For any efficient hotel revenue management, Direct Booking is always the foremost objectives which are seen as a solid & permanent revenue enhancer. Irrespective of the size of the hotel direct bookings are the topmost recommendations when it comes to rolling out an effective revenue management strategy. If you are in the Hotel industry then it need not be elaborated upon the fact that Online Travel Agents today have become a pivot entity in controlling the hotel room prices. But then the end effect is it leaves very less space for the hotels to create a niche or even a brand entity. This is certainly a negative impact on the hotels who many a time struggles to build a fair value for themselves in the minds of the customers. In such a scenario it goes without saying that it’s the direct booking strategies which need to be more focused upon as that only will help hotels take the advantage of having repeat bookings, and thereby create a brand loyalty which ultimately gets converted to higher revenues and profits.
We try to evaluate in this article the various possible methods via which you can increase your direct bookings.
Increase multi-channel communications with customers: Communication is and always will be the key to a successful marketing strategy. With the exponential growth of the social media and various technological evolutions on the internet, one has to focus on getting as many numbers of channels open with your customers as possible. Email marketing, social media, your website are all possible communication channels via which you can directly start interacting and talking to your customers.
Have your hotel marketing plan to include advertising on the loyalty program via social media and also to invest in targeted marketing via Facebook and Google to get to the right audience instantly. And that’s not all, as an after sales customer service the best to do is to keep your social media chat channels open as your customers can directly speak to you giving you an opportunity for quickly responding.
Your customers have to be your brand ambassadors:
If you are keen on retaining your customers as loyal brand ambassador then it’s imperative to say that your customers have to be rewarded and benefited. A good incentive scheme or a referral program is the best way to make your customers feel privileged thereby increasing the possibility of hotel customer acquisition. If an apt and attractive referral programme is worked out then that will lead to encouraging direct bookings thereby increasing repeat customers to your hotel.
Advertise and showcase the best rates and facilities:
Almost every single time a customer goes to various options on so many online platforms which provide various discounted rates rather when going directly to hotels. No wonder today a customer doesn’t seem to remember the hotel of stay rather the OTA from where he/she made a booking. This doesn’t add any advantage to the hotel as it creates zero brand visibility. The best way to counter it is to implement the best price strategies and well advertise the same with proper highlights of the facilities and infrastructure of your hotel. Only then will customers feel the necessity and see it as an advantage to doing a direct booking at your hotel. Always the best rates should be a direct rate.
Make your hotel experience a unique one:
All said and done ultimately it’s the experience you offer customers that matters the most. If you are successful in giving the unique experience to your customers then that’s the most valuable element which will contribute to customer loyalty. A hotel which offers service is way less preferred to a hotel that offers an experience. Let it be from the decor which speaks about the history and how it makes the premise unique along with your food menu or let it be any other USP which you have, it all adds up to driving more direct bookings. Identify your unique selling points and try to advertise and communicate it well to your customer. That itself will be a major contributor to an increase in your hotel’s direct bookings.
Hence to wind up on what we have discussed, if you are hotelier eager enough to establish your hotel as a well known sought after brand with all intentions of seeing an increase in growth and customer retention then its time you seriously start thinking about your direct bookings.