A great way to improve your business is to bring back existing customers… but here are some of the mistakes owners make to ensure guests only stay there once – and our solutions.
DON’T… think guests are an island
Tonight, the customer might be a single, unfriendly (and untalkative) traveler. But he doesn’t spend every night alone!
DO… ask him to ‘recommend a friend’
Friends and families of your guests can be an excellent source of new customers, and the marketing is all free providing you show just one person a good time! By offering a discount to the original customer when he ‘recommends a friend’ to stay there, you are also increasing the chance that he returns himself – perhaps with the whole family this time.
DON’T… ignore criticism
It might seem like the most bizarre complaint in the world to you, but remember it must have meant something to the guest to make them mention it in the first place. Ignoring the mistakes you’ve made will guarantee this customer doesn’t return, but may also put off others in the future.
If you want this guest back, point out the solution you’ve made for them. This might not be a change which you apply to every situation (and person), but making an exception in this case will make them feel appreciated. The lasting impression they’ll have of your B&B is of helpfulness, rather than disappointment.
DON’T… see full price as full profit
Reducing the price of a room on short notice or during the low season might seem sensible, but why would you bother to offer a discount at a time when you can earn the full price?
DO… give vouchers for a return stay
However, by offering an incentive to guests returning for a second (or third) time on any day of the year, you’re ensuring that you stay in their heads long after they’ve gone home. The money can make a big difference to them, but it shouldn’t make a huge dent in your profit when they’re coming back for more.
DON’T… just offer a bed
B&Bs separate themselves from the millions of faceless hotels by offering something unique – hospitality! In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons customers choose a B&B over a hotel room.
DO… show personal interest and service
Taking time to personally welcome a guest and getting to know them will leave an excellent experience. Not every guest will want to be your best friend, but there are still plenty more ways to show your top-notch service. Whatever information you learn about them, make sure you’re on hand to offer tips about the area, their favoured activities and local amenities.
Images: Thanks to alborzshawn on Flickr.com
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Category: B&B Customer Service