One thing you want to ask yourself is if you know your guests. It might sound like a silly question because of course you do! You gather their name, their email, their phone number, and payment information upon booking a reservation, right?
While those are important, it’s even more important to really know your guest. For example, do you know:
- If they typically book for business or for leisure?
- When they usually book during the week or year?
- Where they roam throughout your location?
- For example: Do they hit the gym, the spa, the on-site restaurant/lounge you have?
- What do they order if they stop in your restaurant or lounge?
- If they have a tendency to ask for additional amenities or accommodations during reservation booking or during their visit?
- What their personal interests are?
Understanding these things can help you to connect with your guest in a more personal way that can create a more positive experience, online and on-site. In fact, nearly three-fourths of online consumers get frustrated with websites [and businesses overall] when offerings appear to have nothing to do with their interests.
So how do you get to know more about the people walking into your doors? The answer lies within the data you’re already collecting and a few strategies you can implement if you haven’t already.
Digging into the Data
There are many ways to learn about your customers. In fact, you’re probably collecting valuable data about them right now without realizing it. Before they set their reservation, your website is gathering information you can use to strengthen your relationship with your guests. Your site is key for not only getting people to buy-in on your experience (literally), but to understand their reason(s) for coming to you in the first place.
Your website should be optimized to track where your guests are going on your page. If it’s not, we need to talk. This is a fundamental opportunity to understand your guests, and why they choose to book with you (or even why they choose not to). When you understand the “why” of their research, you can start proactively suggesting relevant content to the experience they want. Examples could be packages, promotional offers, or other recommendations they might be interested in. Can you say “upsell?”
These even apply if the guest leaves your site and decides to pick up planning at a later time. Their IP address can be recorded. So next time the “unknown” guests comes back, you can use what you learned from their previous search behavior and help them pick up where they left off.
So you’ve got them hooked and they booked. Now what? Take it further with a few of theses tactics, with thanks to the potential capabilities of your Payment Management System (PMS) and/or Point of Sale (POS) system.*
*We can’t promise we know all the functions of your PMS/POS, but Graydient Creative has played with a few different kinds and can explore these options with you.
- Email Surveys – You’ve captured their email address during the reservation process. This gives you the ability to do pre and post visit surveys to understand more about your guest as to why they’re coming, if they need anything specific during their visit, and how their visit was after they’ve left.
- Special Requests – You likely get these during the reservation process but pay careful attention to these. Do they always request extra towels? Do they need a handicap accessible room? Getting knowledge of these things can give you an advantage of servicing the client better during this visit, and also give you a gauge on what they need next time they come in, before they say anything. Consider it a pleasant surprise for them!
- Ancillary services – Perhaps you have a business traveler who typically makes a stop at the spa, and then later orders a glass of their favorite wine in your lounge. Now this same traveler is staying with you again, but you understand that it is their anniversary with their significant other. Wouldn’t you want to recommend a spa package for two, and provide a bottle of that favorite wine in their room? Now that’s an opportunity for upsell, and a memorable experience that will create long-term loyalty for your hotel.
- Social Media – Assuming your guest is active on social media, check out their profile(s). You might be able to understand some personal interests of theirs and casually make recommendations for events or activities to do during their stay.
- Loyalty Program – Establishing a loyalty program is one of the best ways to get to know your guest. You’ll be able to gather more information on them, as well as get better insight regarding their traveling habits, spending tendencies, and further tailor the reward program based on that information. The rewards they receive should be of interest to them if they plan on being a part of your program in the future.
As you can see, there are many ways to get to know more about your guests, and curate an experience for them that they’ll appreciate, remember, and come back for more.
If you’re looking for additional guidance on how you can get to know your guests better, please reach out to us, we’re happy to help!