SiteMinder, the leading hotel acquisition platform for the hotel industry, exposes the ten main errors that hoteliers must avoid in order for their establishment to work properly
For Marco Rosso, regional director of SiteMinder in Spain, “it is essential that Spanish hoteliers act with expertise and knowledge. It is as important to act well as not to make small mistakes that can be fatal to growth and success. The key is to know your customers and your area of influence, make proper use of social networks and use the website as a showcase to attract new guests. ”
In the hotel industry, almost everything revolves around guests, who are the first to denounce the shortcomings of the establishments. At the same time, it is also the hoteliers themselves who find it difficult to use the right tools and strategies to grow and improve. These are the ten most common mistakes and some SiteMinder tips to avoid them:
1. Do not provide basic contact information
A website with an elegant and optimized design means nothing to the guest, if he can not find his address or phone number on the main page. Every hotel should have basic information on your website and place it in the user’s sight. Many travelers prefer to call to make their inquiries and receive an answer instantly. Also, that call may end up in a reservation, if the person who attends is a good seller. But if there is no phone number or contact e-mail on the website, a sale may be lost.
2. Automatically play music and videos on the web
Many people reserve their vacations between 9 in the morning and 5 in the afternoon, that is, during office hours. The last thing they need is for the computer or device to start playing songs or advertisements. They will close the website and are unlikely to return. The videos on the rooms are good because they help to know better the facilities and the rooms, but they should not be on the main page. You have to use images and simple descriptions to attract the customer as soon as you enter the web.
3. Misusing social networks
It is very positive to use social networks as a marketing channel, but it is important to do it correctly. The idea is to direct traffic to the web and reservation pages. A common mistake among hoteliers is to send visitors to your page to their social networks upon entering. How many people are going to return after this? It is much more efficient to do it the other way around: promoting accommodation on social networks and getting users to go directly to the hotel’s website after viewing images or videos.
4. Publish low quality photos
It does not make sense to invest in a wonderful web design, if the photos do not have quality. Travelers want to know what they will receive in exchange for their money. If they find pixelated, blurred or poorly framed images, they will not be willing to book. That is why it is not advisable to spare expenses in high quality photographs. Updating the images every two years or each time the site is remodeled is important. And of course, it is essential that the photographs used are real in order to avoid disappointment and criticism.
5. Include simple information in downloadable files
Who likes to download PDF files on your phone or computer? So, why force potential guests to do it? For example, if a traveler wants to see the menu of your hotel restaurant, you should be able to view it directly on the web. Forcing to download documents, conversions are penalized.
6. Connect with the wrong distribution channels
Before connecting with online travel agencies manually or through a channel manager, it is important to do some research. You have to look beyond the four or five most well-known channels and find the partners that best suit the market and the audience you want to attract.
7. Ignore the potential of the local area
When guests stay in a hotel they are simply ‘buying’ a room, but usually they also look for an ‘experience’ in that destination. For hotels, it would be a missed opportunity not to take advantage of it. It is important to create alliances with local companies and design promotions and packages related to events and attractions that may interest the clients.
8. Not wanting to listen (or respond) to comments
It is essential to take into account the opinions of guests, interact with them and maintain a good reputation of the brand to continue receiving reservations. The worst thing to do is not respond when guests leave reviews and opinions on sites like TripAdvisor or on their social networking pages. You have to respond to both positive and negative comments.
9. Do not pay attention to seasonality
The rate that people are willing to pay for a hotel room will depend on the trends of supply and demand over time. Seasonality is important and rates will have to be changed several times a year to reflect market behavior. This, together with the launch date of the packages and promotions, is an integral part of the sales and marketing plan.
10. Do not clean the rooms properly
A common complaint among guests is the dirtiness of the rooms or the hotel in general. Do not skimp on resources when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness. This is not only to promote the health and safety of all, but to avoid receiving an avalanche of negative opinions.
There are other inconveniences that could harm the hotel, which is why processes must be optimized to reduce risks and the possible costs derived from it. But it is also true that by following these tips and paying attention to the details, you can give a quality service, that customers return and even recommend that hotel.