As coronavirus spreads its wings, hoteliers around the world face a punishing marathon in the next months. Besides taking proactive measures to minimise the chances of the spread, assuring guests of their safety can help tide-over the crisis. In all likelihood the novel coronavirus pandemic too shall pass by summers and the hospitality industry will rebound like it did from SARS or from one hurricane season to another. In the meantime, the following tips might help make it through these trying times.
- Stay informed
Don’t panic! Ensure that you get your information and updates on the progress of COVID-19 from credible sources only. Such sources include the World Health Organisation (WHO), CDC, and local government websites. Please note that the WHO has an FAQ section dedicated to busting all the myths flying around social media.
2. Reassure your arriving and in-stay guests
Use automated marketing to reassure arriving guests that your hotel is doing everything within its power to keep the environment safe and hygienic. Consider the following:
- Inform guests that all frequently touched surfaces in the rooms such as the remote control, light switches, bedside lamp switches, the alarm clock, the phone and the bathroom sink have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Assure them that similar standards have been followed in all the public areas.
- That housekeeping is using proper disinfectant products and/or disposable cleaning tools to avoid spread of contaminants to multiple rooms.
- That special care has been taken to clean and disinfect pillows, comforters, towels, bathrobes, sofas, chairs, etc.
- All staff are following the strictest hygiene and sanitation standards, and have been asked to consult for travel advice before going on personal and business trips.
You should also share tips and guidelines for your guests to follow that will keep them from infections. You may also highlight important statistics and convey to guests that the destination city is safe, and have had no cases of COVID-19.
3. Continue with the relevant marketing
In such trying times, the need of securing reservations and minimizing cancellations is critical. To do this, you need to design packages and promotions that will reassure arriving guests, and encourage potential guests to book their stays without hesitation. Protecting the brand image is of paramount importance, and a reduction in marketing budgets may hamper execution of efforts.
4. Focus marketing spending on existing guests
Revenue managers need to pay attention to data to safeguard RevPAR. Focus needs to be on the segments that are canceling, the segments that may be increasing as a result of shifting priorities, and the number of new bookings and their source. Combined with the right marketing efforts the hotel can protect revenue erosion. Focus on personalised upselling and cross selling can help maximise revenues per guest. When creating the packages, ensure that they’re unique to the experience only your hotel can provide. Also, create offers that are relevant to the type of guests for improved conversions.
5. Don’t cut costs on service quality
While it can be easy to cut costs on the quality of service, doing so can ruin guest satisfaction and drive your guests to your competitors. Dissatisfied guests will only result in negative online reviews that will linger even after Coronavirus pandemic get over. If you absolutely need to cut costs, then consider doing so in areas that are not guest facing to minimize impact on the guest experience.
While governments around the world prepare to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19, communities and industries can contribute in their own capacity. Now may be the time to set an example and help lift the industry up by promoting positive, factual details rather than panic.
We want to help!
Understandably, Coronavirus outbreak has brought difficult times for the hospitality industry, and we’d like to help to maximize your revenues.
Leveraging our partnership with Booking.com, you can automatically reach-out to the pre-arriving guests to:
- Reduce cancellations by assuring them of steps taken for their safety
- Automate upsell offers before their arrive and during their stay at your property
Instead of the regular three digit monthly fee we are happy to work with you on a 10% revenue share basis. And to get you started quickly, the one-time $150 setup fee has also been reduced to $49.