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How to Increase Reservations as a Small Hotel

Posted on in Best practice

Any small hotel relies heavily on direct bookings to survive. Hotels can save commission costs, have better inventory management, and build deeper relationships with their customers by avoiding third-party booking services. We will look at how to increase direct reservations for your small hotel in this tutorial.

Secret #1: Optimize your website for direct booking

Each small hotel that wishes to boost revenue must have a website that is optimized for direct bookings. You can encourage more direct bookings and lessen your reliance on third-party booking platforms by giving guests a simple and seamless booking experience.

Making sure that your website is user-friendly and simple to use is the first step in optimizing it for direct booking. When describing your hotel's features and amenities, use clear, short language and make sure your website is mobile-friendly.

Next, make it simple for visitors to make straight reservations on your website. This could involve putting in place a reservation tool like OskarOS that enables visitors to quickly check for availability, choose the hotel type and dates they want, and finish their reservation with just a few clicks.

By providing special discounts or promotions to visitors who make direct reservations on your website, you can also encourage direct bookings. This can entail providing discounted hotel rates or freebies like breakfast or parking.

Offering customers a range of payment alternatives is an additional strategy for improving your website's direct booking functionality. Allowing credit cards, PayPal, and other online payment methods can help customers finish their reservations and can lower the possibility of canceled reservations.

To understand how visitors are interacting with your website and to pinpoint areas for development, make sure to monitor your website analytics. Make adjustments to your website and booking process in light of the data you collect by using tools like Google Analytics to track traffic, bounce rates, and conversion rates.

You may boost sales, lessen your dependency on third-party booking platforms, and give visitors a smoother and more pleasurable booking experience by optimizing your website for direct booking. Make sure your website is simple to use, facilitate booking, give special deals, offer a variety of payment choices, and monitor analytics for ongoing improvement.

Secret #2: Use social media marketing to stay in touch with guests

Small hotels can utilize social media as a potent tool to build their brand, engage with visitors, and encourage direct bookings. Hotels can establish a strong online presence and draw in new customers by using social media in a thoughtful way.

Hotels must establish a strong online presence across numerous social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in order to leverage social media efficiently. To do this, you must provide interesting content that appeals to your target market and advances your brand. To highlight the features, setting, and distinctive selling qualities of your hotel, you can utilize a range of material forms, including images, videos, and tales.

Hotels can utilize social media to advertise direct bookings in addition to developing a strong internet presence. For instance, you can design social media campaigns that provide special offers or bundles to visitors who make direct hotel reservations. You can encourage guests to make direct reservations by posting information on your hotel's facilities, specials, and packages on social media.

User-generated content is an effective strategy for promoting direct bookings and increasing social proof. You may highlight your hotel's amenities and services through the eyes of your customers by inviting them to post their experiences at your establishment on social media. Also, you may use user-generated content to advertise special offers and reductions for visitors who make direct hotel reservations.

Advertising on social media is a successful technique to expand your audience and encourage direct reservations. To advertise your hotel's services, specials, and packages to a particular audience, you can utilize social media advertising platforms like Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, and Twitter Ads. You may get the most out of your advertising budget by focusing your adverts on prospective guests who are most likely to make direct hotel reservations.

Finally, to foster customer relationships and promote direct bookings, it's critical to track and address social media feedback. It demonstrates your importance of customer satisfaction and dedication to delivering great service when you swiftly and professionally respond to comments made by visitors on social media. Building a solid online reputation and interacting with customers on social media will help you to entice them to make direct reservations at your hotel.

Small hotels may establish a strong internet presence, draw new guests, and set themselves apart from rivals by strategically using social media to promote direct bookings.

Secret #3: Offer exclusive deals and promotions

Offering value-added services that customers won't discover when booking through online travel agencies is one approach to entice them to book directly with your hotel. You can set your hotel apart from rivals and give visitors a reason to book directly with you by providing distinctive and customized experiences.

In the hospitality sector, personalization is a major trend, and customers are seeking distinctive, tailored experiences that take into account their own wants and needs. Think of providing individualized luxuries like a welcome drink, a free breakfast, or a special present upon arrival. On the basis of your visitors' likes and preferences, you may also make tailored recommendations for nearby restaurants, attractions, and activities.

Offering add-ons and packages that clients may only access when making direct hotel reservations is another approach to provide value-added services. A romantic trip package, for instance, can come with a couples massage, a bottle of wine, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. Alternatively, you may provide a family-friendly package that includes admission to a nearby theme park or zoo.

Loyalty programs are an excellent approach to encourage visitors to make direct hotel reservations. You may promote repeat business and create lasting relationships with your guests by providing special discounts, prizes, and benefits to devoted customers. Think about providing incentives like complimentary extras, upgraded accommodations, or free nights.

Building relationships with guests and encouraging direct bookings require personalized communication. Use guest information to tailor your correspondence with them, including newsletters, sales pitches, and thank-you emails following their visit. You can also engage with visitors in a more direct and personal way by using social media and messaging services.

Finally, providing outstanding customer service is essential to enticing visitors to make direct hotel reservations. Make sure your staff is prepared to go above and beyond to satisfy guests' needs and expectations by training them to deliver great service. Quickly address questions and issues raised by visitors, and offer tailored advice and support.

You can set your hotel apart from rivals and give customers a reason to book directly with you by providing value-added services and top-notch customer care.

Secret #4: Use email marketing to stay in touch with guests

The most efficient approach to communicate with customers and maintain their interest in your hotel is through email marketing. Here are some pointers for using email marketing to communicate with visitors:

  • 1. Create your email list: The first stage in email marketing is to create a list of email addresses belonging to past hotel visitors. You can accomplish this by rewarding visitors who join your mailing list with incentives like special offers or discounts.
  • 2. Segment your list: Once you have a list of email addresses, group them according to the preferences of your customers, past reservations, and other pertinent information. As a result, you may send more relevant and interesting emails that are specifically targeted for the recipient.
  • 3. Customize your emails: Refer to visitors by name and tailor the email's content to suit their tastes and passions. This might strengthen your relationship with visitors and persuade them to make additional reservations with you.
  • 4. Give customers unique deals and promotions: To entice customers to subscribe to your mailing list, use promotions. This might involve special offers, free upgrades, or savings on subsequent stays. These specials can encourage visitors to make direct reservations with you and offer value to their stay.
  • 5. Distribute pertinent content: In addition to promotions, send your email list pertinent content like listings for nearby events, tourist hotspots, and restaurants. By doing this, you can establish your hotel as a reliable resource for information and provide your visitors more of a benefit.
  • 6. Employ automation: Send customized emails depending on triggers like booking confirmations, check-in and check-out reminders, and requests for post-stay feedback by using email automation. This can help your email marketing campaigns run more smoothly and give your customers a smoother experience.

Always adhere to email marketing laws like GDPR and CAN-SPAM and make it simple for visitors to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Building closer ties with your customers through email marketing will make it more likely that they will make additional bookings.

Secret #5: Offer exceptional customer service

Offering outstanding customer service is one of the most crucial components in attracting more direct reservations for your small hotel. Happy visitors are more likely to submit favorable reviews, refer other people to your hotel, and stay there again in the future. In contrast, unsatisfied visitors can write bad reviews and harm your reputation, which would reduce the number of direct reservations.

To provide outstanding customer service, you must make sure that your visitors experience a sense of value and appreciation as soon as they check into your hotel. This can be accomplished by making a variety of modest gestures, like giving guests a warm greeting, delivering free drinks or snacks, and sharing information about nearby sights and events.

Responding to your visitors' needs and concerns is equally crucial. Make sure to respond as soon as possible and to the best of your ability if a guest has an issue or complaint. This might demonstrate to your visitors that you care about their experience and assist in resolving problems before they become more serious.

You may provide outstanding customer service through your website and online channels in addition to face-to-face contacts. This calls for rapid responses to questions and comments, accurate and thorough descriptions of your hotel's features, and an intuitive online booking and payment process for visitors.

The visitor experience can be enhanced and a loyal client base that will frequently make direct hotel reservations can be developed by providing outstanding customer service. In the end, this may result in more direct reservations and more earnings for your small hotel.

Secret #6: Utilize online travel agencies (OTAs) strategically

Online travel agencies (OTAs) might be a useful source of bookings for your small hotel, even if it's crucial to concentrate on boosting direct bookings. To make the most of OTAs' advantages and cut down on their expenses, it's crucial to employ them carefully.

Using OTAs to fill in the holes in your booking schedule is one tactic. For instance, you can post some rooms on OTAs to get last-minute reservations if you have a sluggish period coming up or have had trouble filling them. You may obtain additional income as a result of this that you might not have otherwise.

Using OTAs to reach new markets and audiences is another tactic. Listing your hotel on OTAs can help you enhance your visibility and draw new visitors who might not have discovered your hotel otherwise. Many travelers use OTAs to search for and book lodgings. To receive the most return on your investment, it's crucial to pick the OTAs that are most likely to draw in your target market.

You should carefully analyze the charges and fees related to listing your hotel on these platforms if you want to use OTAs wisely. Bookings booked through certain OTAs may incur commissions or other costs, which can reduce your revenues. Determine which OTAs give the most value for your hotel by weighing the expenses and advantages.

Finally, even when using OTAs, it's crucial to have a strong presence on your own website and other direct booking channels. By doing this, you can encourage visitors who find your hotel through an OTA to make future reservations directly with you rather than using the OTA in the first place.

You may fill in booking gaps, reach new markets and audiences, and increase revenue for your small hotel by carefully leveraging OTAs. Yet it's crucial to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages and to keep up a strong presence on your own direct booking channels.

Secret #7: Implement a flexible cancellation policy

Due to uncertainties surrounding travel restrictions and the COVID-19 outbreak, travelers are frequently hesitant to make hotel reservations in the current situation. You may assist allay these worries by having a lenient cancellation policy, which will also increase the number of people who choose to reserve a stay at your modest hotel.

Up until a set amount of time before their intended arrival date, guests that have flexible cancellation policies can usually cancel their reservations without incurring fees. You might, for instance, waive cancellation fees if guests cancel up to 24 or 48 hours before to their scheduled arrival. This might reassure visitors that they won't be charged extra to cancel if their travel plans change.

Having a lenient cancellation policy in place can also encourage repeat business from your visitors. A flexible policy might help to reduce any anger or resentment a customer may have toward your hotel if they must cancel their reservation due to unavoidable circumstances. This may persuade them to make additional reservations with you and spread the word about your hotel to others.

The possible costs and effects of establishing a flexible cancellation policy should be carefully considered, though. If you can't find a replacement guest to take the room's place after a last-minute cancellation, you may lose money. Finding the right policy for your hotel requires weighing the advantages of a flexible policy against any potential costs.

It's crucial to make your cancellation policy obvious to guests in addition to being flexible. Make sure your policy is clearly visible on your website and in the emails you send out upon booking. You might also think about confirming reservations and reminding guests of your cancellation policy through email a few days before to their expected arrival.

Establishing a lenient cancellation policy will help you win your customers' confidence and loyalty while allaying their fears related to travel uncertainty. Nonetheless, it's crucial to carefully weigh the prospective expenses and make sure that guests understand your policy.

Secret #8: Use targeted advertising to reach potential guests

Reaching out to potential visitors who might be interested in staying at your small hotel can be accomplished with targeted advertising. You may boost the likelihood that your advertising will be viewed by those who are most likely to book a stay at your hotel by targeting particular demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram are one way to use tailored advertising. By using these platforms, you may make advertising that are specifically displayed to individuals based on their interests, habits, and demographics. You may, for instance, choose to advertise to customers who have lately expressed an interest in traveling or who have previously reserved a room at a hotel of the same caliber.

Google Ads is another method for using targeted advertising. You can create tailored advertising using Google Ads that are displayed to users who are looking for particular keywords associated with your hotel. If you run a small hotel in San Francisco, for instance, you might develop advertisements that appear when users search for "small hotels in San Francisco."

Also, it's crucial to think about the frequency and timing of your advertisement. In times of high travel demand or when there are nearby events or attractions that can attract tourists, you might wish to step up your promotional efforts. Retargeting visitors who have already visited your website or expressed interest in your hotel is another option you might want to think about.

Knowing your target audience and the kinds of messaging and graphics that will appeal to them is crucial when developing targeted advertising. To make sure you're getting the best return on your investment, you should also regularly analyze the effectiveness of your advertising and make changes as necessary.

You may raise awareness of your small hotel and attract potential customers who are most likely to make a reservation by employing customized advertising. To generate personalized advertising that are displayed to people based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics, think about leveraging social media platforms and Google AdWords. Just make sure you closely evaluate your performance and tweak as necessary to make sure you're receiving the greatest outcomes.

Secret #9: Encourage guest reviews and feedback

Encouragement of reviews and feedback from visitors can be a potent technique for drawing more visitors to your small hotel. While negative reviews might offer insightful criticism that can help you improve your operations and the guest experience, positive reviews and ratings can assist establish credibility and trust with potential guests.

You might want to think about developing a guest review program to persuade visitors to provide ratings and feedback. This could involve inviting visitors to post reviews on well-known review websites like TripAdvisor, Google, or Yelp in follow-up emails sent to them after their stay. You may also think about providing rewards like discounts or room upgrades to visitors who submit reviews.

Encouragement of reviews and feedback from visitors can be a potent technique for drawing more visitors to your small hotel. While negative reviews might offer insightful criticism that can help you improve your operations and the guest experience, positive reviews and ratings can assist establish credibility and trust with potential guests.

You might want to think about developing a guest review program to persuade visitors to provide ratings and feedback. This could involve inviting visitors to post reviews on well-known review websites like TripAdvisor, Google, or Yelp in follow-up emails sent to them after their stay. You may also think about providing rewards like discounts or room upgrades to visitors who submit reviews.

Finally, remember to use customer comments and reviews as a tool to enhance your business practices and the visitor experience. Review customer reviews frequently to spot trends or areas for improvement. This can be updating your amenities or services, responding to particular visitor complaints, or coaching staff on how to improve the guest experience.

You may gain the trust and credibility of prospective customers by promoting customer reviews and feedback. You can also use this information to enhance your business practices and the guest experience. Consider developing a guest review program, streamlining the review procedure, responding to reviews promptly and professionally, and utilizing customer feedback to enhance your hotel.

Secret #10: Offer a personalized guest experience

Offering a tailored visitor experience is one of the best ways to draw in new customers and keep existing ones. To do this, you must go above and beyond to customize your services and amenities to each visitor's unique needs and tastes.

Gathering information about your guests is the first step in providing a customised experience for them. Name, age, interests, destination, and any unique demands or needs they may have are all possible inclusions. You can gather this data by asking guests directly or by conducting a pre-arrival survey.

When you have this data, use it to make each visitor's experience unique. This can be presenting personalized welcome gifts, planning tailored tours or activities based on visitors' interests, delivering personalized in-room amenities, or customizing your restaurant menu to accommodate visitors' dietary restrictions.

Predicting visitors' requirements before they inquire is another technique to provide a customized visitor experience. This could be supplying a variety of reading materials based on the interests of the visitors, providing charging cables for guests' electronic devices, or having extra pillows or blankets in the room for guests who want a cozier sleep.

When you have this data, use it to make each visitor's experience unique. This can be presenting personalized welcome gifts, planning tailored tours or activities based on visitors' interests, delivering personalized in-room amenities, or customizing your restaurant menu to accommodate visitors' dietary restrictions.

Predicting visitors' requirements before they inquire is another technique to provide a customized visitor experience. This could be supplying a variety of reading materials based on the interests of the visitors, providing charging cables for guests' electronic devices, or having extra pillows or blankets in the room for guests who want a cozier sleep.

Conclusion

For small hotels trying to boost revenue and gain control over their inventory, direct reservations are crucial. You may entice more visitors to book directly with your hotel by optimizing your website, providing enticing promotions, utilizing social media, utilizing email marketing, and providing great customer service. Keep in mind that every direct reservation reduces your commission costs and strengthens your bond with your customers.


How can OskarOS help me?

So, first of all: You’ve come to the right place! We are building OskarOS into a very flexible, agile and simple to use software platform with appointment scheduling, online booking, and ressource reservation management at its core. We are a startup based in Germany, our founders have previously built other startups in the service and platform fields, so we know the hustle of managing day-to-day operations and what we are doing. When you use our product or speak to us, you will feel why you should be working with us. There will always be someone to talk and we will be working with you to find the best possible solution to your particular challenges. We are currently pre-launch, so the best you can do right now is to sign up for our early access program and join 200+ other small and medium sized businesses as the first users of our product. Our vision for OskarOS is to deliver enterprise-grade software at an affordable price!

Want to learn more? Check out also the following 5 blog articles:

So what are the various applications of our software?

OskarOS is a flexible platform that provides a variety of scheduling and booking software solutions for companies in many industries. OskarOS has you covered for anything from childcare scheduling software to tour operator software.

OskarOS offers small hotel booking software, furniture and stage rental software, and a camping reservation system for companies in the hospitality sector. A hotel reservation software is also available from OskarOS to assist businesses in managing their bookings and reservations.

OskarOS provides a booking calendar for fitness classes, booking software for yoga studios, appointment management for photo studios, and a patient scheduling system for organizations in the medical and wellness sector. Moreover, OskarOS offers dental practices, hair and nail salons online booking software for their services.

OskarOS offers appointment scheduling and booking systems for tutoring sessions, scheduling software for driving schools, and course scheduling and class booking software for companies in the education sector.

With its government scheduling software, OskarOS also serves enterprises in the public sector. Pet sitters can utilize its pet sitter booking software. Even booking software for art classes, event venues and sports facilities is available with OskarOS.

Businesses can streamline operations, enhance customer experience, and manage reservations and bookings effortlessly using OskarOS. Whatever your requirements are for scheduling or booking, OskarOS has a solution.

Businesses can streamline operations, enhance customer experience, and manage reservations and bookings effortlessly using OskarOS. Whatever your requirements are for scheduling or booking, OskarOS has a solution.

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