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4 ways to increase revenue by building guest relationships

If you are looking to increase your revenue, building relationships is the first thing to pay attention to. Here are 4 ways to do it!
Johanna Bernuy
Mar 27, 2023
7 min read
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The goal for any hospitality business is to maximise revenue. However, that is challenging to achieve, especially with the constantly evolving customer expectations. 

89% of businesses compete mostly on customer experience and an organisation which invests in enhancing their customer experience has revenue growth of 4 to 8% above average. 

This means that enhancing the guest experience is one of the key drivers of revenue. So, what do you need to do? Make sure your guests’ experience is formidable. 

In order to know how to make guests have a great experience with you, you first need to know who they are and build a relationship with them. By doing so, you unlock a lot of potentials. 

Let’s go over why and how you can do it in practice. 

Why you should build a relationship with your guests 

Everyone is expecting outstanding. According to Deloitte’s recent Guest Experience survey, 75% of respondents said they would go back to a hotel if they had a good experience. 

The guest experience is dictated by all the interactions you have with your guests throughout their whole guest journey, from before their stay to after it, and is never-ending. 

Thus, a good guest experience means your guests were satisfied with your mutual interactions. The question you should always ask yourself is: what do my guests want? 

71% of customers expect personalisation from companies, and 76% of them get frustrated if this does not occur. A unique experience is determined by how personalised it is. 

In order to create a memorable guest experience, you must consider the different characteristics of your guests, their interests, needs, preferences, and more, making them feel that you know them. 

This is the basis for having a relationship with each of them. If you know who they are, you interact with them continuously and in a personalised way, you increase their satisfaction and build a relationship that will last. 

With this, you unlock your revenue potential. 

How to build a relationship that lasts  

Building a relationship with your guests is much more than calling them by their name or offering them free chocolates. 

These are single interactions in a short-term perspective, whilst the goal is to continuously build a relationship that will last. You need to be there for the guest from the very start and continue with them after they leave. 

Keep reading, it may be easier to achieve than you think! 

1. Use every stage of the guest journey to offer valuable information 

As mentioned above, the guest journey starts before the stay and is never-ending. You need to plan the interactions with your guests in different stages of their journey: before the stay, during the stay, and after the stay. 

Currently, while some hospitality brands don’t do this at all, others do, but doing it is not enough. You need to do it the right way for it to be beneficial. 

Usually, these interactions mean sending offers and information throughout the guest journey with the goal to increase sales. However, there is one big detail which is often overlooked. Remember how many customers expect personalisation? Well, that is the detail you need to pay attention to. 

Many hospitality businesses send the same messages and emails to all guests, with several of them receiving irrelevant offers and information. With this approach, there is a thought in guests’ minds, and “great” is definitely not the word to describe it. It becomes tiresome, and even, frustrating. 

If you use the guest data which you have access to from several platforms (PMS, OTAs, etc), you are able to know relevant facts about each of your guests and use them to personalise the communication you send out. 

79% of customers are willing to share relevant information about themselves if in return they get personalised interactions. So, why are so many brands still not taking advantage of this? 

After you know your guests by using the data you have in your hands, you can start providing relevant and valuable offers and information in all the stages of the guest’s journey. 

For example, if you know the guests’ birthday, send a special birthday discount. If it’s a couple and it’s Valentine’s Day, send a romantic package. 

Moral of the story: different guest profiles mean different offers & information. 

Besides making the offer, make it easy for guests to add it. With a simple click of a button, allow them to add the service and pay without the need for more effort from their side. 

With this approach, not only will you increase your successful cross-selling and upselling tries but you will also build a relationship with your guests by showing them you want to provide a great experience, tailored just for them. 

2. Create an attractive guest loyalty program to increase direct bookings 

After the stay is over, don’t simply forget that your guests ever stayed at your hotel. Prioritise valuing those who were already there and try to make sure they come back. 

Why? Because it costs 16 times more to nurture a new customer to the same revenue contribution level as your existing and loyal customers.

There are different actions you can take to make your guests come back. 

If you have several properties, why not send a discount to those who stayed in one to stay at the others? If you will have a special event, why not send an offer with a discount on the stay if they go? If a year has passed from their last stay, why not send a special offer for them to come back? 

There are endless possibilities and approaches you can take to increase your guest loyalty. Not only will this reduce your costs, but it will also increase your revenue considerably given that returning customers spend 67% more than new customers. 

3. Encourage/Foster guest reviews 

What’s the first thing a potential new customer does before booking accommodation? 

The answer is here: 95% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase and 79% put as much weight on online reviews as they would on personal recommendations. 

So, what do you need to focus on? Exactly, guest reviews. 

Once a guest’s stay is over, make it easy for them to leave a review. Send out a personalised message asking for it, or even a discount if they do it. 

With this, you gain powerful word of mouth and increase the likelihood of new customers choosing your brand among all the others out there.

4. Use open technology and a customer data platform to offer a powerful experience 

The quality and personalisation of the experience you offer can only be as good as the data you have. If you haven’t done so already, make sure your property management technology is cloud-native and open, to enable real-time access and transfer of data. And to create unique guest relationships without limitations.

Here it is important to pay attention to make sure you are using the right platform. According to Thibault Gence from Apaleo, an Open Property Management System that allows hotels to integrate with more than 200 apps, there is a difference between having open API and being API-first.

“Open API only means the PMS vendor has public API, which doesn’t guarantee full access. But an API-first means each data point in your PMS is available for you or apps to leverage”, Thibault mentions.

Another key aspect to look at is: where does customer profile centralisation happen? Some will say in the PMS. “Our recommendation would rather be that your property management platform is not opinionated and lets the customer data platform (CDP) do the work”, adds Thibault. 

Simpler put, that means your PMS is sending the bookings and all the data related to them, and the CDP does the consolation work for unified guest profiles. The same goes for other applications collecting guest data. All of these should plug back into your CDP.

With these two main ingredients, you will have the perfect setup to decide on the experience you want to create for guests without limitations from vendors.

Start increasing your revenue 

See? Increasing your revenue can actually be easy if you use the right approach. Building a relationship with your guests can be simple if you consistently apply these measures in the touchpoints they have with you. 

Not only that, but by using open technology, you are able to take all this actions without much effort and in an efficient way. 

Build a relationship with your guests, enhance their experience, and increase your revenue. Any scenario better than that? 

If you would like to get free advice on your specific case, feel free to schedule a call with one of our experts

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