So you want to know the secrets to boosting your direct channel game? It’s time to maximize profitability and tap into your demand. The key is to build your relationships with your customers first, on whatever platform they choose to book.
- Don’t rely on listing sites: When we look at hotels, vacation rentals, and casino-hotels one thing is clear, the industry leans on costly OTAs. Certainly, these channels have a place in strategy, but OTA’s are always a part of “doing business”. In our guide, The Essential Guide to Direct Bookings, we review 4 strategies with accompanying tactics that can help you smash the status quo to drive more direct bookings and revenue.
- Beware of data-hoarding: One thing data-hoarders have in common is capturing EVERYTHING. This habit can create complications when trying to make sense of your data for guest experience customization. As we discussed in our Guide to Personalization, the expectation for a high-touch and personalized guest experience is in demand. Collecting rates and dates won’t help in this effort. This is where the voice channel shines. By asking open-ended questions – agents can build an experience fit to the booker. What service!
- Perfect your booking process: If you aren’t prepared to book someone without a million hoops to jump through, there are about 100 different OTA sites and market competitors that are ready to capture that guest. It’s not just about streamlining your website booking process, its about your voice channel as well. Still putting people on hold? Unacceptable. That person, if they don’t hang up immediately, will use that time to search rates and competitors online. In this guide we dig into 5 tactics to reduce friction in your booking experience online and offline. Check them out here.
- Keep a strong pricing strategy: While during the slump of pandemic, discounts may have felt like an obvious choice, but they aren’t the only way to get people in the door. In our guide, Sam Hassanein from IDeaS Revenue Solutions, reinforces that your pricing strategy should be as diverse as your property. Just pricing and discounting based on room types will sell you short. Be sure to look at the full picture of your demand and choose low-cost alternatives to discounting like rewards programs or on-site add ons. Check out the tactics that can help you make the most profitable decisions here.
- Understand your true demand: Most only looked at booked data to measure demand, which is roughly 30%. Yet, there’s another 70% floating around with data points that can aid in identifying available customers and why you are losing them. By broadening your demand scope and measuring your booked and unbooked data alongside market trends, you’ll find yourself ready to make calculated revenue decisions.