In the hospitality industry, nothing is more important than keeping the guests satisfied because when they are pleased with your services, it is likely that they will come back again. While getting new customers is essential, hotel guest loyalty can make all the difference in the success of your hotel in the long run.
Loyal guests are the people who keep coming back to your hotel. Although they may not be frequent visitors, you can be assured that they will choose your hotel when they decide to travel again. However, encouraging guests to come back can be quite a challenge. So in this blog, we will discuss everything you need to know about your loyal guests and how to ensure that they stay loyal.
Best Ways to Increase Hotel Guest Loyalty
- Make a lasting good first impression
- Prioritize guest experience
- Add a personal touch
- Offer incentives
- Run hotel loyalty programs
- Ask for immediate feedback
- Price fairness
What’s inside this blog?
- Why repeat hotel guests are better than new ones
- Best ways to increase guest loyalty
- Frequently asked questions about hotel guest loyalty
Why repeat hotel guests are better than new ones
Repeat guests are hotel guests that stay in the same hotel many times because they like the rooms, services, and they are loyal to it. It is important to maintain hotel guest loyalty as they tend to spend more in the long term and easier to upsell with other services because they are already familiar and confident with your hotel’s services. Repeat guests can also help to boost your ratings online if they book through OTAs.
Generating sales from new customers plays a huge role in the success of your hotel but the real profit comes from keeping them. When you have repeat guests, your hotel revenues can skyrocket. In a New York Times article, Senior Vice President for Marketing at Preferred Hotel Group Casey Ueberroth said that the loyal, engaged guest is driving large amounts of revenue. He added that 10 to 15% of companies make up as much as 60% of the revenue.
New customers are valuable, but it is important to remember that those long-term loyal hotel guests are the ones who will speak your name to all their friends, family, and colleagues, that in the long run, will give the biggest impact on your hotel’s growth.
How to Boost Hotel Guest Loyalty
1. Make a lasting good first impression
Like in many cases, first impressions matter. Bringing your best foot forward at all times is the way to a guest’s trust. Their experience does not start the moment they arrive at your hotel but at the time of booking. That is why it is important to make the booking process as simple as possible for your guests to have a smooth experience. When your guests arrive, go the extra mile by exceeding guest expectations through offering an impeccable service that will impress them, for enhanced customer loyalty.
2. Prioritize guest experience
As mentioned above, the guest experience begins even before the check-in process. Prioritize guest experience above everything else—provide assistance even when your guests don’t ask for it, maintain your hotel’s cleanliness and room quality, or even tell them about local events, attractions nearby that they can visit, and other information that will be of interest to your guests. This way, they will know that you value not just their time at your hotel but their overall travel experience.
Asking guests before, during and after their stay at your hotel also matters. Even as simple as messaging them whether they need a transportation service to reach your hotel or asking them if they’re having a comfortable experience during their stay, can go a long way. These sweet gestures will establish trust and long-term positive bonds between you and your guests.
3. Add a personal touch
Another way to boost hotel guest loyalty is by adding a personal touch customers look forward to. The more the personalization you give, the higher the guest satisfaction and loyalty you get. That is why it is essential to pay attention to the details of your guests. Keep in touch with all your guests and connect with each guest personally. Offer a personalized touch to your guests on their special days such as exclusive discounts on anniversaries or birthdays to make their day more special at your hotel. Or give discounts and special packages on occasions like Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, or even on company events to attract business and leisure travelers.
Tracking guest data and preferences helps you find unconventional ways to encourage guests to book your hotel again for their next visit.
4. Offer incentives
Boosting guest loyalty can be like a walk in the park if you truly understand your customers’ needs and wants. And part of their wants are the words “Free” and “Complimentary” but ensure that the perks you will offer are beyond the complimentary welcome drinks or free meals. Create incentives that will excite your loyal guests and make new guests turn into loyal customers.
You can reward your guests’ loyalty by offering them exclusive deals and packages that will make their stay more enjoyable and convenient. Offer flexible check-ins and check-outs or free room upgrades. Give a complimentary trip to nearby local attractions. Reward them with hotel referral discounts. If you want to boost hotel guest loyalty, do not miss out on the opportunity to make guests feel more special.
5. Run hotel loyalty programs
Having loyalty programs is among the best approaches to increase repeat guests at your hotel. People like to receive free stuff and want to get things that are important to them. You can give them a loyalty card that they can use for their repeat visits. Through the loyalty programs, your repeat guests can get exclusive discounts, privileges, upgrades and more, when they book your hotel repeatedly. With a hotel loyalty program, there is a high possibility that you will entice guests to book their next stay at your hotel because you are showing that you value their trust and are more than willing to make the guest experience worthwhile.
6. Ask for immediate feedback
Do not wait for a guest to have an issue or make a complaint during their stay. Seek immediate feedback before, during and after their stay. While there are guests who do not hesitate to complain at the frontdesk, there are guests who are not vocal at the time of their stay who may not be pleased with their experience at your hotel and leave negative feedback online that at the end of the day can damage your hotel’s image. You can steer clear of this situation by actively and carefully asking for your guests’ feedback during their stay. So when they are dissatisfied with a particular service, you still have the chance to make it up to them. And also, actively seeking feedback from your guests makes them feel appreciated because you value their opinion.
7. Price fairness
Price fairness has an impact on both customer satisfaction and loyalty. If a guest does not perceive the paid price as fair, chances are this person is most likely not going to stay at your hotel again no matter how well you performed on other factors. As a hotelier, you must guarantee that the guests will see and experience the value of the price they paid.
To achieve price fairness, you need a Revenue Management Software (RMS) like ZEN eManager Express to ensure that the prices are according to the demand level. ZEN eManager Express features artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor your target audience, their booking patterns, the length of their stay, their preferences, and the segments of your hotel that attract maximum guests while keeping track of your competitor’s pricing structure. This RMS recommends rates that are supposed to lead to the highest possible Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR).
With the help of ZEN eManager Express, consider the job done. Leave the most crucial aspect of your hotel to be handled by the experts in the industry. Let ZEN help you bounce back and increase your revenue. Book your free appointment now at www.zen-hs.com/book-a-meeting/.
Frequently asked questions about guest loyalty
Q: What are the factors influencing guest loyalty for my hotels?
A: There are several factors influencing guest loyalty. First is hotel quality, including cleanliness, room quality, and service quality. Second is the hotel’s behavior in satisfying guests’ needs. When a hotel is willing to invest a lot for a guest, i.e. upgrading them to better rooms, offering free services, guests are more likely to be loyal. Lastly is price fairness. Price has to be fair with the services provided in the hotel, as well as if it is compared to the competitor’s prices.
Q: What can customer loyalty do for a hotel?
A: Customer satisfaction can turn normal guests into repeat guests. When you can have a large percentage of repeat or loyal customers, it acts as a firm revenue foundation. The result will be immensely profitable for every hotel owner. You can also ask your repeat guests to leave reviews for your hotels online, with some incentives, and since they like your hotels, they will be likely to leave good reviews. It will then have a domino effect on the new guests who are interested in the good reviews and come to your hotel.
Q: What type of loyalty program is suitable for hotels?
A: Point system to form discounts for their next visit, small rewards to improve the experience (late check-ins or check-outs, free room upgrade, free parking, free welcome drink, etc). Room upgrade is actually beneficial as it frees up the popular room type and you can upgrade them to less popular ones (i.e. Family Room). Free coupons or free breakfast will also work. These are for smaller hotels. For bigger hotels, you can use tiered programs, or some loyalty cards that work across all hotels in the same chain, etc.