Competition can be fierce in the hotel business. With the growing popularity of Airbnb, small and mid-size hotels face new challenges as some curious travelers opt to rent rooms and homes for short stays and vacations.
These changes in consumer behavior can play to your advantage by creating consistency for travelers in the hotel industry. Other establishments, Airbnb in particular, range in experiences from wonderful to unpleasant. Consistency can play a huge part in earning the business of travelers and vacationers – they know what they will get when they stay at a hotel. Plus, with a few thoughtful details, it’s possible to make your hotel the go-to source for frequent business travelers.
Here are some of the best ways to attract business guests to your hotel.
Market to a specific type of customer
You can’t accommodate every type of traveler or guest, so it is important to identify your target market, and use channels to reach that type of traveler and cater to their specific needs.
Business travelers are attractive guests, as they are likely to be repeat customers with clients or corporate headquarters in the area. The challenge is to earn their business so that the next time they’re in town, they book their stay with you. A family-friendly hotel may have different amenities than a business-oriented hotel and many business travelers can become frustrated when they need to get work done and the hotel isn’t set up well of productivity.
- Time is a commodity that business travelers usually don’t have, so make sure that they don’t need to wait for hours on the lobby to get a room.
- Provide VIP or memberships for business travelers in which they are prioritized over other guests.
- Take care of your guests. Value each of your guests and give priority. Whenever a guest has a problem, provide a genuine solution so they’ll be glad to revisit your hotel again when the problem has been solved.
Offer Free Wi-Fi Throughout the Premises
Free Wi-Fi is the most desired amenities of guests when they are looking for hotels. Business travelers are known to prefer hotels that will allow them to connect online quickly without paying for additional data or speed.
Over a third of business travelers will not stay at a hotel without free Wi-Fi. That’s an impressive number and those who find out there’s no free WiFi after they arrive may be tempted to look for accommodations elsewhere on their next trip.
Don’t just offer free Wi-Fi, making it faster than your competitors. Make sure that the speed is enough for your guests to be able to send an email or be able to talk to clients via video chat without the hassles of frequent disconnections. Test your Wi-Fi connection for speed and be sure all hotel areas are served by a strong signal. Sites like hotelwifitest even report on wifi connectivity. Speed matters.
Offer Comfortable Lounge Areas and Work Areas
Even in the nicest of suites, the walls in hotel rooms can start closing in on guests after a while. Guests staying more than a night enjoy having a choice of places to work. Comfortable seating, or even shaded seating in outside areas, can help make the working hours more enjoyable and increase guest satisfaction.
Consider locating seating areas away from busy areas like the lobby or the bar and restaurant if your hotel offers dining and entertainment. A quiet but open area works well. You might also consider a smaller room with up-to-date computers and copy machines for business travelers who need to work but may not have their laptop due to luggage mishaps or other reasons.
A lounge is the hospitality industry’s best-kept secret. These calm and secluded areas make travels less stressful.
- Offer comfortable chairs, tables, relaxing food drinks, and most importantly, a quiet place to sit back, relax and even socialize for a while.
- Make it more than just a rest stop and offer something unique like complimentary drinks or food upon entry.
Prioritize Comfortable Furniture
The last thing guests want is to wake up like they haven’t rested at all or with a backache. Comfort is the number one concern for hotel guests. They want a good bed, soft sheets, nice pillows, and comfortable chairs. A new hotel guest survey by Mattressadvisor.com found that 81 percent of travelers say a comfortable bed is the “single-most important” feature in a hotel room.
Consider the special needs of hotel guests as well, and consider ergonomics when designing working areas in guest rooms and elsewhere.
- Quality chairs not only last longer but are easier on the back when working for extended periods.
- A high-quality desk in a well-lit area can round out a functional and comfortable workstation.
- The chair and the desk should also be adjustable.
Optimize for Online Customers
n order to compete with the Airbnb and other hotels use online channels and social media to promote your hotel.
Many customers begin their search for a hotel online, so you’ll want to be sure you’re listed on all major hotel websites and have good reviews.
You will also want to be sure your website is up-to-date and mobile-ready, meaning it displays well on a phone or tablet screen and that all the website functions work as expected. Search engines now prioritize mobile-friendly sites for search queries performed on a mobile device. That means if you’re not mobile-ready, your prospective guests may not find your site at all.
Also, be sure your online booking works properly on mobile. A frustrating experience on your website can cost you guests and there’s no way of knowing how much business you might be losing out on.
Email marketing remains to be one of the most relevant and cost-effective means to market your hotel. Used properly and you’ll be able to generate higher conversion rates as it allows to specifically target potential and repeat-customers, build relationships, and convert their interests into real bookings. In your email marketing campaign, create a newsletter for new customers to help develop brand loyalty, including deals and discounts that they are likely to purchase, events happening at your hotel, and keep them updated with your products and services.
Also, consider using social media to your advantage by showcasing your hotel’s best features that would be beneficial in promoting your hotel. Don’t forget to provide descriptive information about your hotel that makes them want to stay.