What should we be thinking about in the hospitality industry? How do we assure long-term financial viability? Well the answer has not really changed since the dawn of Marketing.
“Long-term financial viability comes when someone–in our case, guests–gladly pay for our offerings.” Wise words from Trevor Stuart-Hill of Revenue Matters. But how do we assure that is the case. Stuart-Hill details 5 areas to scrutinize in order to maximize opportunity. Making sure these areas are genuinely customer-centric is the goal.
Let’s take the list one by one.
1) Policies
2) Pricing Schemes
3) Online Presence
4) Guest Engagement Practices
5) Promotional Activities

1) Policies-
I remember distinctly pulling into a resort hotel at about 6:30 pm after a long day of touring. The idea was to refresh for the evening before heading back out the next day. The pool looked beautiful and so inviting. I couldn’t wait to jump in! But, the pool closed at 7:00 PM. By the time we checked in and changed our clothes, it was too late to take a swim. I was left with disappointment rather than delight.

We get that sometimes budgets are tight and trade-offs need to be made. But, it is in your best interest to make sure your policies support your guest’s needs. In a resort area, it would seem that that patrons might want the pool to be open later than 7:00 PM.

2) Pricing Schemes-
Understanding what guests are willing to pay for is important! This comes down to really understanding your segment, your location and your product offerings. When you can offer something no one else can, and that difference is valued (a hot bar scene, a restaurant attached to a limited service hotel, proximity to a beach or even free parking) your pricing structure can and should reflect your advantage. The key is to communicate that advantage in a way that potential customers see the benefit. But value is key. Walking distance to the beach probably is not super important in Maine in January. But proximity to a ski hill might be!

3) Online Presence-
We have all been there. A beautiful website with amazing pictures and quotes from satisfied customers. You can’t wait to try the restaurant, hotel, casino, whatever! Or the opposite experience – a confusing website where you cannot find what you need or the functionality is just not there! The menu loads slowly or you cannot find the number to ask a question or make a reservation. Or there are not enough pictures and you just cannot figure out whether the property is luxury or mid-scale and whether they are catering to foodies, singles, tourists, families or some other group.

The moral – make sure your website puts your best foot forward! It is the first place a potential customer will go to learn about what makes you different. Make sure they close out their browser with a reservation or at least wanting to learn more.

4) Guest Engagement Practices-
What happens when your guest walks in the door. I remember being in France. In every region from Paris to Nice to Normandy, I was greeted with Bon Jour or Salut the second I crossed the threshold. It was welcoming, it made me believe they wanted me in their store and it made me comfortable to just poke around. And believe it or not, many times that led to a sale. So if you look hard at your establishment, are you making your guests comfortable, from the second they walk in? Do they have help with their luggage? Are they being guided towards check in? Do they have a drink at their table as soon as possible? In general, are you maximizing their guest experience? Something little like saying hello can enhance guest satisfaction which can lead to additional sales, word of mouth and repeat business.

5) Promotional Activities
Are you sending them the messages they want to here in an environment where they are ready to receive them. There are so many options! Newsletters, Google ads, Groupon, email promotions. The guideline here is to make sure your vehicle, offer and brand image are aligned. For example, it may not make sense to put a 5 star hotel offer for a free night in the PennyShopper.

Source1Purchasing is a company that focuses on driving revenue through the purchasing process. If you want to increase revenue and guest satisfaction through best practices and smarter purchasing contact one of our experts.