The hospitality industry is one that is heavily customer-faced and therefore one of the worst hit industries during the pandemic. However, even though it’s been a tough twelve months, the future is looking a lot brighter and this is the time to make changes to improve business.
With that being said, to make sure your business gets the most out of this year, here are five ways to improve your hospitality business.
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1. Focus on customer experience
Customer experience is one of the most important elements of any business to focus on, but even more so when it comes to the hospitality market. You’ve got a lot of competition to compete with and your customers may just as easily choose to use another hospitality venue to yours.
So if they’re a regular customer, you want to provide them with that reason for choosing your business over any other. With new customers, you want to show them what they’re missing by going elsewhere.
The customer experience is a journey and one that you need to focus on developing from start to finish. It’s what will help solidify their appreciation and trust in your company because after all, if it’s not a satisfactory experience, they’re unlikely to give you a second chance.
As customers, we can be picky and we can also have high expectations. Here are a few suggestions on how you could elevate your customer experience this year.
Provide incentives and offers
Incentives and offers will drive the customers to your doors because who doesn’t like a discount or freebie? This could be an extra night’s stay in your hotel or perhaps a free dessert with every main meal. The more you can treat your customers, the more they’ll treat you back in return with their continued custom.
Use technology to elevate services
Technology is a great way of elevating your services from contactless checking in to ordering food via an app. There are many ways that you could incorporate this into a hospitality establishment and it’s likely to cater to those who prefer more of a digital experience.
Ask for feedback
Whenever your customer has stayed at your hotel or dined in your restaurant, always provide them with a feedback form, whether it’s via email or a physical one. This feedback can help the customer feel more involved with the growth of the company.
2. Monitor peaks in business to maximize marketing efforts
There are times in the year where business will be doing far better than other times. These peaks and troughs are expected but there’s still plenty of opportunity to maximize the amount of customers you get through your doors every year.
Look at your recent sales history over the past year or so, depending on how much sales data you have available. Find where your peak points are and then use this information to find the best times to market your business.
If it’s already busy enough, then you might not need to spend on any marketing during this period. However, if there’s certain periods before or after this spike in custom, then use that as the ideal opportunity to increase the level of marketing campaigns.
You want your hospitality business to be in front of your customers before they’ve even started thinking about booking. That way, there’s more likely to be spontaneous and last-minute bookings during times of the year, month or week, that they wouldn’t normally go.
Try to be more creative with your marketing efforts and adapt it to the time of year, perhaps a holiday or special occasion of some sort. You could also use what’s happening currently in the media to help drive some of your marketing campaigns and perhaps even get lucky with a viral post.
There are some effective platforms that you can use to help monitor your data. Google Analytics is a good one for website traffic. Euromonitor provides a more broad access to industry data, but may be useful for understanding consumer behaviors. It’s important to be able to spot the opportunities before they’ve already been and gone.
3. Implement technology for efficiency
Technology is a great way of helping develop your business, regardless of the industry. There’s no denying that technology has become a crutch for society and used in most areas of life nowadays.
When trying to improve your hospitality business, a lot of the success relies on the efficiency of the workload. As you get more popular as a company, there’s more demand and it’s how you handle it, that’s really important. With that being said, there are lots of technologies that are worth taking advantage of.
One example is a management software as this can really help to bring everything together under one central hub. A vacation rental reservation software can be very effective in managing your day to day runnings of the business, whilst maximizing your hospitality’s potential when it comes to bookings and customer satisfaction.
What makes this software even more effective is that it works with other popular booking companies online like Booking.com and AirBnB.
Some hotels are already offering features like robots and smart room keys that are able to elevate the guest’s experience of the hotel in many ways. Cloud services are also a technology that is being more widely used across many industries including hospitality. Having everything accessible from one place, whenever you need it, is great for business.
Technology nowadays provides ease of use, whatever the customer is using and that’s important to add to the person’s overall experience. It’s why lots of businesses are investing into technology as part of their budget plan due to the impact it can create.
4. Upsell where you can
With times being what they are at the moment, it’s important that now more than ever, you’re taking every opportunity to maximize your income as a business. The best opportunity to do that can come from upselling.
Think about what you can offer your customer when they’re booking with you online or via any form of communication. Perhaps you can offer them something that will add to their experience with you as a business? In turn that will provide you with an extra profit that the customers might not have purchased had they not been encouraged to purchase it.
When interacting with customers in a restaurant or bar environment, you might want to suggest that they look at the dessert menu. Or perhaps, your employees may make certain suggestions regarding the menu and any add-ons they’d recommend.
Again, a lot of the hospitality industry is about the customer’s experience so it’s all about selling the product or service you want to upsell, in the right way. Yes, you want to make more money as a business, but what you’re pitching to your customers needs to be something that is going to really make their experience, the best it can be. Whether that’s a dessert at a restaurant, or an extra night’s stay at your accommodation, always look to upsell.
Upselling is something you’ll want to educate your employees on doing and there are many training courses you could put them on in order to help with their ability to sell.
Social media has become a popular hotspot for many businesses within the hospitality industry. When it comes to the customers, being able to see a venue or space in action on social media can likely encourage them to visit for the first time. With that being said, you want to make every effort to utilize social media as best that you can.
There are lots of platforms to choose from and it’s worth assessing which one is going to work best for your business in particular. You also want to consider where your customers are, whether that’s mainly on Facebook, through Twitter or Instagram for example. They may be in a mixture and therefore it’s necessary to build your presence across multiple platforms.
The online world is a huge benefit for the hospitality industry because it can enable any business to have global success. For some restaurants and hotels, tourists will visit the country or city that it’s in, simply to experience it for themselves. That’s a goal to reach for as a business, even though it might be a lot harder nowadays due to a saturated market on social media.
However, saying that, there’s still room for your hospitality business to thrive via social media and to help gain more attraction to your service.
If anything, the hospitality industry is set to boom this year and for the next few years at least. Even though that may be the case, it’s still essential to make every opportunity count to help grow your company and enable the success it deserves. Make sure to use these tips to help improve your hospitality business this year.