Increasing customer lifespan in involves implementing strategies that enhance guest satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement.
We all know that it’s easier and more cost effective to maintain existing customers than to win new ones. In hospitality, this can be a challenge for independent hotels and resorts, as many people will visit an independent property only once, while traveling – and it’s less the case for brands with multiple properties and brands. Still, one can nurture longer term relationships with some customers while also encouraging them to refer their friends.
Increasing customer lifespan in the hotel and resort industry involves implementing strategies that enhance guest satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement, leading to repeat business and long-term relationships.
Creating singular and memorable experiences is crucial, offering unique amenities, activities, or packages that people can’t find elsewhere. This could include exclusive events, local cultural experiences, innovative amenities room features, and amazing wellness programs. And, of course, your customer service should be absolute top quality. Providing exceptional customer service at every touchpoint, from booking to post-stay follow-up with well-trained, friendly staff who go above and beyond can significantly impact guest satisfaction and encourage repeat visits.
Beyond that, here are several strategies for increasing customer lifespan in hospitality.
Focus on local guests. Travel patterns can be significantly affected by factors like economic downturns, travel restrictions, and global health crises. Focusing on locals can diversify your customer base and reduce vulnerability to disruptions while providing a steady stream of business all year round, including during off seasons and downtimes. Engaging with the local community can help build strong relationships and loyalty. Locals who have positive experiences at a hotel or resort are likely to recommend it to visiting friends and family, and to return themselves for staycations or dining experiences. This word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable and can lead to increased bookings and revenue. Your software can create customer segments to better target your marketing.
Create an environment conducive to business stays. Business travelers are apt to return again and again to the same spaces. Appealing to these people can therefore result in return visits or extended workcations or staycations. Create quiet places to work and an environment designed to appeal to the business traveler or staycationer, with readily available coffee and food, and packages that include lunch and happy hour cocktails, or a spa package at the end of the day. Offer boardroom access, easy group bookings for activities, and fast and convenient check in and checkout with early and late options. Reliable wifi is a must. Corporate rates and loyalty programs will encourage repeat business visits.
Punch up your loyalty programs. Developing compelling loyalty programs that offer meaningful rewards, discounts, and exclusive benefits for repeat guests is crucial. Research by McKinsey found that top-performing loyalty programs can boost revenue from customers who redeem points by 15 to 25% annually. Separate research found that 83% of global respondents said belonging to a loyalty program influences their decision to buy again from a brand. These programs should be easy to understand and use, encouraging guests to return to earn and redeem rewards.
Gamify the loyalty experience. Research by Bond found that gamification, using goal setting and rewards, is a driver of program enjoyment and that enjoyment of participating in a program even beats the actual end reward. Fifty three percent of program members said game mechanics make loyalty programs more enjoyable and 81% take advantage of gamification when it’s available. Gamification like results in an almost two-fold increase in enjoyment. This can go beyond simple points for rooms and services. Ideas include creating challenges or missions for guests to complete during their stay, such as visiting all the hotel’s facilities, or completing a specific number of wellness experiences, rewards for social sharing, digital badges and achievements, and personalized goals based on guest interests or past behavior.
Maintain active communication and engagement beyond the stay. Maintaining regular, relevant communication with guests through email newsletters, social media, and personalized offers. Engagement should be thoughtful and not overly sales-oriented, focusing on adding value to the guest experience. Show that they matter and that you’re thinking about them by reaching out on special days with a kind message or offer, while asking nothing in return and now trying to sell anything. Collect feedback and use it to improve. Actively seeking and acting on guest feedback to continually improve service and facilities. Showing guests that their opinions are valued and lead to real changes can build strong, lasting relationships.
Make the most of your software’s CRM functionality: Use your software’s CRM functionality to build lasting relationships with guests. Your customer relationships are your competitive advantage in the marketplace and CRM can help you at every touchpoint in the guest journey. With Book4Time’s CRM software, you can create detailed customer profiles with everything from basic information to preferred classes, activities, spa treatments, drinks, robe sizes, and more. This builds a strong foundation for the relationships that give you an edge over your competition. Leverage this data to increase marketing conversion, improve guest experience, and more. Track purchase preferences and retail activity. Keep tabs on favorite brands and top-spending customers so you can make tailored recommendations, create promotions, or surprise a guest with a gift. Exceed guest expectations by creating exquisitely personalized experiences for each visit, offering the activities and classes they want and ensuring they receive the correct spa treatment every time. Information gathering and properly applying this information to the customer experience creates the ultimate in tailored experiences, making guests feel seen, heard, and valued.
Implementing these strategies requires a commitment to investing in the guest experience. Success in increasing customer lifespan can lead to enhanced brand reputation, higher occupancy rates, and increased revenue for hotels and resorts.
Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.
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