The best sign of a great bed and breakfast or hotel business is having repeat guests. By giving your visitors a great experience, this will hopefully make them eager to return, which is just as important as attracting new business. What can you do to make sure that every person who steps through your doors leaves ready to come back in a moment’s notice?
1. Surprise and delight
As clichéd as it may sound, going the extra mile for your customers is something that doesn’t go unnoticed and really pays off. Not only do you get a personal sense of satisfaction, but your customer is far more likely to stay again and recommend you to others.
On top of your great hospitality, give your guests further reason to come back and stay. It can be a big gesture, like hiring a special guest chef over a weekend, or personal touches dotted around guests’ rooms will remind them that they’re thought of, such as leaving them welcome chocolates on their pillows or having a whole array of herbal teas as well as the standard builders’ tea available to them.
2. Make them feel like your only guest
There are so many ways to make your guests feel valued. For example, you could drum up business by offering some fantastic offers in order to bring in some low season business, and could contact your previous customers first to make them feel special. You may recall a couple who mentioned they were planning on returning to your area in February– why not get in touch and give them a heads up on your Valentine’s weekend offer which includes a bottle of their favourite wine?
If you take great pride in the food you offer and need to trial your latest menu, you could ask some guests to sample your new dishes during their stay. Not only will they love the offer of free food but the fact that their opinion is so important to you will mean so much more.
3. Encourage feedback
When the time comes to wave your guests off after a great stay, and they’re ready to head off home, be sure to ask them how their stay was. Check that everything was to their satisfaction – simply having a great stay will entice them back!
However, sometimes things can go a little pear-shaped. If a guest has a slightly less than perfect stay for whatever reason, then try to sort out any problems they might have had so they still go home as happy as possible.
4. Keep in touch
Once your guests have enjoyed their stay at your B&B, you’ll want to keep in touch with them after they leave. They may find themselves wanting to return purely based on the experience they had but you could always give them a little nudge into booking another stay.
Lucky for you, there are several ways to keep in touch once your guests depart – the most important of which is asking them to sign up to your email newsletter. When it comes to check-out time, you should ask all of your visitors if they’d be interested in receiving your email newsletter on a monthly basis, for example. The advantages you can offer include discount stays, half-price afternoon teas and the like, whilst making sure these deals are exclusive to the newsletter.
If you’d like to know more about what makes a great email newsletter, then read our guide to writing brilliant emails here. What’s more, eviivo’s My Guest Manager is designed to help you manage all of your guest communications so you can send guests personalised emails to make them feel even more special!
5. Be social with your guests
In the modern era, one of the best ways to touch base with your former guests is to engage with them on social media. It’s a great place to build relationships with guests – old and new – as well as sharing images, asking for feedback and generally showing your fun side! As you build a rapport with the host of people there, they’ll trust you more and more, and will hopefully go on to book another stay.
Once you’ve set up your social media profiles, how do you let people know that they exist? Here are a few great places to showcase them:
- On your email newsletter
- In your email signature
- On your website
- On your business cards
- On any other online pages (e.g. Trip Advisor)
6. The online word of mouth
TripAdvisor is another great place to stay in touch with guests who have stayed with you before. As a website with over 160 million users who share reviews of guesthouses, hotels and the like, it’s a very relevant place to build up a reputation.
If a user leaves a good review then be appreciative and reply to them; similarly, if a user leaves a bad review of a stay at your guesthouse, reply to them. Reassure them you are taking their feedback seriously and that you will look into it in more detail
Perhaps you could entice them back to give your guest house another go? If customers can see that you take complaints just as seriously as they do, then you will find it easier to turn a negative review into a positive one – it shows you really care about them and your reputation.
Becoming best buddies with your B&B guests is a great way to see them come through your front door time and time again. Remember, it’s the little things that go a long way to make you stand head and shoulders above your competition!
eviivo know that managing the needs of your customers can take up a lot of your time, but eviivo are here to help! Our award-winning product, eviivo suite, is designed to make life as easy as possible for independent hoteliers and property owners, so you have time for the more important things, like going the extra mile for your guests.