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How to gain customer loyalty?

October 20, 2011

In today's highly competitive hotel sector, it is vital to have a sharp understanding of a guest's preferences and total worth. Knowing more about your guests will enhance their experience, maximize revenue and ensure loyalty, while establishing market share for your hotel.

It is vital that hoteliers gain a holistic view of their guests' preferences and needs, for the sake of ongoing revenue optimization and to enhance customer loyalty. Data from all transaction systems need to be integrated to provide a true picture of a guest's preferred activities and their overall valu e considering all auxiliary expenditure, from online reservations to check-out, from food service to the day spa usage, from guest rooms to the gift shop and more.

Want to know how to gain a loyal customer base? Loyal hotel occupancy has a crucial impact on the business. It will literally make or break the hotel. Sometimes, you feel there are many customers who keep returning to your hotel while few never come back. Customers’ presence is the real essence of your business and it is very important to win customers’ loyalty for a longer period to have more business. Analyze your hotel critically and point out positive and negative aspects that can attract or put off your clients respectively.

A solid marketing plan is among the most important factors for running any successful business, let alone a hotel. Other factors to consider include the following:

  • Staff: Are they friendly, knowledgeable and well trained?
  • Amenities: What do you offer that is different from the other hotels? Find something unique to offer your guests.
  • Make your hotel a showstopper: How does the property look from the street? Customers return to hotels that are well maintained, attractive and meticulously clean.
  • Parking: There must be plenty of convenient and easily accessible parking available.
  • Rooms: They must be tastefully furnished. Fixtures must be modern and regular maintenance checks must be held to ensure that everything is in working order.
  • Convenience: Guests must have access to all their favorite conveniences that keep them coming back for hotel visits, i.e., room service, recreation and superlative housekeeping.

The path to sustained profitability and growth has taken a turn for hotels across the globe. Room rates still bring in the highest portion of profit, but retail, food and beverage, spas and entertainment are increasingly important sources of income, in many cases generating more revenue than from the sale of guest rooms. With disparate systems for each arm of the business, it is difficult to get a complete view of total guest spend. A regular hotel guest may not be worth as much as a patron that may stay infrequently, but who spends freely on a variety of activities. The decision of which reservation requests to accept not only influences the revenue of a specific hotel facility, but also company-wide profitability.

Today's intelligent hotelier is recognizing that in order to stay ahead of the competition, more advanced decision support solutions with predictive analytics and optimization capabilities are needed.

As those in the industry are all too aware, informed decisions can lead to increased guest satisfaction, loyalty and profitability: whereas assumptions, or poorly planned decisions, can mean sending your best guests to a competitor. The statement “Customer is King” most definitely hold true and especially in the hotel industry. Therefore, it is imperative that you maintain customer loyalty in order to reap greater returns.

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