Loyalty: 7 Tips for Creating Return Guests

June 29, 2022

According to the Pareto Principle, 80% of your business comes from 20% of your guests. This is an eye-opening statistic for lodging providers, especially those not focusing on gaining guest loyalty.

Now is the perfect time to refocus your efforts and work towards creating return guests.  We’ve handpicked 7 easy ways to instantly up your guest return rate, so you can make the most out of the summer season:

Top 7 ways to turn guests into repeat customers 

1. Meet expectations 

Guests chose your vacation rental, boutique hotel, or unique lodging experience based on listing photos and descriptions. So, it’s vital these are up to date and not misleading for expectations to be met. 

To discover the general needs of your guests look to current travel trends. For example, the continued growth of vacation rentals, rising another 14% this year, demonstrates consumer interest in more private and spacious accommodation options. 

Other trends are safety, cleanliness, and a seamless experience. Smart home tech innovations help lodging providers reach all of these demands. A connected software platform, for instance, increases property security through monitoring, makes cleaning processes more efficient, and keeps guests in the loop at every turn with fast, automated communication.  

2. Make it homely

Create a cozy and functional space where guests can relax. Fit familiar features to encourage that ‘at home feeling’, such as keyless entry via smart lock or voice assist devices for next-level convenience. 

They’re looking for unforgettable experiences. Help guests make these by tailoring properties to the rising trend of large groups traveling together. 

American Express’s 2022 Global Travel Trends Report found 58% of vacationers are more likely to take multi-generational family trips this year, meaning guests will be looking for large gathering areas to spend quality time together, like outdoor seats around a fire pit, spacious living rooms, and dining facilities. 

And when we say the whole family wants to be together, we mean everybody – including pets. The 2022 Vrbo Trend Report highlights a 40% demand increase for pet-friendly vacation homes, and since 68% of guests have already traveled or plan to travel with their pets it seems accommodation not being open to furry friends may lose out. 

3. Improve in-room experience 

Guests expect instant resolutions which seems like a high standard to achieve, but in-room technology equips lodging providers with the right tools to supply the quality service they’re looking for. 

Voice assist devices, for example, can be pre-loaded with tailored responses. So, your guests can access information instantly through digitized self-service.

4. Show connection to the local community 

Global awareness of biodiversity conservation is growing, meaning guests have embedded eco values they want to travel, stay, and live by. They’ll be attracted to lodging providers and attractions demonstrating their own commitments to sustainability

Trust is hugely important in hospitality right now. Delivery of these promises is likely to inspire loyal guests who will recommend your services to others, as lots of companies are greenwashing to attract guests and then failing to action commitments. 

Boost sustainability by partnering with local attraction providers or lodging providers, and contribute directly to the local ecosystem.

5. Share destination knowledge 

Eco-minded guests will want the opportunity to contribute their spending to the local community too. Simplify the process and help them to find nearby restaurants or activities to plan their trip with a voice assistant device. 

XEVA is a customizable concierge service that brings a personal touch to your accommodations and can answer up to 4 million inquiries. 

6. Add value 

Potential guests can be overwhelmed with the vast array of choice when booking accommodation. Set yourself apart from the competition by adding value to your properties with discounts and free passes to local activities. 

When signed up to the Xplorie program you can incentivize guests to stay with a free pass to an attraction of their choice for every day of their stay, which is hugely attractive to families who can save on activities they would have expected to pay full price for.

7. Give a VIP experience 

Customer experience is everything in travel. Right from the beginning of a guest’s travel journey make them feel special with consistent communication. Keep this line open 24 hours a day and ensure it’s accessible to everyone and available in a range of languages. 

Tech innovations, such as chatbots prior to guest arrival and voice assist devices during the stay, can help lodging providers meet these requirements. 

Communication following a stay can make guests feel like valued customers. Excellent experiences like these lead to five-star reviews, which in turn generate more custom and more loyalty.

Lodging providers aiming to up bookability should refocus on the guests they’ve already secured, as they’re likely to be the key to most of their future revenue. It’s a simple equation that if executed correctly can lead to a healthy profit. Excellent guest experience + communication + meeting guest needs = loyalty. And, loyalty = success!

Xplorie

Xplorie is the leading platform in guest acquisition and retention solutions for leisure lodging providers. Since 1996, Xplorie has leveraged local and complementary activities to help lodging providers differentiate their properties, improve guest loyalty and increase top-line revenue. To learn more about how Xplorie enables lodging providers to deliver an unforgettable vacation experience to guests, visit xplorie.com/partner.

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