Below are a few steps that your hotel can take in order to improve their visibility online, retain clients, and start building your hotel’s brand. Whether you face these tasks head on, hire an outside agency, or employ the assistance of a hotel consultant; they are a necessity to your hotel’s image and future.
Online and Social Media Presence
Positioning your hotel brand online is an essential factor in gaining market traction and establishing your presence among your competitors. Whether you be a boutique or independent hotel, this is key to capturing an audience that is largely online now. Search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and useful content are all going to play a major role in this. If you have a small boutique hotel located on Saint Kitts and Nevis, you want to be found when someone searches for hotels in that area. These are all key parts of your marketing effort and something that can be done internally or by a hotel consultant as mentioned in our previous post here. There are many small details that play into your website’s ability to be found online; and found easily. Your hotel marketing team should be pinpointing the correct page titles, headers, and meta descriptions so that all of these search engines can find you. Another major portion, but something that can easily be done internally, is blogs. Search engines like Google no longer want just keywords, they are interested in useful content. A good practice is to, each month, have one of your senior executives write an article or blog post that you can put on your hotel’s website. This not only provides useful content for your clients and guests; it speaks to these search engines as well.
Segmenting the Market
While this can fall into the category of marketing, it is an integral part to obtaining and retaining the ideal client base as well as improving profitability. If you run an independent hotel in Park City, Utah your client base is going to vary greatly between the winter and summer seasons due to skiing. Therefore, your rates and services may fluctuate accordingly. In order to target the correct demographic at the correct time, we need market segmentation. This allows your hotel to create better campaigns and grab more market share when utilizing their marketing efforts. While this is easier said than done, this is where a great CRM software system comes into play. Your hotel’s marketing team should have the ability to data mine and pinpoint clients down to the zip code, spending habits, and booking habits.
Choosing the correct software systems can exponentially increase your profitability and ability to deliver superior service. Payroll systems, vendor accounting, and customer details are all key systems that should be on a digital platform. A hotel consultant or your operations management team will be able to choose the correct platform from which to operate. As technology advances, so do property management systems. We have seen great strides being made in the capabilities of products recently to include built in revenue management, increasing number of API’s, booking engines, and channel managers. While these systems can be costly for your hotel, they are a great investment in the long run. Our hotel consultants have used dozens of different systems across 6 continents and can point you in the correct direction.
Most companies are wasting valuable manpower on tasks that could easily be automated or outsourced. Items such as communication with guests can be automated with tools such as Zingle or integrated into systems like ALICE. Newspaper deliveries should be replaced by PressReader to save money, time, and create a “Green” environment at your property. Not only does automating tasks save you time and money, it creates ease of access for your hotel guests. Many travelers these days want to be able to text for a vehicle in valet, push a button to have housekeeping replenish towels, and use a tablet in the room for room service orders. Whether you are a business hotel or a luxury 5-star hotel, we believe the ability for a remote check in is a must this day in age.
Gone are the times of a rolodex at the front desk, an actual room key for guest accommodations, or manual curtains. In order to stay at the front of the pack, your hotel must adapt. This means staying in tune with all industry news. If your competitor is doing it, you should be thinking of a way to do it better. The hospitality industry is constantly changing, especially as a younger generation becomes the predominant traveler. Many of our Gen-Z and Millennial travelers want a mobile check-in process with their room keys Bluetooth enabled on their smartphones. Another new development, depending on your hotel’s shuttle usage, is Uber’s Hospitality Transportation Services. Many of us are already so use to using the Uber app, why not incorporate this into your hotel’s shuttle offerings. All of these items are changing daily and we, as hoteliers, need to be ahead of the game in order to offer the best possible experience for our guests.
Anyone that has travelled extensively or who has worked in hotels knows, the luxury is in the finer details. There are hundreds of 5-star hotels and thousands of 4-star hotels around the world, how do you stand out? Yes, offering great amenities and luxuries accommodations is necessary but the service you offer is what is really going to stick in that guest’s memory. From remembering names and birthdays to handwritten notes upon arrival; all the small details add up. We always suggest sitting down with your management staff and trying to come up with ways to “wow” your guests and then implementing these ideas with your team members. Not only does this allow you to provide better service and more offerings, it allows you to gauge the guest experience on an emotional level. It will be those emotional observations that lead to connections which in turn will create that cyclical guest experience of them returning to your property for yet another memorable stay. Need ideas? Call us or send us an email and we can either give you some ideas or set up a training program.