Generate more direct bookings thanks to the automation: Inspiring the guest after leaving

Generate more direct bookings thanks to the automation: Inspiring the guest after leaving

03 April 2019Justyna Urbaniak

Running a hotel is often the art of taking advantage of opportunities. You need to be able to find them and take appropriate action at the right time. Find out what sales opportunities appear when your guests leave the hotel.

Inspiring the guest after leaving is the “last” stage of the guest’s travel path. If you haven’t read the previous entries, quickly catch up and find out why you should stay in touch with the guest before, during and after the stay.

The first sales opportunity pops up right after the guest leaves. The day following the checkout, it’s worth sending a message which contains three elements:

  • thank you for staying at our hotel,
  • please leave feedback and any information on what you can do better,
  • enjoy a special discount for your next stay.

Please visit us again

Such a message is the closure of the reservation and the crowning of the stay. It creates the image of a hotel that cares about its guests, values ​​their opinions and invites them again offering additional discount. Even if you offer a standard discount, the guest who receives it in an individualized email will feel special. Such a good-bye gesture is a form of building guests’ loyalty and encouraging them to make another booking via the website, not via OTAs.

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Feedback on a stay

An important element of the post-stay message is the request to leave an opinion. You can receive it directly by e-mail or collect it on Google, on TripAdvisor or on Facebook. Analyze the opinions received. Especially the descriptive ones can be a rich source of information, eg what is worth improving or what the guests value most in your facility.

The more good feedback from Google you get, the more value you have, because positive feedback positively affects the search position of your hotel.

A request to provide information on possible inconveniences related to the stay is a procedure that precedes the possible leaving a negative opinion on the Internet. You should ask for this information in a positive way, for example by writing that you are constantly working on the offer and if there are any elements that you can do better, you’d value the guests pointing them out for you so you can deal with them quickly.

If the guest decides to give a negative opinion (it is necessary to inform the guests about the email address which they can send it at), he will probably appreciate the fact that you want to know his opinion and work on optimizing the stay. Remember not to leave any message from a guest without a reply, because he may feel ignored and leave information about it on the internet (which you want to avoid).

For any, even unpleasant news, you should respond by thanking you for sharing the opinion and indicating the actions that you will take.

You can send good-bye messages manually, but this is quite time-consuming and requires focus. Think about automated solutions that will send messages to people who ended their stay in the hotel without your involvement. You or your team will gain more time thanks to them which they can spend on the analysis of guests’ feedback.

360 days later…

Another opportunity, which is worth using to communicate with the guest after departure, happens about one year after the last booking. What is worth sending then? A tailored offer, similar or very similar to the previous one, prepared for the same or analogical time of the year (eg a weekend, if in the previous year it was a weekend), covering the same number of guests and rooms in the same or similar standard. Additionally, the offer can also include a discount for loyal guests.

Such an individualized offer has much higher effectiveness rate and is an advantage over mass mailing. It makes a positive impression on the guest – “the hotel remembers me and offers me what  I (probably still) am interested in”.

Since the guest’s situation could have changed within a year, for example, his family has increased by a child, it is worth sending an offer about a year after the stay allowing configuration changes.

It may be worth contacting the guest earlier and more often, earlier than a year since the last booking, especially if you see that your guests are interested in your offer more often than once a year. You should check it out and think about it.

Sending emails, especially one year after your guest’s stay, is a very tedious and demanding task, which is why you should also think about automated solutions. The guest clicking on the offer sent via Profitroom CRM, can make a direct reservation which is another advantage of this solution.

The hotel industry is a constant batle for more bookings, but also for good relations with guests. Your advantage over brokers is that your guests stayed or are staying with you and you can contact them directly, so use it by all means!

Do you want to implement a policy of contacting guests after a stay in your hotel? Plan your activities:

  • Think about what goal you want to achieve by sending a Please visit us again message. Describe it.
  • If you want to collect opinions from guests, write down how you want to get them and what you will do to encourage guests to share their impressions.
  • Think about who in your team will be interested in feedback, in what style you will respond to the received messages and how you will analyze the collected information.
  • Think about whether you will assign a discount code for your loyalty and what amount it will be.
  • Decide when it is worth to contact guests after the last booking. 365 days after, or maybe more often? What should your message contain? Prepare a plan that will help you accomplish this important task.

Check out how to communicate with guests before they arrive at the hotel.