Business travelers today have far different wants and needs than those in days past. Not only do they represent the fastest growing segment in travel spending but, despite the tumultuous economic playground in which they came to adulthood, this group likes to spend. That can only mean good things for your business. Here are some tips to help you better serve the modern business traveler:
- Know your customer. We mean really know your customer. Understanding how business travelers are working while on the road is vital to keep up with the changes. Are they using video chat to hold meetings? Are they conducting business in their room, in a business center, the lobby? Be in the know or risk losing a significant portion of guests.
- Go mobile. Your guests are mobile, so doesn’t it make sense that your venue should be mobile, too? Most hotels already offer online booking, but the easier and more accessible your venue is, the more likely you are to fill rooms. Take a cue from Choice Hotels, for example. The company last year launched a process that allows customers to book a room in three simple taps of a smartphone.
- WiFi, WiFi, WiFi. You’ve heard it time and time again, the people want WiFi of the free variety. A recent survey proved what we’ve been hearing for ages – free WiFi is the number one factor influencing a business traveler’s choice in hotel. Considering the staggering amount of time the modern working person needs internet connectivity, it just makes sense.
- A business center. This is a must-have. Even if travelers prefer to work from their room, most will still rely on a business center for one reason or another – whether that be to use a printer, make copies, or, in the case of a personal computer crisis, hop onto one of the hotel’s desktop machines. Every top rated business hotel has one, so you should, too. Remember, it’s all about convenience, and a business center provides easy access for guests in need.
What successes have you had with evolving to suit the modern business traveler? Tell us in the comments!
Living in the digital age means travelers have more resources (and distractions) than ever before. How can you draw their attention when they’re making plans? It’s simple. Just learn how to leverage the technology they’re already using. Get started by going social.
- Show Off Your Rooms
Posting photos of your rooms and grounds is one of the most popular, and most important, ways to leverage social media. It allows potential guests to see what you have to offer before making the commitment to book at your venue. If they can see a photo and picture a perfect stay, then your chances of securing a booking have just skyrocketed. Think it’s too much work? Think about this: If you don’t show off some recent photos, your potential guests might assume you have something to hide. So get snapping.
- Add Another Booking Option
Take a cue from Loews Hotel Group, which implemented its Tweet & Book late last year. This innovation allows guests to book their room by direct messaging the hotel on Twitter. A live representative then contacts the messager to secure their reservation. Genius! Sounds like the perfect task for desk clerks when they run out of things to do.
- Discover Your Guests’ Opinions
It’s just a fact of the industry; not every review you see is going to be positive. You can’t please everyone. The good news: An active social presence means you can find out about those negative reviews before your future guests do. In a bit of a controversial stand, hotel guru and host of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, Anthony Melchiorri, cautions against responding to negative comments on social. Instead, digest the information gathered from social media and address the issue more personally. In laymen’s terms, don’t just type up a little blurb saying you’re going to fix the problem. Act on the complaint and your venue will be better off for it.
The wonderful thing about the age we live in is that with all of the tools modern technology offers to hoteliers, simply having a bit of knowledge can open up windows of opportunity that never existed before. So take what you’ve learned here, open up a computer and start making the most of it.
Do you have any suggestions on ways that social media can benefit the hotel industry? Tell us in the comment box below!