Packages around Burning Man—with a spa package and lunch buffet, they’re looking to capitalize on all of the traffic surrounding the event and increase their occupancy even after the event ends.
3. Being competitive in your market
If you’re a smaller boutique hotel, trying to compete with the big brand names, and their large marketing budgets, it can be a real uphill battle. In order to be competitive in your local market, Front Desk Anywhere recommends offering live chat on your website. They argue that 52% of travelers will visit a hotel’s website after seeing it on an OTA. Often the reason for that visit is further clarification about a feature or price point.
If you offer live chat, the visitor can immediately get the answer they’re looking for, rather than bouncing to a new hotel or site. Kissmetrics calls chat the an “untapped potential” for businesses, citing that live chat not only saves companies money, it also can increase sales.
4. Increasing revenue
Not only do you need to make sure that your guests are happy, and your rooms are full. You also need to make sure the bottom line is in the black. Increasing your hotel’s revenue is not an easy challenge. And, it’s certainly not something that can be tackled with one quick tip.
One, in a long list, of ways to boost your revenue, according to Little Hotelier, is to up-sell at every opportunity. If you’ve got a spa package, or teamed up with a local tour guide, offering add-ons is a great way to increase your revenue, as well as improve your guests’ time at your hotel.
5. Staying up to date and innovating with the latest trends
Millennials have a different set of wants and needs than baby boomers and with the rise, especially in spending-power, of the former it’s important to make sure you innovate your offerings in order to rise to new demands and new markets.
We’ve talked about it before, but at this year’s ITB Berlin, Nicholas Hall made the great point to focus on youth travelers. They often stay longer and look for more cultural experiences in their travel. Ensure your hotel’s website is mobile-friendly. Also, make sure your offers speak to the unique travel experience that millennials are looking for. These are great ways to start innovating.
Partnering with Sojern is another great way to improve your hotel demand generation. Check out our risk-free marketing solution for hoteliers and take back control of your demand gen.