When you think about it, hotels are in a privileged position when it comes to data.
Over the years DHM has worked with restaurants and bars and the job of capturing data is notoriously more difficult in these businesses because the transactions often don’t require the customer to part with any data.
Hotels, of course, are different. Most hotels will require you to part with your email address, postal address, telephone number and more, making it easy to build a list of customer data quickly.
On the whole, in my experience hotels don’t capture data well.
Or if they do, many aren’t using it to their full advantage.
More times than I can remember, I’ve stayed at a hotel on a leisure break and I’ve never heard from that property again, despite being very willing to receive their communications long after I’ve stayed.
All too often hotel guests utter the words, ‘What was the name of that lovely hotel we stayed in last year?’
If you’ve worked on delivering a remarkable experience to guests but haven’t stayed in touch either via email, social media or otherwise, it is highly likely that your customers will forget the name of your hotel, irrespective of how great their stay was.
When this happens, it’s a complete failure on the hotel’s part – those Prospects, who may well have been willing to engage in future offers and communications, will never stay or even consider staying again owing to the fact that they can’t even remember the name of the hotel!
Encouraging repeat business from guests is almost always dependent
on the type of hotel you run and the type of stay the guest is looking for.
A couple that need a ‘bed’ for the night as they have an event or something specific in the local area to attend i.e. a wedding, an award ceremony, etc. have probably been motivated to choose your hotel because of your location and price.
On the other hand, a couple looking for an ‘experience’ tend not to be as motivated by location or price. They have chosen your property because of the facilities, the brand credentials, the star rating (not that most customers know the difference between a 4-red star hotel and 5-star guest accommodation but that’s a separate issue!) and perhaps secondary to these points, the price and location.
In short, the latter couple are probably looking to spend a considerable amount of time in the hotel, the former couple are looking to sleep, eat and leave.
It’s the ‘experience’ couple that offers the highest chance of repeat custom and it’s these ‘Prospects’ who you must stay in touch with across as many channels as is appropriate to a) remind them that you exist and b) encourage them to return at some point in the future.