Most hotels and short term rentals managers want to increase the volume of direct bookings to decrease the commissions paid to online booking channels.
But how can we do it? or where should we start? We will help you!
Own website: more and more the final customer is looking for automatism and speed in the booking process, so it is important that your unit has a website capable of receiving them
However, it is important that the customer is able to finalise the booking on your website at the moment they are psychologically available to buy. Completing contact forms and then receiving more information about prices and availability is not the ideal solution these days. The customer wants to book immediately and will not wait to find out whether or not there is availability for the dates they want.
SEO: It is important that with a simple search the customer finds your website. Think about your behaviour as a consumer: you don't go to the fifth page of Google looking for units to book and it is very likely that your customers don't either. That's why it's so important that your website is built correctly, as well as optimised for search engines (SEO) so that it ranks high in Google searches.
Informative Website: Use the website to pass on the information you think is most relevant to the end customer. Online channels standardise their presentation texts. The website can be the ideal opportunity to create your message and give your brand a voice.
Direct contacts: If you receive a call with an availability request, try to close the booking on the spot. If the customer called you because they are interested in your unit, make the most of this direct contact and make the reservation.
Social Media: Be present on social media. More and more, social media are used as search engines, so meet the final customer and establish your online presence. If you know your customer spends hours on social media, post pictures of your unit to draw attention to your unit. Attention: if a customer sends you a message, don't take hours or days to respond, because this time could cost you the reservation. Additionally, if the customer asks for availability and rates, don't send a message saying that you can find this information on the website, try to convert the reservation this way, even if you have to make a phone call to get private data such as credit card number. Instant chat tools (like whatsapp) are increasingly used in place of emails, so set up a whatsapp business account and keep in direct contact with your customers.
Incentives: If you have a person or team responsible for bookings, work with incentives. This makes the employee feel more motivated to convert possible reservations or even book more expensive typologies. For this, all you have to do is create an upsell table informing the person/team what percentage they will earn by converting each reservation or more expensive typology.
Offer special conditions on direct bookings: you may consider giving a discount or a free upgrade so that the customer feels impelled to book directly. Don't forget that it is as important to attract new customers as it is to keep regular customers, so you should apply these same commercial gestures to returning/repeated guests so that they continue to book with you.
Ask for a free analysis of your business and we will help you to reduce your dependence on online sales channels, increasing your direct bookings.
Talk to us.