Your hotel guests aren’t equally valuable. Some will book through an online travel agency (OTA) at a low cost as a one-off guest and purchase no extras. On the other hand, others might be loyal guests that continue to return and often purchase additional extras. All of these guests are valuable, but it’s important that you are able to identify which of these are the most valuable and have lifetime value. So, how can you do this?
Well, first of all, you should look at how it is that they made the booking. It could have been through an OTA, your sales team, on your website or using a corporate account. This can help to paint a picture of how involved and loyal that guest is. For example, if they have a corporate account, then it’s likely that they make multiple bookings. Another key factor is the amount of money the guests has spent on the booking. It’s not always easy to track the total spend, but it can all be linked to the booking reference very simply. This way, you can differentiate between the guest that is staying just for the room and those that are using your facilities, such as the restaurant, bar, spa and room service options.
It’s important to keep hold of your guests’ data, so that you can also decipher whether or not they are a frequent visitor. Speaking to eHotelier, one general manager said that he makes sure his front office team are able to recognise repeat guests and make management aware of them. “Once we’ve identified a VIP, we’re going to make sure they’re treated as well as possible. That could mean anything from VIP perks to comped dinners,” he stated. These perks are important, as they can turn a guest into a loyal customer that will be sure to book with your hotel wherever it is they are visiting. One area that hotels may not yet be tracking is social media. If a guest is a frequent visitor, then it’s likely that they are talking about your hotel on social media, and it’s important that you’re able to track this. In fact, one general manager told eHotelier that he considers a guest’s social media influence to be the most important factor in determining his or her value to the hotel. For example, if a guest is a strong influencer on social media, they are of huge value – whether they’re a frequent visitor or it’s a one-time booking.
Once you’ve identified your most valuable guests, by showing them that you value them as an individual, you can then quite easily turn them into frequent visitors – therefore increasing their value even further.