Understanding the needs and expectations of your hotel guests is critical to increasing demand and retaining clientele. There is no denying that pitching and successfully selling your hotel to the general public is a daunting task. Your management staff must be meticulous, your rooms pristine. However, there are some relatively simple and cost effective ways you can encourage business and satisfy your customers. Consider the five following tips your go-to guide as you navigate the complexities of hospitality.
Upgrades and Renovations
Separate yourself from the likes of cookie-cutter hotel chains by upgrading or renovating your property. It can be as simple as revamping the lobby with new paint and furniture, or upgrading the televisions in each suite. The finer details count, and guests will greatly appreciate these little luxuries.
Depending on how dated your property is, ensuring the rooms are well-insulated and the walls are soundproofed is a good place to start. Next, focus on the linens. Hotels are famous for recycling blankets and duvet covers. Put that rumor to bed by offering your guests luscious sheets with high thread counts. Replacing carpet is also another option worth exploring. Whether it’s stained, a funky color or just incredibly uncomfortable, new carpet can transform the look and feel of an entire room.
If your renovations require any structural changes, or if you’d simply feel more comfortable working alongside a professional, it’s time to bring in a contractor. They can assess any and all changes you want to make, and ensure the building is not only up to code but also properly licensed. Reduce construction costs by utilizing contractor equipment providers in your area.
Competitive rates set you apart—especially when you a better value for the customer. Don’t let any recent upgrades or renovations get to your head. Affordable room rates allow you access to a broader network of customers, from traveling businessmen to vacationing families. If you feel your rates are fair for the location and consistent with competitors, offer future guests some incentive by throwing in complimentary breakfasts, or discounts to local attractions.
Management and Staff
One of the biggest components of a memorable and enjoyable stay is the hotel management and staff. Personable and helpful concierge and front desk attendants make a world of difference during a visitors stay. Ensure your staff is well-versed on the most popular activities and restaurants. Provide 24-hour concierge services for your guests. Have your management take the extra step by requesting patrons to fill out a comment or suggestion card, detailing their likes, dislikes or any thoughts they may wish to share.
Evaluate Local Competition
As is the case with any industry, it’s imperative you assess the local competition to assert your place in the market. Perhaps your city is littered with three-star hotel chains, and dinky bed and breakfasts. What might set you apart? What are these hotels or rentals offering that you aren’t currently? Consider your target market; i.e., the typical person who travels to your location. What brings them, what are they hoping to accomplish and what is their median budget? Use the answers to these questions as leverage to make your hotel the ideal destination.
Expand Your Digital and Traditional Marketing Strategies
Expand your marketing efforts to reach an audience you generally aren’t attracting. Create a blog that ties back to your hotel where you can offer suggestions for local activities and sites, post happy hour reviews and highlight any deals that are currently going on in or around town. Promote any green initiatives your hotel has implemented on your homepage, and provide details for how guests can participate. Send memorable thank you notes and newsletters to clients in a timely manner.
Brenda Belson Travel consultant, master sommelier, contributing writer