Research has long told us that reputation drives revenue, and for a better reputation, we need higher guest satisfaction. In our last webinar, we explored the relationship between reputation management and revenue management and highlighted winning strategies to improve guest satisfaction, while also driving revenue.
Higher Guest Satisfaction = Higher Revenue
The keystone piece within your revenue strategies should always be guest satisfaction. One way to measure the impact of your revenue initiatives on your guest satisfaction is by looking at how guests rate your value in online reviews or guest surveys. If your value is perceived as high, this can boost online ratings, however, if your hotel is perceived as overpriced this can result in negative reviews and ratings.
One growing concern is the rise in hotel costs due to global inflation, which is reflected in higher rates, and a drop in service due to staff shortages. When we look at the first quarter of 2022 and the value perception, we can see that globally, the value perception is dropping by 3.0%. So, we are already seeing the effects of higher rates and lower quality on the guest experience.
How to Boost Higher Guest Satisfaction while Driving Revenue
Better guest reviews are a key driver for higher revenue. As a study by Cornell has proven, an increase in your Global Review Index™, the industry benchmark for online reputation, can result in an +0.89% increase in ADR, an +0.54% increase in occupancy, and a 1.42% increase in RevPAR. Here below, we outline five guest experience strategies, which will also drive your revenue.
Guest Intelligence for Smarter Business Decisions
To ensure your revenue initiatives are not hurting your online reputation, you need to align your marketing strategies with your guest satisfaction metrics. Then, benchmark your results against those of your competitors to know your key selling points. Look at your review data and ensure your marketing campaigns meet what your guests are liking about your property.
For example, if you score low on breakfast against your competitors, you should not promote a bed and breakfast promotion, but focus on any of your key selling points.
Processes & Workflows are Fundamental
To get positive reviews, you need a frictionless experience. To get a frictionless experience, you need streamlined operations. As guests are becoming less tolerant of mishaps, we cannot increase pressure on staff while dealing with leaner teams. It is imperative that you have the right workflows and processes in place to accommodate your revenue strategies.
You might have a wonderfully romantic package with rose petals, candlelight, and champagne. However, if you cannot guarantee the delivery of this package, then you will not only have lost revenue, but you will also have an unhappy guest and a negative review. For your revenue strategy to be a success, you need to make sure first that these can be operationally guaranteed.
Offer Timely Answers to Pre-Stay Queries
Traditionally, when we discuss the guest experience, we talk about it from an in-stay and post-stay point of view. However, we need to start looking at the guest experience across the guest journey and look at how we can optimize support to guests in the pre-stay phase.
Guests are facing many questions when looking and booking their next stay. Staff and contact centers get overwhelmed with queries about basic information, like check-in time or pet policies. These basic questions are essential for guests to complete their booking.
Automating these responses with a hotel chatbot will eliminate these frequently asked questions from your staff’s workload, so they can focus on delivering great guest experiences on-site. At the same time, you guarantee that no booking inquiry goes unanswered, driving website conversion.
Use Guest Communication to Drive Revenue
Clear guest communication and support are key drivers of guest satisfaction. You can enhance your guest communication strategies by exploring new channels to communicate with your guests, like WhatsApp and SMS. Try to engage with guests throughout the guest journey and create memorable touchpoints before they even set foot on your property. By using automation, you can streamline communication, while making it personalized. For example, send an SMS to your guests to let them know their transport is waiting for them at the airport. It takes away the stress of your guests and requires little effort from your side.
On the other hand, optimize engagement by segmenting your communication by guest type. The way you engage with your 1-night OTA guests will be different from the way you engage with your recurring VIP-guests or even your guests who booked five nights via your website.
Influence Your Value Perception via Management Response
Creating great guest experiences starts with setting the right guest expectations, and one way to manage expectations is via your management response to online guest reviews. Leverage this public space well to influence the buying cycle. For example, when guests praise your mattresses or ergonomic chairs, you can highlight how you have been investing in your equipment to ensure the on-site guest experience is optimal. Use your review response to subtly influence the guest’s perception of value.
In the end, we need to look at reputation and revenue across the guest journey, as a cycle. What happens in the look, book, pre-stay, and in-stay phase will eventually be reflected in your reviews in the post-stay phase. For great guest experiences that convert into higher revenue, you need streamlined operations, clear guest communication and support, and detailed guest intelligence.
Don’t miss our full webinar on Revenue & Reputation and find the recording here: