The hospitality sector is one of the most dynamic in the world. It’s also one of the most competitive.
With customers at the heart of everything a hotel does, the focus is on delivering the best experience possible. But with the rise of super-hotel chains and websites such as Airbnb, the sector is undergoing immense change. Customer expectations are constantly shifting, too. And that leaves many hotels struggling to find their niche and wondering exactly what their USP might be.
How to make your hotel stand out from the crowd
The thing is, if you don’t find a way to make your hotel stand out, you’re just another hotel among many. You need to work harder to make tourists choose you…
If you run a hotel and have noticed customer numbers falling of late, don’t despair. Whether you’re a five-star hotel or a small boutique guesthouse, we’re here to offer advice and tips on how to give your hotel that much needed edge.
Here are four ways to make your hotel stand out from the competition. Even better, these tips will help you attract more customers, too.
1 Get active on social media
Millions of your customers (and potential customers) browse social media platforms every day. You probably already know the benefits of having a business page for your hotel on Instagram or Facebook.
Not only can an active social media presence bring new interest to your brand, it can also give customers greater insight into what your hotel is about an opportunity to leave feedback.
Be consistent as your build up your follower numbers and always respond to customer comments – both good and bad (especially if they are bad) in a timely manner. You need to show you are listening, are willing to take criticism on board, and always put the customer first.
2 Give guests a special welcome
The reception area of a hotel is the first room guests see, so make sure it is welcoming. From fresh flowers in a vase to freshly-painted walls (get the paintbrush at the ready if they are starting to look a bit tired), it’s important to invest in this key communal area.
As well as the design and décor, remember that hotel guests love a (good) surprise. When they arrive, you can make them feel extra special with the offer of a glass of fizz or a slice of cake when they check in. The more welcome they feel, the more excited they will be about their stay – and hopefully share their positive experiences on social, too!
3 Introduce a loyalty programme
Customers want to feel valued as guests at your hotel and there are lots of ways you can reward them.
Setting up a loyalty programme is a good place to start. Offer customers a reward for joining to get them through the door and then continue offering incentives for their ongoing custom.
Everyone loves a freebie, but rather than single use plastic shampoo bottles, give your customers promotional deals and discounts that won’t end up in landfill and keep them coming back for more.
4 Think SEO and mobile
With so much competition, you need your customers to be able to find you easily when they are browsing online. That means ensuring your hotel appears at the top of search engine results pages.
Come up with an SEO strategy that allows you to stay ahead of your competitors – this is possible through the smart use of keywords and unique content on your website. Google AdWords can also help. It’s also worth remembering that customers love doing a spot of pre-booking research on their mobile devices.
According to research, 72% of all mobile hotel bookings happened within a 48-hour window before the booking
. So make sure your website is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate.
How to improve hotel guest satisfaction
Of course, not all improvements to your hotel need to be about flashy websites or pricey refurbs, there are plenty of small, inexpensive changes you can make to give guests a memorable experience.
Here are some of the easiest (and cheapest) ways to make your hotel stand out and make customers want to come back. · Do your best not to say ‘no’ to your guests:
Look for ways to deliver on their expectations. Your aim is to make the customer remember you as the hotel that did everything possible to meet their needs.· Follow up after an issue has been raised:
If one of your guests reports a dripping shower, you send someone to fix the problem. But the service shouldn’t stop there. Make sure you follow up, calling the guest to make sure the issue is fixed and to their satisfaction.· Recognise birthdays with a small gift:
If it is a guest’s birthday (or even just close to their birthday) welcome them with a small gift in their room when they arrive.· Dish out the upgrades:
Just as everyone loves a freebie, everyone also loves a hotel upgrade. If you have 50% occupancy for the night, it won’t cost you anything to give a guest an upgrade. In a traveller’s search for Instagrammable moments, a surprise upgrade has got to be up there with the best.· Offer local knowledge and recommendations:
Everyone has to eat, so asking guests if they have any dinner plans is a good idea. Find out what they fancy eating that evening, and give them a few options. Make sure you give them easy-to-follow directions, too!
As anyone who runs a hotel business knows, you are only as good as your guests think you are. Guest satisfaction is a top priority for hotels of all shapes and sizes. Every hotel – from small boutique B&Bs to multi-room establishments – share the same goal: to boost customer satisfaction. But every hotel is unique.
Protect your business with hotel insurance
At Insurance Choice, we understand your hotel’s individuality and arrange hotel insurance
packages tailored to your hotel’s unique business needs. Hotel insurance policies
can include cover for buildings and contents, fixtures and fittings, loss of licences, and stock (including food and alcohol). It can also include public and employers’ liability.
Get in touch with the team at Insurance Choice today to find out what hotel insurance
package we can offer you and your hotel business.