The Easy Way To Maintain Your Guest Database
According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), customer experience is the number one reason travelers use to select hotels. This often outweighs the prices and the location.
What’s more, the HBR says customers who have the best past experiences at your hotel spend 140% more in the future compared to those who had poor experiences.
What’s one of the best ways to improve the customer experience? Through your hotel’s guest database.
Today we look at the easy way to maintain your guest database to improve the customer experience.
Your Most Valuable Asset
Your guest database is one of your most valuable assets. (tweet this)
A well-maintained database includes not only demographic information, but purchase behaviors, guest preferences and survey feedback.
You can then use this information to develop marketing strategies to reach your customer base.
Since it costs about seven times more to acquire a new customer than to retain a current one, you can see the value of your guest database.
To really emphasize the importance of your customer data, we found one source says that 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers, and it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one satisfied.
Let’s dive into easy ways to grow and maintain your guest database.
Connect Your Systems
It’s easy to integrate software systems in today’s digital age.
Connect your hotel’s property management system to your email service provider. This allows you to set up automated emails to your guests.
Your property management system should include previous reservation information about your guests such as:
- Past stays
- Room and floor preferences
- Meal preferences
- Bed choices
- Type of room booked
- Reservation dates
- Demographic info
When you connect your email service provider to your property management system (PMS), you can build the relationship with your guests by using the info in your PMS to send marketing campaigns, tips and valuable information.
Utilize Your Website
Your website is a great place to collect emails. (tweet this) Make sure your email sign-up form is on all landing pages and available as an option when your guests make their reservation.
Remember that not everyone lands on your home page, so be sure to make your sign-up form visible everywhere.
Consider enticing guests to sign-up for your list with an incentive. For example, you might offer a voucher for a complimentary cocktail, appetizer or breakfast.
When it comes to your email subscribers, you also want to gather more than just the customer’s email address on your website form.
Assuming your email service provider and your PMS are connected, each time someone signs up for your email list, you gain a new guest profile complete with marketable information.
Or, if they are already in your system, their new information is added.
The trick with your website form is to ask for only the information you’ll use in your marketing and relationship-building. Don’t ask for too much or unnecessary items as customers are less likely to fill out a cumbersome form. Stick to five questions or less.
Here are some suggestions:
- Collect the subscriber’s birthday information so you can send a birthday email to them with a special offer.
- Ask about travel preferences. Make it easy with drop down choices. This helps you target guests with relevant information such as travel tips, videos and blog posts.
- Ask about room and meal preferences. This helps you meet their needs on an ongoing basis.
Don’t forget your social media platforms. Add sign-up forms there as well.
Create a Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program is another way to grow your guest database.
J.D. Power says that overall satisfaction with hotel loyalty/rewards programs has improved in the last year, and that members of these programs see great value in the programs.
When you sign guests up for your loyalty program, they should be automatically added to your database making it easier to reach them with strategic marketing campaigns.
Use Customer Surveys and Contests
Another super way to maintain your guest database is through the use of surveys and contests aimed at guest engagement.
Host your contests through social media and on your website to encourage customer sign-ups. For entry into the survey or contest, gather demographic information that you can use in your marketing.
For example, create a contest asking people to share their favorite family vacation photo. Ask them questions that relate to the topic. Not only can you see what type of vacation they like, you also get the relevant information to add to your database.
You can then use the information from the contest to market to families during the busy season.
Now, let’s look at a few extra benefits of maintaining your guest database.
Anticipate Your Guest’s Needs
Today’s marketing climate encourages hotels to build a relationship with its customers. This is done in two ways: on premise during their stay and digitally before and after their stay.
To anticipate your guest’s needs, you first have to know what they want and need. This happens by sending emails, surveys and promotions to your customers before and after their stay.
Consider these marketing options if you have a well-maintained database:
- Send a reservation confirmation email.
- A few days before their stay, send a welcome email with a list of activities and restaurants in the area.
- The day of arrival, send an email stating that their room is cleaned and ready for arrival at x time.
- After their stay, send a thank you email with an incentive for a future stay.
- Several days after the stay, send an invitation to complete a survey.
- Send rewards sign-up and balance updates information. Offer incentives.
You can use your database to improve your customer relationships and grow your business. It all starts with the easy ways to maintain your guest database mentioned in this article.
The digital world makes it easy to connect to hotel customers on an ongoing basis reaching them with the information they most need and want at just the right times.
Lastly, be sure to update your database at regular intervals. This can be done at reservation time, at check-in and on various online sign-up forms on your website, social media and through contests and surveys.
Do you have a website with an online contact form to help grow your database? If not, we can help!
At Hotel Propeller, we build functional, beautiful websites. You’ll find everything you need to attract guests to your website through your email marketing. Take a look at our showcase and contact us today.
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