“See you next time,” is a common phrase spoken cheerfully by many hoteliers as guests leave the property after a stay. And, post-Covid, hoteliers will soon be getting what they wish for. Our latest survey results, which include responses from more than 10,000 travelers across 10 countries, show that for many hoteliers, your past guests may soon be returning to stay at your hotel.
Our survey results reveal that 68 percent of travelers looking to book a hotel feel more comfortable doing so at one they’ve stayed at before.
We surmise that guests will feel more comfortable at a familiar hotel because they have gotten a sense for the hotel’s cleanliness and layout and are confident that it will meet their needs, even if cleaning requirements and social distancing measures are more strict.
This is a very positive sign for hoteliers, especially those that have maintained their guest databases, because it means that they can drive direct bookings from past guests. By leveraging your guest database, you will be able to accelerate your hotel’s recovery and avoid sharing the revenue with an OTA. Also, it is well known that repeat guests spend more money than new guests.
For example, one study shows that repeat customers spend 67 percent more than a new customer. Another survey found that a company’s top ten percent of customers (who are repeat customers) spend three times more per transaction than the other 90 percent of customers. In other words, repeat guests are your most profitable segment.
In order to market to repeat guests, however, you must treat them differently in your outreach. Segment your database by past stays or lifetime value and ensure that your messaging speaks to the target. Call out your guests’ status in the email and ensure they know they’ll be treated like VIPs when they walk through the door.
If they book with you, ensure that the pre-stay email speaks to them as previous guests. For example, you can say that you can’t wait to welcome them back to the hotel. You might have made changes since their last visit as a result of Covid-19, so let them know what they can expect. For example, “We know you likely enjoyed our rooftop bar during your last stay, but it’s closed until Fall, unfortunately, due to Covid-19. However, we are serving drinks by the pool now, in a safe, socially distanced manner.”
When guests arrive on property, welcome them back warmly. Try to personalize their welcome based on data from your arrivals report, if you’re a Revinate customer, or your guest database. For example, if they visited during the fall last time and the leaves were changing, tell them that the trees are going to look pretty different during this stay. Or if they visited over a holiday last time, acknowledge that you loved celebrating with them and are thankful that they chose to return.
To learn more about how travelers are thinking about their next trips, check out the full results of our survey, with details broken down by region and country.