This blog is part 4 of a 5 part Covid-19 recovery series which provides detailed recommendations on what hoteliers can do to recover from this crisis. This series covers the entire guest journey.
Optimizing guest experience at each level leaves guests with an unforgettable experience. The check-out stage, like every other stage, is an important aspect of guest journey. This is the stage where the hotel collects guest feedback and uses it to improve operations of the hotel.
Check-out should be smooth and optimized so as to reduce delay and frustration on part of the guests.
Practices hotel should adopt during check-out
Allow guests to check-out from their smartphones. Make use of technology to integrate billing with PMS. With this, guests will be able to make payments online from their mobile phones. Contactless check-out technology helps us avoid the risks of COVID-19. It also saves time and effort on the part of guests as in many luxury and top-rated brands, there are long queues at the time of check-out during peak hours. Guests are usually in a hurry to check-out as they have to catch their flights.
Having latest reviews and guests talking about your safety measures and additional preventive measures on social media and review websites can make a huge difference in your number of bookings.
96% of travelers consider reviews before booking. 76% of travelers are willing to pay more for a hotel with a higher review score. Travelers will always believe other travelers over you. Focus on getting more and more reviews on your social media OTAs and review sites. You offer a delightful experience to your guests and you don’t want it to go unnoticed.
Collect feedback from guests at time of check-out. Suggest them to write a review for your hotel on review sites.
Guests usually forget you once they return to their normal routines. Sending an email to review your property 1 or 2 days after they leave will help get more reviews as their memories are still fresh.
Resolve complaints at time of check-out before they get published as negative reviews
Talk to the guest at check-out if they had any bad experiences during the stay. Waive off the charges of any additional services they used and didn’t appreciate. Offer them discounts on their current stay. Make them believe that you care about them and ensure that they don’t leave the property unsatisfied. You may also offer them discounts for their next stays and customized deals. Doing this may convince them to reconsider and post a positive review.
One of the clear implications of this exercise is customer retention.
Typically you should always be at the back of your guest’s mind when they are thinking of booking a hotel again.
Below are the strategies hotels should adopt post-check-out to increase customer retention.
Stay in touch with guest
Post stay emails are an important step toward guest retention. Mention any improvement and renovations that have been done in the property post their stay. Tell them what steps you are taking to enhance guest experience during their stay. Write them as if you are addressing a friend. Have them signed by your General manager. The goal of this email is to stay connected with your guests after they check-out and ensure that they don’t forget you while visiting the destination again.
Offer them good deals for their next visit
You never know when your guests plan to return. Ensure that you mention your current promotions in all your post-stay interactions with them. Let them know that you are thinking about them on your birthday or anniversary. Send them special discounts to encourage them to spend their special day at your property. Offer them rewards if they refer you to their friends.
Use CRM to enable communication based on guest persona
Customize all your post-stay interactions with them on the basis of their profile you have in your CRM. Offer transport facilities for your business travelers. A romantic honeymoon suite can be offered to a couple celebrating their first anniversary. Sending customized deals can increase the chances to bring back guests. If any of your guests were interested in a food fair or spring fair, let them know in advance when you are holding one.
Respond to guest reviews online
Remember that 70% of guests will choose a hotel if management responds to the reviews in case two hotels have similar ratings. This shows that hotels are concerned about the guests and they will take all the corrective measures required to offer a happy and comfortable stay. It confirms that you are interested in their feedback and you take feedback seriously. Respond to all the positive and negative reviews online. There is no need to become defensive in case of negative reviews. Learn the hacks to respond to the negative reviews.
How effective marketing campaigns can make life easier
Hotel sales and marketing are closely associated. If marketing is done the right way, hotel bookings will never be a problem. Marketing is all about making travelers aware of your property and getting them to book it. Having good marketing strategies will help to get new bookings as well as repeat bookings.
Design marketing campaign based on your objective
Understand your audience. Identify what you want to achieve with marketing. If business travelers are your key targets, personalize your email campaigns for them. Send an email to all your couple travelers 2 months before their anniversary and offer them customized packages. Offer group discounts to corporate groups. If you want to attract a bunch of millennials during Christmas and new year celebration, create a 10-day exciting holiday campaign.
Automate your email campaigns
No need to go through the hassle of sending emails manually when you can automate the entire process. Make use of advanced tech-enabled marketing automation tools and send scheduled campaigns to your guests. Marketing automation will ensure that you don’t miss out connecting with even a single guest. Rule-based marketing campaigns will ensure that you target the right set of travelers.
Hotels can generate repeat bookings and earn more reviews easily if they provide a best guest experience during stay. Read part 3 of the series if you want to read about how to design a perfect guest experience during stay.
Talk to our expert and formulate right marketing strategies for your hotel