One of the greatest challenges facing the accommodation industry is the growing volume and pace of competition. Competition has allowed for increased choice and greater value for money for the customer. Quality of service and consistency of service has become key for accommodation owners to differentiate themselves. Loyal customers are much easier to up-sell to and they also provide great word of mouth promotion for your property. Building guest loyalty requires investment in all areas of service to retain profitable guests. There are a few easy ways to build lasting customer relationships that translate into a customer loyalty strategy.
1. Know your customer
Develop your brand with your customers in mind. People are loyal to brands they can relate to, and this is no different for the accommodation industry. If a guest has a positive association with your property, they are more likely to book with you when they return to your city or region. Be mindful of who your target market is, and develop your property’s branding according to them.
2. Once you know your customer, market to them accordingly
Marketing to different types of travellers differ vastly, so don’t use the same message to appeal to your entire guest database. For families you want to highlight the child-friendly activities in your area or on your property. Emphasise the ease of travel, and how stress-free booking with you will be. This may not be the same message you use to market to travellers seeking a high-energy, adventure-filled holiday.
3. Let your personality shine through
Potential and existing guests like to know who will be hosting them, and they will be interested in new improvements/features added to your property. Keep them updated through social media or via quarterly newsletters. Show off a bit of your personality when interacting and marketing to potential guests.
4. Guest experience
Providing a personalised guest experience will definitely encourage guest loyalty. Making your guest feel like a valued customer will create a memorable experience and keep you and your property front of mind when they choose to return to your region.
To summarise, you should know your customers and market to them with messages that will appeal to the type of traveller they are. Show off a bit of your personality, and make sure an exceptional guest experience is your priority. Your personality and the guest experience will set you apart from other accommodations. That coupled with targeted marketing messages will help you build your customer loyalty strategy.
With these simple tips, you can start growing your loyal, return customers.