Wrestling with Top 5 ways to Drive Direct Bookings in your Hotel Today
In 2019 with the dominance and presence of both Trivago and Bookings dot yeah’s visibility on both your TV and YouTube advertisements. It’s the perfect time to look at what you have to and need to do to attract more direct bookings straight to your hotel or via your own online / website booking engine.
Number 1 – Clear Offer
Always a winner for any advice, but make your direct booking offer, discount, perk or pricing vs the third party sites, clear, so clear that (like in the image above) the guests feels like a VIP just because they booked direct with you – make sure the booking journey is clear and concise too in line with the experience they might be used to with the aforementioned giants, who will book and confirm almost instantly
Number 2 – Tell them is cheaper
Too often when you book a room online, you will just assume its cheaper on your chosen online booking website, rate parity as we call it in the industry, means you can clearly tell people on your hotel website or at the time of bookings its 15% cheaper to book direct. This is an easy win, a key ingredient that allows the customer to have faith in booking direct with you, and a great way to garner the full rate and revenue from the customer.
Number 3 – Offer Loyalty
With the right Property Management System (PMS) you can will be able to offer loyalty to those who want to book direct – be that a key client, a wedding for next summer or just a special Easter offer with a little extra hidden cost saving.
Be sure that if your PMS has this feature, you use it, create your codes; BLUECHIP2019 for your key client, WEDDJB2020 for that wedding next year and EASTERSPC for your Easter offer, you can then clearly and definitively track these bookings to see the success of your promotion and how well your discounted or loyalty offer is going with those who are booking direct.
Number 4 – Highlight your USP’s & Upgrades
Do you have FREE Parking, is breakfast ALWAYS included, are you Dog Friendly, can you offer champagne on arrival, do you have a stand alone cottage …
Publish your USP’s and Upgrade options right in your booking screen or around your book now button. Make sure the guests can see what you want them to see or buy – sounds sneaky but if you have special offer on, then tell me, tell them – Executive Double for the price of a Standard Double, well you know what, I’ll put that in my basket.
A customer who wanted to book now, will be more inclined to spend a £ or two more if they feel they are getting something better than usual or an upgrade that doesn’t seem available to everyone or via your friendly booking dot come website.
Number 5 – Up-skill
Educate your staff
Number 5 in these lists tend to be staff related, but work together with your team to ensure guests know they can book direct and save, or upgrade or utilise a loyalty code.
If your reception team let Mr Smith book 3 weeks in a row via a third party site and don’t try an convert them to a loyal and direct customer – you might well loose out more often than you need.
On brand message is next time Book your Hotel Direct
Image using the Mackays Hotel Bar and Restaurant www.mckayshotel.co.uk who operate with Hop Software an all-in-one cloud-based hotel property management system. A Hotel booking engine is your number one source for allowing your guests to book direct at your hotel.