Driving Room Bookings over the Festive Period23/10/2018
Christmas is a busy time all round and now is the time for accommodation providers to maximise booking during the period. Lots can be done in advance to ensure you drive occupancy, build a loyal customer base, and continue to generate profit - without compromising on exceptional customer service. Here are some top tips for festive success from online booking experts Guestline.
Get Booked Up Early
Get your rooms booked and confirmed as early as possible. Offer incentives or discounts with an advance purchase rate to get the reservation confirmed and revenue collected. Make every opportunity a profitable one by training and empowering staff to take reservations at any time. Be careful, but considerate with your terms and conditions as well as cancellation policies with room bookings - you don't want empty rooms and lost revenue if you get last minute cancellations when your guests plans change. Apart from listing your rooms with online booking agents, it's crucial to capitalise on your regular, loyal guests and encourage them to book early and directly via your own website to keep commission fees to a minimum. Pubs can often provide a more tailored experience when customers book direct, and there's the added benefit of owning the data and insights gained, which can lead to a long-term client relationship.
Capitalise on festivities by driving additional revenue in the lead up to and during a stay. Create seasonal packages and discounts, and offer favourable, bespoke bundles to tempt guest. These can include offering upsells such as dinner, wine in the room, or breakfast the next morning. Even incentives such as late check out or a discounted Sunday lunch can make a world of difference. Be mindful that Christmas party attendees have the potential to become repeat guests and direct bookers in future. Plus, it's always a good idea to check out what your competitors are doing to keep ahead of the game.
Simplify Your Website
Your website is like a shop window - it's where you create an all-important first impression and from where guest communication can grow, so don't overcomplicate things. The first things visitors see depends on what they've searched for and how well you've optimised your various sections. The job of your homepage is to give people a top-line overview of the information they can expect to find across the site in a concise and easy to navigate manner. Enhancing the guest experience can increase website traffic, which in turn helps convert potential bookers into direct customers. As such, ensure you have a visible online booking platform and keep your room rates and offers simple any easy to sell.
With the growing popularity of mobile functionality in hospitality where staff are always 'on the go' there are tools such as mobile property management systems (PMS), designed to allow for existing operations to be more synchronised and efficient throughout the property. Room bookings and transactions can be automatically processed, managed and invoiced through a PMS, and housekeeping and maintenance tasks updated. This approach to handling sales and operations controlled by mobile devices on a property, at every stage of the customer journey can enhance customer service, monitor stock and manage everything from bookings to promotions.
Article taken from the BII Autumn Magazine