It’s a well-known fact that it costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. In fact, if you have an existing guest who is happy with their stay, your effort is 1:1 to have them return to your hotel again with same buying pattern, vs. 3:1 to spend more during their next stay. Compare this with an unhappy customer; it would require 20 times more effort and resources to have an unsatisfied guest return to your hotel.
So, I would suggest that if you do not meet your customer’s expectations in terms of connectivity, relevant offers and services before, during and after their stay, 50% will choose another hotel for their next visit. If this happens, it will require more effort and resources to replace that customer.
Give your guests what they want
One of the easiest ways to grow your business is to keep your existing customers coming back. A recent survey* of 1500 business and leisure hotel guests conducted in Sweden, France and the UK showed the following:
The guest’s primary decision criteria for selecting a hotel (other than location, standard and price) is that the hotel:
- Offers free WiFi
- Has WiFi coverage in all areas of the hotel
- Has an in-room TV with content personalised for them
In their recent hotel stays 59% – 66% of these guests experienced unstable WiFi connections, insufficient bandwidth and inadequate coverage. This means that if your competitor has a robust and secure WiFi offering and you don´t, there is a big risk that your guest will go to the competitor for their next stay, forcing you to spend more resources finding a new customer.
I will share with you a few other ways to surprise and delight your guests so they remain loyal and keep coming back:
1) Offer early check-in
According to the same survey, 51% of guests perceive standing in line for check-in as a fairly or very negative experience. Combat this by offering your guests the opportunity to check-in before they reach the hotel, online or via an app.
2) Give them an offer they can´t refuse
Don´t be afraid to communicate with your guests. 80% of those surveyed said that they want to receive information and offers from the hotel services during their stay (only 17% had experienced this service in their recent hotel stays). Furthermore, 25% of the respondents said they would like the option to keep their room longer and receive an offer for a later check-out time.
3) No more lost keys
31% of guests think that keeping track of keys or keycards is a fairly or very negative experience. Why not give your guests an option? Mobile Key solutions are the new reality for hotels.
4) Express check-out
Another popular service according to our 1500 respondents was Express check-out – the chance to check-out online via the hotel app, in-room TV or a machine kiosk. Only 10% of those we asked have been offered this service in their recent hotel stays.
5) Stay in touch
Just because your guest has checked out, doesn´t mean you should forget about them. 80% would actually like to receive an offer for their next stay.
And finally, 91% of the respondents would possibly or definitely choose a hotel that met the requirements of connectivity and services specified above.
What are you doing to retain your customers?
If you wish to view the full survey, don’t hesitate to contact Hoist Group.
Jan Ekström, Chief Sales Officer with more than 20 years’ experience from hotel operations
* Hotel Guest Survey conducted by SynoInt in 2017
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