Stay Connected: Tips for maintaining guest relationships

Converting past guests into returning guests can be challenging, but very rewarding, for independent hotels.  While it’s hard to predict when they’ll return, these guests should be treated as “warm leads” who carry the potential to deliver strong revenue returns.  The key to bringing back past guests is to maintain a relationship with them post-checkout.  Here are a few tips to help you stay in touch with these travelers.

Targeted email

Rather than adding past guests to your general email list, segment them into a group that only receives messages specifically targeting past guests.  Since they’re already familiar with your property, you can speak with this group differently than with travelers who need to be educated about your hotel and local community.

In addition to providing future bookings, these guests can offer valuable insights about your hotel.  By segmenting these travelers, you can leverage this list to conduct online surveys and gather first-hand opinions from guests who can help enhance the guest experience.

Targeted mailings

Similar to targeted email, targeted mailings can provide tremendous value for your past guests and your hotel.  The one pitfall mass mailings have always faced is being viewed as “junk mail” by recipients, so its intended message is never delivered.  However, by targeting a list of “warm leads,” you can increase your probability of achieving positive returns and, with an attractive offer, entice these guests to return to your hotel.

VIP outreach

Breaking through the marketing clutter can be difficult for independent hotels but utilizing “VIP outreach” tactics can help get your message heard loud and clear.  Using your innRoad PMS to query data, such as dates and length of last stay and nightly rate paid, you have the tools to create a selective VIP list of past guests who carry the greatest potential to return to your property.

With this data, you can make personalized phone calls and send individualized letters with unique offers for each traveler.  “VIP outreach” is labor intensive, so the goal should be to keep the list small, but full of past guests who can deliver a strong ROI for your hotel.

To learn more about engaging travelers to increase bookings and revenue, contact one of our independent hotel experts today.