Over the last several weeks of the blog series Effective Ways to Measure & Generate Demand, we discussed the following steps in creating an efficient, effective and long-term demand generation strategy;
- Understand your Product, Customer(s), and Value Proposition
- Demand generation within the OTA segment
- Demand generation within the Online Discount segment
- Demand generation by Building a Strong Online Reputation
In part V of this series, we will discuss demand generation by Building a Revenue Culture within your Hotel.
Chances are most demand generation for your hotel comes from the obvious departments such as: Sales, Marketing and Revenue Management. If you’re a smaller independent hotel, you may not even have all of the departments listed above which is a great reason to get your entire staff involved and engaged in generating revenue and demand for your hotel.
The first step is training and educating the staff on the hotel business. This should be a mandatory part of the on-boarding process for all new hires whether it’s a receptionist, restaurant employee or housekeeper. A mini session in the basics of Revenue Management is the perfect way to start by discussing the following:
*Supply & Demand including seasonality, statistics on the destination in general, and how your hotel is performing
*Market Segmentation and which segments are most important to your hotel
*Competitive landscape and how your hotel has a unique value proposition vs. the competitive set
*Cost of doing business, i.e.; Distribution costs, commissions etc.
*KPIs for the hotel
Once your employees have a basic understanding of the above, it’s time to train them on how they can become an integral part of the success of the hotel. Teach them to be revenue generators! Here are a few examples of how you can make revenue and demand generation activities part of the entire hotel staff.
Reception staff– We recommend you to make sure that they are collecting the correct data on each guest during check-in. Name, email, address, phone number as well as the method of booking, channel booked and market segment associated with the guest. Also flagging if the guest is repeat or not and what type of traveller they are (i.e., leisure, business, other). It’s extremely important to have accurate guest data for a number of reasons. First having a correct email address can allow your hotel to build a solid database in order to push promotions and offers. Second, having solid statistics on your guests is important to understanding your hotel. Where are your guests coming from, why are they coming and how often do they come? If they’re a repeat guest and have booked via an OTA, how can you convert that guest to be a direct booker the next time they make their reservation?
Restaurant staff: Breakfast is a great time to engage with guests. Train your restaurant staff to ask the correct questions while refilling the coffee. They should ask questions like:
- Is this your first time staying with us?
- What brings you to the area?
- Do you come to this city often?
These questions can lead to further engagement and conversations and show the potential of the guest coming back or even recommending the hotel to a friend or family member.
Provide your entire staff with some kind of promotional offer to extend to guests when booking again directly with the hotel or recommending the hotel. Types of promotions can be a discount off the public rate, breakfast included on the next stay, or an upgrade are just a few ideas. Create business cards for the staff to hand out to the guests that include these offers and track which offers work the best.
Lastly, in order to create a strong revenue culture throughout your hotel you must create goals, incentivise your staff and celebrate in success. Keeping your staff engaged will lead to happy employees and push them to step out of the box to contribute to the success of the hotel. It may also be a way for you as management to uncover some hidden talent within your staff. To conclude, demand generation does not have to come from the obvious. Creating a Revenue Culture within your Hotel can definitely assist in this process and is a great way to ensure that all employees are included in the success of the business.