Make sure to pay attention to your guests’ needs and give each one of them the attention and personalization they demand, so they enjoy their stays and recommend your hotel, helping your circle of loyal guests grow.

Today, when someone is deciding where to book their next stay they have several options. From peer-to-peer marketplaces to budget accommodations, there’s a handful of possibilities apart from the good old hotels.

The range of hotels’ competitors is now much wider than before, so hoteliers face bigger challenges and if they wish to continue to run profitable properties, they need to continually predict and plan their strategy to manage their business in the most successful way.

Just like in any other business, acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing ones and, when it comes to the hospitality industry, recent studies found that hotel guests are willing to spend an extra $25 on their preferred hotel brand and that they drive additional revenue by becoming brand ambassadors, contributing to increasing positive awareness and sharing their love for the brand with their peers.

Retaining your guests and turning them into loyal guests will increase your revenue. That’s why in this post we are going to show you not one, but five ways to improve your hotels’ guest retention.

1- Know Your Guest

Hotels, nowadays, can’t commit only to sell beds. They need to focus on selling experiences, so to provide the best service for your guests, you need first to know who they are: are they tourists or business travelers? Maybe families or older people?

Besides profiling them, understand which other add-ons they value during their stay, such as how often they order room service or use your SPA services. When visiting your hotels’ bar ask your staff to pay attention to their requests and surprise them by mentioning their favorite drink even before they order it.

Mapping the type of guests you have and their preferences will help you understand the main purpose of their stay and, therefore, personalize their experiences accordingly.

2- Use Marketing Strategies

Marketing Automation is a valuable strategy that every 21st-century hotel must adopt. However, what is it, exactly?

Well, Marketing Automation is the use of software to automate marketing processes, such as campaign management.

Let’s say that your customer has successfully booked a room and you want to confirm his/her booking. By making use of marketing automation tools, you can immediately send customized and automated e-mails with the booking confirmation and other details, such as check-in and check-out dates, type of room booked, invoice, and so on. Then, a couple of days before your guest’s arrival, send another e-mail or even an SMS to remind him/her of the booking. This is also a great time to cross-sell a couple of services such as premium Wi-Fi, exclusive SPA discounts or transfer services. The same strategy goes for the day before the arrival, where you can offer room upgrades or in-room services, for instance.

By keeping all the collected data organized into the marketing automation and CRM software, you can easily create tailored promotional packages and introduce them through e-mail campaigns after they have departed.

Marketing automation is a great way, and it will help you turn your previous guests into recurring ones.

3- Create Loyalty Programs

A lot has been written about loyalty programs, and we understand that most hotels already have some in place. But how effective are these at building brand loyalty? If you’re still basing your hotel’s loyalty program on points, maybe now it’s time to evaluate its success. This strategy works well for frequent travelers, but it doesn’t add up to less frequent customers who are looking for immediate benefits, centered on personalized customer experiences and relationships.

Millennial travelers are looking for status, more than other perks, whereas business travelers are looking for comfort. Inviting millennial guests into your hotel’s inner circle, your “club” through exclusive benefits, will elevate their loyalty towards your brand. Bottom line, if everyone receives the same incentives, they are not special.

At the end of the day, it’s all about providing personalized customer experiences, supported by data, that make your guests loyal and profitable.

4- Quick and Intuitive Booking Processes

It’s about time to evaluate your booking processes. If your booking process is slow or demanding, your lead most likely won’t convert into a guest. And for sure, they won’t come back!

Implementing a tool that automates your bookings, such as a chatbot connected to your booking engine, while giving you feedback about your booking funnel, will help you improve the process and turn your guests into loyal guests.

Also, with enabling social media booking by having a booking engine that integrates with Facebook, for instance, hotels can also reduce friction during the booking process and successfully turn leads into new guests and new guests into returning guests.

Moreover, if your guests’ personal information is saved, so it only needs to be entered once, even better.

Whatever booking processes you choose to have, just be sure that the booking experience is hassle-free for your guests!

5- Listen to your guests… always!

Your guests need to feel special. If they don’t, they won’t come back.

When your hotels’ reality doesn’t match what your marketing promotes, it will impact your reputation. So if you lack feedback responses, there probably won’t be a next time for your guests, and it will harm your retention.

Listening is essential, but applying their feedback to future stays is key. Use all the information your guests provide in order to customize their next experience. If they loved the swan towels or the Nespresso coffee pods, make sure to include them also on their next stay. If they had a bad experience with something, offer compensation for it during their next visit.

Make sure to pay attention to your guests’ needs and give each one of them the attention and personalization they demand, so they enjoy their stays and recommend your hotel, helping your circle of loyal guests grow.

You need to keep earning your guests’ loyalty to improve your hotels’ guest retention.

Analyze and iterate your processes continuously and work on your retention programs to identify and sell more to the customers who are most likely to turn into returning guests and bring you more revenue.

Just keep in mind, returning guests are not necessarily more valuable than new guests since hotels can rarely survive only on loyalty, but they are an essential piece of the hotels’ revenue puzzle.