It’s important for hoteliers to keep attracting new business by ensuring a steady stream of holidaymakers flock through the doors each year. But getting previous guests to return is another good way of boosting revenues and filling up empty rooms, as they should be much easier to persuade to making a booking – after all, they’ve already hopefully enjoyed a break at your property.
What’s more, research by cheapflights once showed that 85 per cent of travellers will holiday at the same place more than once. So, how can you turn those previously satisfied guests into repeat prospects? Here are a few tips.
1. Send them a reminder of you
After their stay, put your guests on a mailing list to receive a useful and thoughtful piece of branded merchandise. For example, they might like a fridge magnet or a pen with your hotel name on it. Each time the recipient uses it, they will be reminded of their great stay – and your hotel will be at the forefront of their mind when they book their next break.
2. Make the most of email
We’ve covered before on these pages how useful email marketing can be, and this is particularly applicable for past visitors. Send out messages featuring discounts on future stays, free meals or other perks, as well as interesting content such as articles on resort highlights they might have missed. Coincide these with times when they took their last trip for maximum success rates.
3. Run a loyalty scheme
Holidaymakers might want to know what’s in it for them if they demonstrate loyalty, so make it obvious with a dedicated scheme. Publicise your hotel’s club and give cardholders perks like free upgrades, free stays after they have visited so many times, or gift bags for each arrival.
4. Make an effort on social media
Everyone likes to reminisce about their holidays, so invite your guests to do so by asking them to submit photos of them enjoying hotel facilities via Twitter and Facebook when they get back. If they feel they have a good relationship with the hotel brand, they’ll be more likely to make a repeat visit.
5. Always give guests VIP treatment
Finally but most importantly, ensure every guest who comes through your hotel’s doors has a fantastic stay. Go the extra mile to provide excellent service and make them feel like a VIP. Below-par service, lacklustre facilities and drab interiors won’t make people likely to consider a repeat booking.