There are so many columns of advice telling business owners what they should be doing. We want to change this up and give you our advice of what NOT to do in the hotel business.
We see some negative habits happening quite often and want to suggest that these are changed and made into a positive outcome.
When people are travelling, they are not as fixated on the price as you may believe. According to the number one marketing research company, your hotel clients that book via OTAs, (online travel agencies) will have more problems to deal with than those who consult directly with the hotel. Issues such as a cancelled reservation and any last minute changes will leave the client with a negative hotel experience. Like many other options, OTAs can leave customers stuck due to cancellation processes and the OTA ability to change the hotel at their choosing, not the customers. It is a better option to let your guests know that booking through the hotel itself is a better and safer option. The staff at the hotel does care how you feel and will assist in any way to make you comfortable and satisfied with your stay at their hotel.
Do not leave any repairs or updating to be done at a later time. Your hotel guests know a bad experience when they have one, if the hotel appears outdated, sloppy or not properly maintained, they will be the first to rate it as a negative experience. Even marketing strategists cannot overcome for a dirty, rundown hotel. Listen to your guests and take care of the complaints as soon as they are given to you.
The lack of communication between all parties, the marketers, the owners and revenue management is causing loss of revenue. There must be an open line of communication so the the marketing group can work on building the customer base during the slow periods, not just busy times of the year. At the same time, the analysts can not do their job if they are not given the information. The bottom line is that all groups must have open communication in order to continue revenue growth. If this means a weekly or monthly meeting, then do it. Your business will be on one page and working together towards the ultimate goal. The whole staff needs to be aware of what is happening, when it is happening and how it is happening. Do not leave any staff in the dark about daily, weekly or monthly goals, and happenings. This is the way to develop a teamwork that all have one goal to achieve.
Align Sales teams
The sales team is a vital group in your hotel business. When they are able to book meetings and other big events, this is a huge portion of the hotel revenue. The hotel marketers, however, tend to book solely for leisure or vacations. The sales department is on its own then, and that is a dangerous place to be in any business. This will lead to more owners and managers disillusioned with branding or the social media fans, and more focussed on how little you contribute to the success of your hotel. Three techniques to be used to help your sales staff are really quite simple:
- Run a campaign that will enable them to engage their HVT, the high value target, using entertaining and relevant options.
- Use automation to alert the sales management when HVTs are on the website and what they are searching for.
- Utilize the events page, and meetings pages on your website with everything that the planners will possibly need. Also create content that will showcase your hotel, location and other entertainment possibilities for guests.
Any good hotel manager knows that the numbers are vital to business. This means do not ignore even the statistics that seem meaningless. This needs to be a daily commitment in order to drive revenue to the place you want it to be. Each day should be organized with the time to read all the KPIs. The marketing cost per each booking, including with your OTAs, your direct revenue measures a percentage of the online income from your hotel website and the OTA. The point is that both should have roughly the same percentage. If not, there is work to be done. Ideally, being able to get your customers to phone in a reservation and booking is a major step in controlling the expenditures. Obviously, there is the change from your target revenue. This will show the goals versus your actual results.
There are ways to build the revenue, and it is time to stop doing the unnecessary and focus on what your business truly needs.