The hospitality sector is a vast and competitive one. You can read as many books and articles as you want but if you do not understand the fundamentals you will be left racing with both legs tied together. Do not waste your time and money researching information do not need, be aware of what the basics and fundamentals are and strive to achieve such pillars. In this article, we will be discussing a few essential points which can’t be missed.
Understanding your competition
To start off with, you need to first realise who the competitor around you is! This may come as a surprise but your competition is not the hotel around the corner or a big chain which is going to open in your city. Every hotel has its own unique pull, hence, the share of the market lost is not the biggest. Having said this, your vision still needs to be clear for your guests to see.
Your main competitors are OTAs. If we make the assumption that you sell a night at your hotel for a 100 EUR and the commission fee of OTA’s is 18%, than five bookings through OTAs is on par with losing one customer. This added up throughout the whole year will be an immense loss for your business, but you can turn it around.
Beating them it’s not an easy task, but you can easily start your fightback with a thoroughly thought out digital strategy.
While this is the job of a revenue manager, discussion about the price strategy should always be had with third parties helping your hotel to increase direct bookings. Why? Because that changes the budgeting of promotion material.
Whether it’s Google Search, Facebook Hotel Ads or Twitter – budget should always be divided according to the expected revenue of that month. Needless to say, data from previous years would help. Never make the mistake in comparing a month with a previous month as the differences are in micro and macro factors.
With regards to strategy, in our opinion, we can put hotels under two umbrellas; hotels with a large number of rooms, and hotels with a few number of rooms. The reason for this discrimination is that depending under which umbrella a hotel falls under there is a big change in strategy.
For example, it’s not worth spending money on Google Search for a boutique hotel which has a high occupancy rate as the chances of bookings are really slim. It may be wiser to focus solely on Search Engine Optimization. On the other hand, for a four hundred room hotel the chances are high and it’s definitely worth the investment.
Want to know what is
the right strategy
for your hotel? FIND OUT HERE
Another important factor for a working strategy is being aware of what your target audience is. As mentioned previously, every hotel has its own unique pull but even if the ‘pull’ is the same – the target audience might still be different. Case in point, two 3 star hotels in the same city may not attract the same amount of people from the same country.
Customer experience is essential for hotels because a good number of transactions may be retained clients. Giving clients what they want is a cost, but a digital renovation can turn an early cost to a guaranteed success and return on investment.
Surveys, reviews and test campaigns can direct you in increasing customer retention. Besides this, the best way to retain a customer is by giving a personalised stay. This may start from a simple gesture of writing ‘thank you for your stay’ to a special package in the room for their birthday.
(This can be done by asking personal details upon booking)
Customer experience starts from your website! You can lose a client from the first step which is naturally the website. The best strategy always revolves around increasing your number of conversions from the website to the booking engine. Why? Because you know that you are appealing to a particular audience and segment.
The flow of booking is important, don’t overpopulate your home page with content and always make the booking button or more commonly known as – call to action – loud and clear. The only option people must be given is to book. If they need more information, they will find it.
Look at a case study of how we helped a hotel achieve their goals via a new website.
Request an Audit
Contact us for a free audit which we can turn into a proposal to help you beat your competition and improve customer experience.
Direct is King!