3 Ways to Increase Revenue Per Guest Through Personalization
One of the most common challenges we hear from hoteliers is finding ways to engage guests to drive additional revenue. Engaging guests has major implications for your bottom line. In fact, fully engaged hotel guests spend 46% more per year than actively disengaged guests.
When we talk about increasing revenue per guest we essentially mean upselling. But not in an annoying or intrusive way. What we’re really talking about is identifying services, upgrades, activities, and available opportunities for improving a guest’s stay; providing guests with the kind of personalization that says “Based on our relationship, we think this will make your experience better.” And with only 22% of guests reporting that they believe hotel offerings are relevant, personalization is paramount when it comes to driving additional revenue.
To make sure your upsells are hitting the mark, hotel teams must find ways to utilize the right tools at the right times. Let’s look at some of the different ways you can drive additional revenue during the booking process, throughout a guest’s stay, and even after they leave your hotel.
1. Engaging during the booking process
Booking might be the first time you meet a potential guest, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not an opportunity to start the upsell here. Thanks to the wealth of data you can gather on potential guests, you can create highly targeted advertising and digital marketing campaigns that not only drive reservations, but upsell as well. One study showed that engaging customers through a digital strategy can result in 40% higher guest loyalty rates and increase ROI by 564% - making it even more crucial that engagement starts early.
55% of hotel guests would exchange personal details in exchange for a personalized offer or promotion, so you’ll likely have no problem getting the insights you need. Using lead capturing technology and leveraging that data to personalize early touch points with customers shows that you’re treating them as individuals and taking time and effort to provide them the best guest experience possible.
Doing so will increase your ability to drive additional revenue from them. In fact, 69% of hotel guests think personalized offers based on their stated preferences are appealing. After confirming booking, hotels should consider extending those personalized offers through recommending things like transportation services and room upgrades based on booking preferences.
2. Engaging guests throughout their entire stay
As we all know, good relationships require constant nurturing. Once a guest arrives for their stay, hotels should pick up where they left off at booking and continue to look for opportunities to engage guests. 90% of consumers find it appealing to receive a personalized service from hotel staff that understands their preferences and points them to a relevant excursion, recommendation, or offer. That means, throughout a guest’s stay, your staff should be reaching out to upsell with recommendations -- events, restaurants, bars, spa services, golf outings, rentals, room service, or even items from the gift shop -- based on those preferences.
Of course, your staff can’t anticipate or predict a guest’s every need. Throughout their stay, different wants or needs will pop up unexpectedly -- whether it’s a last-minute reservation,a craving for room service, or extra towels. It’s important to be ready to field and fulfill these requests and needs as they offer the perfect opportunity to drive additional revenue. One of the ways to do this lies in loyalty programs. 78% of hotel guests think immediate benefits are more appealing than accumulating points, so hotel teams should create programs where guests can earn points or immediate rewards for the additional money they spend, giving extra incentive to make that purchase.
To capture these in the moment opportunities, technology like SMS or a mobile app chat is key. The Talbott Hotel in Chicago employed this strategy, enabling guests to contact them via text messaging for things like requesting a late checkout or an extended stay. In doing this, Talbott was able to generate an additional $3,000 from late checkout per week, and an additional $2,000 per week from guests extending their stay, because they provided an opportunity for guest engagement.
Engaging with guests throughout their stay with personalized offers and enabling mobile communication can improve guest satisfaction, while also generating new revenue opportunities.
3. Engaging guests after their stay
After a guest has left there are still plenty of upsell opportunities to maximize the revenue you get out of their stay. One of the first things you should do is encourage guests to take a survey and provide feedback on their stay. Offer them special deals or incentives for this information. They’ll appreciate that you value their feedback and that will increase the chances that they return.
You should also ask guests to rate your property online. According to a Cornell study, a 1-point swing on Travelocity’s 5-point rating scale increases room rates on average by 11 percent. Not only is there financial value in raising review scores, but there’s value in increasing the perception others have of you when seeing positive reviews.
You can also dive back into the data you’ve collected on your guests and leverage your CRM to develop personalized campaigns that keep them feeling special and keep your hotel top of mind. Even if these things don’t lead to immediate action the continued engagement increases your chance of being the hotel they select for their next trip.
Today’s traveler is looking for highly personalized experiences and is willing to pay more for them. By engaging with your guests from end to end you have the ability to learn about them and offer them things that enhance and personalize their experience and drive additional revenue for your hotel. Now that’s a real win-win.
Ford Blakely is CEO and founder of Zingle. In 2009 Zingle was born as a two-way, business-and-customer communication platform. Currently, thousands of hotels, food retailers and other businesses use Zingle to increase efficiency, revenue and customer loyalty by providing a way to communicate with customers through text messaging.