The hotel sector experiences ups and downs like any other industry. If unprepared, even a subtle change in the market can affect a property’s ability to respond to guest trends. Recent research tells us the industry regularly cycles through peak, contraction, trough and expansion periods. There has been strong growth in the last several years and as the industry continues to flourish, many properties are reaching record-breaking occupancy levels. With this growth, hotel operators are finding inventive ways to attract new visitors. Guest loyalty is key for operators to maintain this growth. Loyalty helps sustain the business during periods of contraction. Today, we highlight three business practices known to generate guest loyalty.
Connect with Guests
One factor proven to positively influence loyalty is creating personal guest connections. Properties using integrated technology and an intelligent PMS to gather data about their guests have a significant competitive advantage in creating these personal connections. Guest profile data and individual preferences enable staff to tailor services that resonate with guests on an individual level. The front desk agent personalizes guest greetings and accommodates known preferences such as room type, location, activities, amenities and dining choices. Making guests feel more at home while travelling is often enough incentive to encourage a return visit the next time they’re in the area.
Younger generations are making important contributions to the rapid growth in hospitality. Operators have an excellent opportunity to establish lasting relationships with guests who may have decades of travel ahead of them. Catering to the needs and expectations of all guest populations is made easier with technology. For example, hotels have added AI (Artificial Intelligence) such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home assistants to guest rooms. This provides conveniences such as local attractions and eatery recommendations without having to wait in line at the front desk or call the concierge for assistance.
Encourage Return Visits
Growing and maintaining loyalty can be challenging and even frustrating for operators who spend time creating offers to attract guests but yield little or no results. In fact, cracking the code to guest loyalty can be so complicated that some operators are relying on AI. Intelligent marketing solutions curates offers and incentives that automatically change depending on the guest’s action, or lack of action. This marketing automation significantly increases conversion rates. Using intelligent marketing solutions to get insights into exactly what returning guests want during their stay is a no-brainer.