Not embracing entertainment, activities, events or retreats to add to the guest stay
We have already determined that guests want more out of their hotel. It’s why places like Mohonk Mountain House, Firehole Ranch, and Blackberry Farm command over $800/night. They aren’t just providing a roof and bed, they are providing an experience.
Experiences come in many shapes and forms. A memorable experience is achieved when the big picture vision and the small details are perfectly aligned, and actually resonate with your ideal guest. Entertainment, activities, events, retreats… these all play a big role in that.
If you’re thinking “we have those things, but they’re not doing much” then it’s time to revisit your offerings. Travelers’ wants and needs are constantly evolving and if you give them what you THINK they want and not what they ACTUALLY want, you won’t get very far.
Once you know your customer inside and out, you will have no problem creating experiences that call out to them. Embrace trends, nostalgia, and engage the senses in the most exciting ways you can think of!
The way you go about this doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are many ways to provide experiences that do not increase the price, but augment the impact of the stay and create massive value to your guests.
While in theory, collaboration with local businesses and brands sounds GREAT, the efforts often fall flat. It requires patience and persistence on both ends, and let’s face it – you’re busy!
But when collaboration is implemented properly, the payoff is huge. And it ties in closely with the point above.
You could collaborate with local artists to enhance parts of your property that could use some character, retail shops to do pop-up events, mixologists, chefs, and sommeliers for classes, designers & artisans to host workshops, yoga or wellness instructors… the possibilities are ENDLESS!
And the best part? You’re giving your guests what they want. To engage in a piece of the local culture. What better way to do that than through local people?
Not getting creative with your packages
Go above and beyond the ‘romance’ package please. This is your big opportunity to show off your property’s personality AND increase the monetary value of a guest!
Hotel Erwin knows what guests want, and they packaged it up perfectly in 6 different options for guests. All of these packages may not appeal to YOU, but they will appeal to Hotel Erwin’s ideal customer.
Unique packages also make for interesting stories for the press and travel publications, if you do something really cool!
Not playing to your strengths and differentiating yourself from the competition in a BIG way
News flash: when we’re scrolling through TripAdvisor, most hotels look the same. It’s only once we click on the listing that a story begins to unfold. What is the story being told about your hotel? Does it feel different than the hundreds of other hotels travelers are researching?
Positioning is a magical tool that only the most successful brands truly understand. You can’t be everything to everyone, so stop trying! As long as you continue to market to super general demographic groups, you will always be competing with everyone else marketing to those same people. The riches really are in the niches! Find your customer, find your success.
Not leveraging urgency, exclusivity, and other psychological motivators
If you google “FOMO” you will understand exactly how pervasive and powerful certain psychological motivators can be. A whole generation has united over the concept of ‘Fear of Missing Out’ and while this isn’t anything new, it can be used to great extents in the hospitality industry.
Urgency and exclusivity can be used in a variety of ways throughout the customer experience, and even more-so in the marketing process.
Instagram is where a lot of FOMO takes place. That’s because people are constantly sharing their beautiful travel photos. I am constantly bookmarking hotels and destinations that I want to stay at in the future because people I admire shared the picture.
Am I alone in that? Not in the slightest. People who value travel are always looking for their next exciting adventure and unique spots, and when one pops up from someone they trust, they're going to pay attention.
Ignoring locals on the slow days (weeks, or even months)
Perishability is a real problem. If your lights are on, your staff is on site, and your rooms aren't filled, you're missing out on business.
Is it possible that your hotel is surrounded by your ideal customer?
You have perishable space. You have local talent. And you have local potential customers with disposable income looking for something FUN to do on a Wednesday night. Not to mention, anniversaries and big birthday celebrations happen all week long (as much as we wish they were only on Friday & Saturday…)
It doesn’t have to be a full-on resource-sucking palooza. None of these suggestions are. It just has to be valuable and appealing.