Leverage a Mobile Property Management System to Drive Revenue for Your Hotel Now & Into Recovery
Travelers might be emerging from the COVID lockdowns, but that does not mean hotel brands are out of the woods. Hotels are facing an indefinite low-season, driven by the political and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, a recent survey of almost 500 hoteliers conducted by StayNTouch, ReviewPro and Fuel, uncovered a pervasive pessimism about their recovery timeline:
Only 13% of respondents believed that they would fully recover in occupancy and RevPar in the next six months, while 58.7% of hoteliers thought a full recovery would take over a year. Fortunately, mobile-PMS technology can offer hoteliers a way to get the most out of every guest by boosting ancillary revenue and enhancing the guest experience.
Your New Hotel Marketing Strategy
To Gain Revenue, Focus on Adding Value Rather than Slashing Rates
When faced with a prolonged low-season, many hotels try to ride it out by cutting rates to increase occupancy. In the same survey, we found that about 60% of the respondents cut their rates in response to the pandemic, with 12% cutting rates by over 40% (!!).
Unfortunately, this strategy of drastically cutting rates is deeply mistaken: Demand for travel is being depressed by widespread health concerns and outright travel bans, not overpriced rates.
Slashing rates won’t increase occupancy if customers aren’t traveling because they fear for their health. And cutting rates can have a long-term adverse effect on your bottom line:
Guests who only visit your property to take advantage of reduced rates probably won’t spend money on meals, room upgrades or amenities, are less likely to visit your property once rates return to normal. And if you cut your rates too steeply, it can begin to affect your brand image, making it more difficult to increase them once demand finally picks up.
Instead, hoteliers should focus on promoting upgrades and amenities to add value to the guest experience, and ancillary revenue to the hotel’s bottom line. This ancillary revenue can really add up:
According to mashable.com, an average 150-room hotel utilizing a targeted upsell program can expect a 5-20% conversion rate, resulting in upto $65,000/yr in additional revenue.
The Key to Success is to Know Thy Customer….and Action Automation!
But in order to run promotions that have an impact, you have to have a thorough understanding of your guests. This means understanding who your guests are, why they come to your property, and what their needs are once they arrive.
A mobile, cloud-based PMS lets you build nuanced and accurate customer profiles based on data collected in your guests’ Stay Cards. These profiles can segment your guests into detailed buyer personas based on their preferences, behavior, and rate sensitivity, and ultimately be used to send targeted, automated messages directly to your guests’ mobile device. Hoteliers can use their guest-facing mobile check-in platform to increase ancillary revenue by offering guests room upgrades, amenities, monetized early check-in or late check-out, or specialized loyalty offers.
It’s important to stress that “automated” does not mean “impersonal.” These offers are targeted, in-the-moment sales pitches, based on comprehensive data about your guest’s stay history, buying habits and preferences. Unlike the generic “upsell” conversation at the front desk, a mobile PMS can send your guests personalized, image-based messages at the right touchpoint to make an impact.
What Else Can You Do? Create a Loyalty Program That Caters to Your Guests’ Needs
Travel is starting to pick up in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s primarily rebounding in areas that are rural and close to the travelers’ homes. International flights are out, road trips are in, even RVs are making a comeback. By and large, guests are sticking with what they know.
In this environment, a targeted customer loyalty program can be an invaluable tool to boost occupancy and increase revenues. Loyalty programs with perks created from detailed guest profiles can bring long-time customers to your property when they would have otherwise stayed home, and get them to spend more on amenities and upgrades once they arrive. And by introducing your established customers to more of what your hotel has to offer, you can entice them to spend more once demand and occupancy eventually picks up.
Just like with upgrades and amenities, a mobile PMS can help you craft customizable loyalty packages based on guest personas, while allowing your guests to access their loyalty benefits directly from their mobile device.
Forecasting in the Hotel Industry:
Manage Rates Remotely to Capitalize on Sudden Changes in the Market
Even though the world is starting to reopen, hotels still face a considerable amount of uncertainty: new lockdowns or reopenings, or sudden changes in the spread of coronavirus can have a dramatic effect on local hospitality markets. A cloud-based, mobile PMS lets your revenue managers adjust rates and availability from anywhere on the go, letting them react instantly to market trends or the latest news in health and social distancing.
It can also give your GM instant access to hotel operations, so they can address problem areas and manage their staff 一 even while not on property.
Mobility Can Bring Relief to the Post-COVID Low Season
Lingering lockdowns, social distancing requirements, and widespread concerns about health and hygiene have turned the post-COVID recovery into a seemingly unending low-season but that doesn’t mean hotels are without recourse. By investing in a mobile-PMS, hoteliers can make the most out of every guest, both in terms of revenue generated and enhancements to the guest journey.
Learn more about StayNTouch’s mobile hotel PMS Rover and see how this tool along with Zest Mobile Check-In & Zest Station Kiosk can help change the way you do business while enhancing the guest experience.