Three tech-savvy ways to boost revenue
In hospitality, as in other industries, little operates the same way it did 10 years ago, or even two years ago. Plenty of people bemoan the loss of personal connection as technology takes over more of our daily lives. It can seem like everyone is distracted, with much of their attention locked on their own devices. How do you reach customers through this distraction? How do you build relationships that build your business? The secret is in finding ways to use technology to make, rather than replace, a personal connection.
But what if it was possible to lean into technology to improve your connection with guests and prospects? Spoiler alert: It’s totally possible. The hotels that are succeeding now and setting themselves up for long-term growth are the ones harnessing the benefits of today’s technology.
Here are some tips you can implement now to improve revenue-producing connections for your hotel.
1. MAKE YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE FRIENDLIER
Being friendly and accommodating is key to being hospitable. That means we need to accommodate the way people like to get information and reach out to them there.
Most people begin their quest for a hotel by doing an internet search, so your hotel’s website is often the first impression you can make. Is it attention-grabbing and regularly updated? Does it offer visitors the opportunity to sign up for newsletters so you can notify them of upcoming specials, packages, and events? Is it well organized and informative to allow potential clients to research your property independently?
A “frequently asked questions” page on your website is a friendly way to help visitors get basic questions answered before they contact you directly. It’s a win for the customer to avoid having to make a call, potentially wait on hold, and then ask what may seem like a “stupid question.” And it’s a win for the hotel, especially one that is short-staffed, to reserve valuable person-to-person time for specific conversations that close the deal.
Social media is a great way to increase visibility, promote offerings, and improve brand awareness. Customers that didn’t consider your hotel before may do so today based on hotel options, how hotels are marketing themselves, reviews they receive, and ways the hotel exceeds customer expectations.
Creating an active social media presence can draw potential customers in. Known as social selling, 78% of business employing this method – according to LinkedIn Sales Solutions internal data – outsell business that don’t use social media at all. Most customers are already engaged in social buying. Is your property engaged with them?
2. “TALK” TO GUESTS MORE WITH QR CODES
You see them at restaurants, in retail stores, and on real estate signs. Now more than ever, QR codes are an accessible way to provide audiences with quick access to valuable information. Through a simple scan, you can share just about anything with no contact.
QR codes are easy to create, simple for the guest to use, and versatile. You can use them to link to your website, provide service details, or engage with your guests. They can turn a brief touch into an ongoing conversation, helping to build the guest experiences that result in repeat business and referrals.
QR codes help keep signs short, sweet, and easy to read. Why? Because you’re not trying to say everything up front. You can get the main point across quickly and then invite the customer to engage further by offering more detail at their fingertips.
There are plenty of free websites you can use to create a QR code to implement at your hotel, and be sure to check out the tips in the sidebars for more guidance.
3. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX FOR SALES CALLS
With so many ways to communicate with prospective clients these days, generic marketing materials no longer cut through the noise. People tend to skim over mass emails and click “delete” without reading or even opening them. How can you overcome that tendency?
It used to be easy to walk into an office bringing cookies, visit briefly with a potential client, and give them an idea of your property’s amenities and offerings. These traditional sales tactics are largely ineffective in today’s environment, especially during a pandemic. Even in offices that have reopened, many of today’s decision-makers have grown to prefer mainly digital communication.
Instead of a drop-in visit, you might reach a prospect with an email that includes a personalized video message you record. You might send a $5 coffee gift card and ask to schedule a virtual face-to-face meeting to visit with the client over coffee about your hotel. You might follow up a virtual meeting with a delivery of treats and a thank-you card.
Although you may not shake hands with anyone, you can still make good impressions by adding a personal touch to emails, digital advertising, phone calls, virtual meetings, and interacting with prospects via social media.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES WITH REMOTE SALES SERVICE
In addition to the examples cited above, back-end technology also provides powerful benefits for boosting sales. Technology now powers lead generation, effective sales-channel management, and methods of communication with potential and current clients.
Not every hotelier has the time or resources to leverage technology effectively. Remote hotel sales service can give you access to the latest technology and the know-how to use it without having to invest in infrastructure, constant technology updates, and training.
In late 2021, Travel + Leisure reported that travel would be even busier in 2022 than pre-pandemic and is projected to generate almost $2 trillion in the U.S. To capitalize on these opportunities, hotel sales efforts must be proactive, even as the ways we communicate and interact continue to change. Hotels using an effective combination of data analysis, software, and digital platforms are gaining an advantage.
Whether you own a small hotel in a quiet town or properties in several cities, all hotel owners have one thing in common: You need sales for your hotel to thrive. In times like these, your sales and marketing efforts are the key to generating demand.
Creative places and ways to use QR codes
Welcome letters at check-in
Guestrooms: Menus, cleanliness protocols, special amenities, operating hours