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Are you doing these 7 Fundamentals in your Hotel and Resort Accommodation Business…

Are you doing these 7 Fundamentals in your Hotel and Resort Accommodation Business…

About 14 years ago I undertook some training as part of a franchisee training programme that focussed on helping business improve their bottom line. Much of that training stays with me today and I apply it regularly into our own Accommodation business here in Rainbow Beach.

So today I thought I would put together what I see as being the 7 things you could right now to improve your business performance without having to spend a cent

We work with many accommodation clients and most of them have at least heard me talk about some of these things however I have never documented them. These key strategies or functions when applied will make a difference. We have tested and measured these in our own business so am confident when you implement them you will see similar results.

We hear so much about online marketing, websites, traffic, Google and so on that we often forget about some of the basic fundamentals that are also critical to our success. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype and day to day functions that we simply forget to do the basics.

Here are 7 key things you can do right now that will make a difference.

1. Handle email enquiries effectively and professionally.

We all spend significant funds to have people visit our website so you need to do this correctly.

– The best way to handle an email enquiry is to pick up the phone and call the person directly. Some times this is not possible, however we have proven in our own business we will increase our booking rate by 53% if we do this. When most people send an email enquiry they are still not sure of what they really want. Often they are unsure of numbers coming, dates, how long etc. By speaking with the person your likely hood of getting the booking is much greater. It is also easier to handle the price objection. Often when we email we give a price, however we could be flexible on it if only given the chance.

– Design a good quality email template with links back to your website and ideally a video. Include images about the resort and the area, including things to do and see and as much information about why people should have a holiday with you. Often people enquire to a number of places so just giving them the basics is often never enough. To do this set up a standard email or email signature within your emailing system

– Respond to emails as quickly as you can. The slower you are to reply the higher the likely hood of your losing the booking.

2. Develop a phone answering script.

Now I hear you all thinking what a lot of rubbish. I can assure you a professional well presented phone manner is very important. Try using this one “ Hello/Hi, Thankyou for calling Noosa Beachside Villas, this is Michelle” Short to the point and now opens the conversation up for the caller. Too Often I hear “Noosa beachside Villas, Michelle speaking”. I am sure you see the difference.

3. Record all bookings on a booking enquiry form

(See link to download off the website) This form needs to include all of the information you need when taking a booking. Developing a booking form when we took over our accommodation business was one of the first things we did. Too often we were not getting the information we needed. It became even more important when I wanted reception staff to collect email addresses. It also made sure we got credit card details for every booking as well as where they found out about us. This simple change meant jobs only had to be done once with next to No errors.

4. An Offer for leaving guests.

When guests are leaving make sure you give them a mini info pack. You decide what you want in it. At a minimum you want to include a Thankyou note as well as an offer for when they return again. Make sure the offer is in off season only, represents real value and make it exclusive only for them.

We find this works really well and we have calls every day coming from past customers using these. When you combine them with regular contact via an email newsletter that reminds them you are still there it works really well.

5. Automated Thankyou letter after the client has returned home

Most booking systems enable you to send automated emails once a client has checked out. Sending an email letter or one in the post thanking someone for staying with you is very powerful. It certainly gets them thinking. In this letter I would point people to some of the review websites like Google or Trip Advisor and ask them for a review. Remember it is another point of contact and one that reinforces the lovely holiday they have just had with you.

6. Keep your website up to date

Now for some of you this is quite difficult as you do not have the ability to edit your site. Either way it is critical that your website information is up to date. Recently I did a survey of 23 resort websites and I found that all but 3 of them had out of date information on them. Your website today is the lifeblood of your business so you need to ensure it is accurate and up to date. I would encourage you to lock away 20 mins a week to ensure this is the case or allocate it to someone you trust.

7. Keep a Smile on your Dial

This is just important as the others if not more so. People when they go away for a weekend or a week are excited when they arrive at their destination. The last thing they want is someone looking at them who is letting their bad day show! (Now I know none of you have done this!) So keep a smile on the dial no matter how difficult it is and ensure the checking in guest is felling comfortable and remains excited.