Hotel recovery after lockdown
While we all hope the Covid-19 pandemic will soon be contained, unpredictable lockdown periods are still a worrying reality in Australia and around the globe. Hospitality was the most affected industry during these times. Lockdowns can often lead to complete closure of businesses and a general feeling of uncertainty among the community and potential clients. After enduring a year and a half of turmoil, hotel owners have become proficient at managing periods of uncertainty as well as intermittent lockdowns. Despite hotels being able to use adaptive management techniques and Covid-19 protocols during uncertain times, post-lockdown recovery is not easy.
As lockdowns are lifted, many hotels have two questions: ‘How do we get back cancelled reservations?’ and ‘How do we ensure that competitors don’t take these cancellations away from us?
Tips for hotel recovery after lockdown
You can check in with cancelled customers by phone.
Calling those who have had to cancel bookings can help you book future stays faster and more efficiently. Customers appreciate the personal touch of being able to speak with them directly. Your phone call to customers should be considered less intrusive than a sales call. Instead, it should be greeted with a warm greeting.
It is possible to convert cancelled bookings back into reservations by simply picking up the telephone. Your staff should be allowed to express their personalities and use their conversational skills when they call your cancellations and check in on lost customers. Your service will likely persuade them not to rebook with you again if they don’t do so.
Follow-up emails are a great way to engage with guests.
Your hotel should have both an email and a phone number to cancel cancelled bookings. You can use your email marketing software for targeting those who booked at your hotel during the lockdown. Send them a friendly reminder email. Let them know you are open to hosting them again. To add your personal touch, personalize emails and empathize.
Include information about Covid-19 hygiene standards in your email. Also, explain your flexible cancellation policy. Cancellations are no reason to cancel, and you can book again. Offer a complimentary bottle of wine or a discount code to make your hotel more appealing to guests who rebook. Email marketing is an effective strategy for repeat bookings. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.
Get a great deal and bounce back.
It is not surprising that people want to get out of their locked rooms again after a lockdown. The idea of a getaway is even more appealing after being locked inside. Potential customers may be hesitant to book as they fear that their booking might be cancelled or not be confirmed.
Local guests are a great way to attract customers to your hotel. Local people can be great audiences for those looking for winter escapes.
Offer a complimentary meal or wine, as well as a complimentary bed and breakfast to encourage guests to return to your hotel. This type of offer is likely to compensate for cancelled bookings that don’t come back. You can share your message with local people using your email marketing tool. Also, make sure you’re vocal about your offer on social media.
Reconsider your revenue management strategy.
Your revenue management can significantly impact the recovery of your hotel after a lockdown. You’ll be able to adapt your strategy to the unpredictable fluctuations in demand during the pandemic. These are some of the things you should consider when you negotiate revenue management during a Covid-19 pandemic.
- Implement total revenue management.
Revenue management is not just about revenue and room rates. It’s now about the customer journey and generating revenue from other aspects of the customer experience. Your staff should be able to up-sell experience, services, and especially food and beverages. In-house spending increases your hotel’s ability to impress guests and allows you to recover from a lockdown.
- You should prepare your hotel to adapt to changing demand patterns.
This article has already mentioned that the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the domestic market and even the state market. Online conferences have reduced business travel, while international travel has been eliminated. However, micro-stays are essential for the industry. Keep track of key trends and review your data. Learn what trends have emerged and fallen throughout the year. Use data and not guesswork to target the right markets
- Short-term forecast.
Utilize your hotel’s revenue management software to focus on the immediate future and not set your hotel up for long-term goals. Pandemics have created uncertainty that can lead to drastic changes in a matter of days. You should forecast two or three scenarios and be prepared for all eventualities.
Increase your sales of food and beverages
Focusing on your hotel’s food and beverage services during uncertain times can create a steady stream of revenue. Pandemic-era sales at your hotel should not only be made through rooms but also through food and beverage services. These are less affected by closing borders, for example. You can update your menu regularly, offer specials to draw locals back, and train your staff on up-selling. If you don’t already, consider offering delivery services. These extra efforts can help you get through the post-lockdown process more smoothly.