They say that good things come in small packages and nowhere is this more apt than in the hotel industry. You may not have the big budgets and economies of scale that large chains enjoy, but we asked some regular hotels users and it turns out that it really is the small things that make a big difference.
Here are a few of our favourite tips to help you keep your guests coming back again and again:
‘Being thought more of as a guest and not a room number!’
This idea of truly personal service is one that comes up again and again as something that makes people return to the same hotel. So what if you only have 10 rooms – it definitely gives you the edge when it comes to service. Make an effort to remember guests’ names and use them when you speak to them.
‘When we got to our room, we found a hand written card welcoming us – it was such a lovely touch.’
This is one of our favourites because it’s so easy, it costs hardly anything, and yet it feels so special. While you have your guest’s attention, why not use the card to include a handwritten offer of a discount on their next stay?
‘Linen napkins are a must, as is crisp white bed-linen and a fire in the winter.’
Everyone loves the romance of snuggling up in front of an open fire so if your hotel has original features like fireplaces then use them! Large chains often lack this sort of character so this is a chance to really stand out from the crowd.
‘We went back to a hotel for a second visit and they had remembered we were both vegetarian!’
How many hotel chains could claim this level of personal service? If you can make the time to keep a simple database of your guests’ particular likes and dislikes, and then remember these on subsequent visits, you’ll see them coming back again and again.
‘The little hotels I’ve liked have made all the rooms special in different ways.’
Where a larger hotel has to take a consistent, ‘branded’ approach to design, the beauty of running a smaller hotel is that you are answerable only to yourself, and can get creative with your space. Individual looks for rooms are a brilliant way to set yourself apart from the chains, and guests end up feeling more of a personal connection to their room.
‘We once stayed in Cheshire and upon arrival were greeted with a basket with homemade cookies, jam and wine!’
How chuffed would you be to check into a hotel and find a gift like that? If you’re not a wizard in the kitchen, is there an independent producer nearby that you could team up with? A local baker, vineyard of preserve maker may well be happy to offer you some products free of charge or at a discount in return for being able to leave a leaflet or business card alongside.
‘I look for lovely lavish decor, where I can pretend it’s my house!’
Will some people might be looking for the anonymity of a large hotel chain, others are looking for more of a home away from home and love the charm and comfort of a small, independent hotel. Creating an environment that is stylish yet relaxing, where guests can feel comfortable yet spoilt, will go a long way to building loyalty – home is where the heart is after all!
If you’re looking for more ideas for ways to increase customer loyalty, why not give us a call? High Level Software specialise in helping small and independent hotels build ongoing relationships with customers, reducing reliance on 3rd party booking systems and ultimately making you more money! Call us now on 02920 351575