Adapt Your Hotel’s Message to Enhance Direct Bookings
From BEONx we offer you some tips to improve the efficiency of your direct booking system.
As we commented in the article where we analyzed the Billboard Effect, this phenomenon has a great importance in the mechanics of travelers’ reservations. The user, in a large number of cases, evolves in a natural way in navigation and decision making processes to link OTA website and hosting website. According to a study carried out by Expedia, when it comes to booking your holiday, it’s also key to know that potential travellers surf up to 38 different travel pages and online agencies before buying flights and when booking a hotel room.
As a result of these natural processes, hoteliers have to rely on creativity in their customer-oriented approach and in improving the user experience. It is legitimate for us to ask the following questions: What are these techniques of approaching the traveller and how can hotels fight and gain a greater share of the direct booking market?
Increasing bookings and keeping your customers fully satisfied is the goal of every hotelier. To do this, you will need to know them very well as well as invest in technology and monitoring their requirements so that they live unforgettable moments in the accommodation. Identifying some significant elements to adapt the message is what we have set out to do with this article. The work on the traveller’s perceptions when marketing is crucial to boosting direct booking. Here are some strategies that can be accompanied by improved booking:
Be strategic with discount offers. The improvements in price are the classic of the campaigns to attract and generate interest for potential customers who are aware of this factor. The direct booking allows us to play with a very interesting margin to vary and be more “appealing” to the customer. According to a study carried out by the company Hotelchamp, it was identified how hotels that offer a 5% discount, instead of no discount, have an 11% increase in the conversion rate and a 12% increase in the average value of the reservation. If we contrast this with a communication strategy with a 10% discount, instead of no discount, it makes it possible to generate a 50% increase in the conversion rate and an 11% increase in the average value of the reservation.
Although it is not advisable to enter into price wars, it is important to transmit exclusivity in the offer. Techniques such as having guests request the discount by email, or setting a countdown to these discounts, will avoid creating that bitter feeling that we are throwing away prices.
Offer relevant real-time offers based on key seasons. It is a question of determining times according to the moments in which we are most relevant to the user. Analyzing the history with your RMS (Revenue Management System) will allow you to determine which seasons are the most important for the main sales force. On the other hand, identifying the reserve curve over the main periods in the curve will allow us to know when to “impact” the user with the right messages, offers or products and with more possibilities to convert.
Proper management of opinions and learning from them. This aspect is often overlooked insofar as it is directly related to conversion. The questionnaires and the opinions collected will be the main basis of the content structure and the development of a product on which we can reinvent ourselves: do we have the right rooms for our type of traveller, do we have a suitable website for the business client?
Through a deep immersion in the comments we will get the feedback we need. The learning and information gathered in the satisfaction questionnaires can help us to restructure our marketing strategies. It is important to include questions around the booking experience to ensure that customers “crack” the process smoothly and without any hindrance. In addition, hotels s
hould include the opinions of users on their website to prevent website visitors from searching for them on other websites.
Make sure that the most attractive booking proposal is on the accommodation website. When planning competitive advantages it will be essential to ensure that these advantages are connected to our product. It is important that product managers at the hotel take the time to analyze and review that the same booking experience, pricing and user experience is being met on all platforms where they have a presence.
If you want to increase direct bookings you must make sure you have the best proposal and that it is available exclusively on your website. This way, you can have a regular customer who will end up booking on your website, even if you consult and compare them with OTAS or Meta Search Engines. If we accustom the traveler to having availability in the OTAs, and not in the own engine, we will be generating distrust in the direct booking.
Add customization techniques for different clients. Customization has a long way to go and is a powerful communication tool. The understanding of the traveller and the optimization of both the product and the way of communicating will benefit us in order to increase the conversion rates. Not losing this connection in communication and putting it at the service of the customer, with a product adapted to his needs, will be decisive in reducing the costs of capturing and increasing the volumes of revenue per customer.
Incorporating an RMS, working with the support of a CRM and articulating lists by customer typologies with similar characteristics will be the formula that will come closest to a personalized marketing under the information that we can gather based on the past, present and future of hosting to reduce costs and optimize revenue.