Checklist to improve direct sales and automation in hotels

Checklist to improve direct sales and automation in hotels

Checklist to improve direct sales and automation in hotels      

Establishment of Success Measurement:

We can only control what we measure. We therefore regularly measure all the results of our sales activities and of course the direct sale. We can observe the following key figures and their changes through automatically generated reports:

From the reservation source, a standard report in most PMS systems, the following key performance indicators (KPI) should be derived.

SHARE of digital bookings
Expedia, booking, online own website, replay of meetings, GDS

ANGLE of similar booking.
E-mail, walk in, inquiry form, RFP, quotas, among others

Direct sale of the hotel
Guest-call in the hotel, e-mail, day-mail directly or via website, online booking own website etc  =

 Sale via intermediaries
Travel agencies, tour operators, online travel agents, wholesalers, MICE portals, etc. =

Costs per sales channel (own website, HRS, booking, wholesaler, tour operator, etc.). Comparison of all costs and sales per sales channel.

The monitoring of the hotel’s website is particularly relevant when it is developed with search engine marketing and other campaigns to the special sales platform for all products:

  1. Number of visitors who own websites
  2. Proportion of visitors to the website making a booking (conversion)
  3. Percentage of visitors who enter the booking software and make a booking (WBE conversion)
  4. Revenue per booker / sales per visitor of the website
  5. Sales split by price code, room type, pre-booking, additional service
  6. Sources of the visitors (including Facebook, other sites, Adwords, trivago, etc.)
  7. Results (cost of sales) of paid campaigns in Adwords or other advertising opportunities)
  8. Search terms with which we are found
  9. Keywords with which the competition is found.

Google is my best friend:
My homepage has a good or very good visibility in the search engines. We understand the main factors of good visibility.

The ranking or the visibility of our homepage is measured regularly and we always work on further improvement. We are aware that 80% of all hotel searches start on the internet and about 40% are booked there.

We use a software for success measurement on our homepage and know which search terms and in which sources our site is found. We also measure the pages of our most important competitors and know the relevant search terms for the competition. We use these terms more specifically in our site.

We use a modern content management system and make regular updates (preferably daily, but at least weekly) for updates, which help the search engines to get the right visitors to our site (e.g. current descriptions of events in the region, to which there was also a hotel bed).

We (or our agency) maintain each page and every content area with unique texts that contain the key concepts. We know and actively use the meta description, HTML titles and so – called “friendly URLs”, as browser addresses, which correspond to the search of our guests as far as possible.

(If you enter the following in the Google search window, you will see how many pages Google recognises within its homepage:
If there are only 30 to 50 pages, there is lack of content to meet the requirements of your website customers.)

Easy to buy and to book
Visitors like our site, they can find every information they need with a few clicks and can contact us at any point, check the availability of the offers and buy them very easily.

Monitor the development of these key figures:

Number of visitors

Length of stay per page
Number of leads and inquiries

Your website knows this first: Our new rule is: everything we have, what we do and change, knows first the website: lactose free food on the breakfast buffet or the wedding suite for the bride and groom free of charge. The shuttle to the airport or the children’s discounts at the brunch buffet or the meeting room for 80 persons. The purchase of fruit and vegetables by the organic farmers or the free WLan. The construction site on the way to us.

These are typical questions that Google is looking for in a hotel. If our homepage does not have this information, it cannot help Google to bring the right guests to us and the guests will only experience by chance or not at all from these great services.

Our whole team is sensitized: every change in the performance portfolio, every new idea, every new ground in the environment (our homepage knows, of course, that we are close to company xyz or place of interest AZ) and every new expert in the team is first communicated to the homepage . Only after the installation of the information on the homepage it will be communicated to the guests via the newsletter or the Facebook page.

We ensure that there is a simple availability display, purchase, or contact possibility for every offer, every product (conference package or Christmas arrangement). We make the purchase as easy as possible and just ask the data from the guest that we really need for the booking process. Normally, it entails the name, surname and e-mail, and for certain offers the credit card. In total, we provide the payment methods that our guests would like to use.

We constantly increase the conversion rate (from a visitor becomes a requestor, then becomes a booker).

For this, we ensure that there is also available information or a contact person directly with a service description. Note: Visit the dealer Amazon. Wherever a product is described, the button “buy” or “in the shopping cart” or “on the merkliste” is not far. Guests are not allowed to search this button.

Example: With or without Google’s help, the guest will find the 7-day summer package. On a page the guest should see the following:

  • Service description
  • Price for the desired travel time
  • Information in which room categories the offer is available
  • Button for booking, fields for recording guest names, and login button.
  • Alternatively, request a question or ask a question.
  • If necessary, to buy the product as a voucher

On this page, (the summer arrangement Landing Page) we then refer to the corresponding advertising campaigns, from our Facebook or YouTube page and simply concentrate on the “4P in good old marketing”: product, prices, promotion, and place purchase opportunity)

We always research which topics are important for guests of our city.

The next open air festival, the city marathon, or the art exhibition. On such and similar topics, we develop a so-called landing page, where we inform about the travel incentive and give the potential guest every assistance: a suitable arrangement (of course with an indication of availability), the distance from our hotel to the event, the best transfer possibilities and so on ….

So we give Google fresh “content” on topics that generate a decent search volume always.

No advertising without landing page.
Whenever we are communicating about newsletters, banner advertising, or the good old mailing letter, our homepage with a topic page (landing page) is the contact person for everyone who wants to know more.

Of course, these “Landing Pages” also lead to availability, the booking machine, or at least the quickest way to find a competent contact person.

Our pricing strategy takes account of the high transparency and dynamism of online sales. We know that the price and performance comparison for the guest is children’s game and the sales partner with the perhaps better offer “just a mouse click” away. This means that nobody, even the best sales partner, can sell something better as our own website (you could call it the factory sale).

This also means that we work fairly and on a par with prices (assuming their sales partners are doing this).

But no sales partner can offer a better price or a free additional service that does not offer our homepage. We take this simple rule into account to preserve and expand the direct booking guests.

The guest has to learn again that direct booking is chic and sexy. Offer selected offers (with appropriate restrictions) only on the own homepage. Most importantly, inform your regular guests about these offers.

Advertise with gifts for a direct booking.

Our price and product strategy always offers the guest a clever alternative.
Our room categories are compiled from the visitor’s perspective and the homepage offers the complete selection. Our pricing strategy is fair and transparent to the guest. Discount prices are credible with us because they are always linked to at least one restriction. (For example, summer price with 7 days minimum stay). We say goodbye to a non-restrictive last minute strategy.

All prices, arrangements, and additional services are maintained and bookable for at least 365 days in the front office software, thus the connected sales systems. Slightly demanded times have long been bookable at particularly attractive conditions in order to “take” the long-term demand. Also suitable are early booking tariffs, which then also prohibit definitely restrictive last minute bargains.

We ensure that the best requested room types are always bookable throughout. Among other things, it is necessary that, for example, groups or tag contests are not simply filed in the most important category (standard rooms), thus paralyzing distribution in the main category.

We differentiate between “out of order” and “out of service”.
Attention “out of order” takes the rooms from the distribution. This is not useful if it only needs to be cleaned.

We can book and buy all products, room categories, and available additional services online. This also applies to the suites, the weekend rates and the additional services, such as early check in, late check out, parking, or airport shuttle.

Other products and services can also be booked online:

  • Meeting rooms
  • Group room
  • Reservation
  • Wellness appointments
  • Tickets Sunday brunch
  • Vouchers

How to say “thank you” when the guest uses our fully automated online booking via our own site. We work out creative ways to reward the guest. A surprising welcome drink on arrival (and the clear information that this is the thank you for the direct booking) or another small added value rewards for the guests, which save us 15 – 20% selling costs.

Our website also recognizes our regular visitors. Clients have quick access to their data and we trust them. We elaborate regular guest programs, which can be booked through our own website.

We store all agreed contract prices and actively invite companies, day account customers, and other target groups to get to know the online booking. We make certain special products dependent on the fact that they can only be booked online via our website.

We analyse where in the offer or purchase process the customer descends.
We help guests that do not find the right offer with other suggestions; we offer leave guests who do not find the right offer, do not just go, but offer an alternative, the waitlist or a personal conversation.

All employees know the importance. They talk to guests about the possibility and benefits of direct booking. You know what statements can be made about the level of commission and what benefits a direct booking can guarantee.

The booking route, which the guest has used, is also located on the arrival and arrival guests. Hence, the bartender could also start a conversation about the perfect way to book.


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