10 ways to prepare for the upcoming season

The new season is almost here, the time when guests come in larger numbers, from all over the world, expecting you to provide them with a relaxing getaway. Now is the perfect time to reflect on key areas to ensure that you give your guests the best possible experience.

1️⃣ Check your PMS connection

For seasonal establishments, sometimes the connection with the PMS is cut off during the off-season, so make sure that it is (re)activated even before the season starts to benefit from sending out automatic email campaigns. 

It is also an excellent opportunity to check whether you have any new information about your guests, so that you can use it to segment your client base more effectively and therefore better personalise your communications. For example, the origin of the guest allows you to know if they have previously stayed in your establishment, dined in your restaurant or visited your spa. This allows you to adapt your loyalty campaigns and the offers you make to them.

2️⃣ Update the content on your app

It is worth looking at the most frequently visited content on your Guest Portal to find out what your guests prefer and what kind of information they would like to receive. This can help you both set up automated campaigns by SMS or chat, and adapt your email campaigns to avoid your guests having to search for the information themselves (check-in time before arrival, restaurant offers at meal times, late checkout before departure, etc.).

Remember to double-check all practical information  (timetables, links, facilities, etc.), entertainment and events programme, activities to do in the area, etc. 

It is essential to keep your application up to date, otherwise the guest will not use the portal, and you will miss out on all its benefits.

3️⃣ Communicate within your establishment with the help of QR codes, posters and wifi redirection

It's no secret that you should communicate effectively on your Guest Portal, so that your guests make the most of it during their stay. It is helpful to send them the link before their visit to help them find activities to do in the area, and to remind them of the dates of their stay so they can start to plan their trip. 

Verbal and digital communication are both essential, but so is putting physical reminders around your hotel. Whether in shared areas, in restaurants, or on notice boards, etc., promote your QR codes on posters so your guests can access the services you offer (room service, event schedules, digital newspapers and magazines, activities to be booked, etc.) in just one click. 

LoungeUp offers you free printable posters and flyers with QR codes to redirect guests to your Guest Portal. 

Another effective way to direct your guests to your online services is to set up a redirection when your guests connect to your wifi. After logging in, they are redirected on their smartphone, tablet or computer to your online portal (web app) and from there they can then access all your services without having to download anything

4️⃣ Launch automated campaigns 

Automated email / SMS / WhatsApp campaigns allow you to inform your guests at key points in their stay, without having to do anything manually. 

These have many advantages. As well as informing your guests, they also allow you to: 

  1. Increase upselling (the sale of 'extras': breakfast, couples' packages, airport transfers, restaurant or spa treatment bookings, early check-in/ late check-out...)
  2. Find out information about your guests: reasons for staying, estimated arrival time, passport/identity card details
  3. Collect guest reviews: redirection to an internal form and/or your review sites / Tripadvisor
  4. Build guest loyalty: option to 'opt-in' to receive your marketing communications

Be sure to check that any information about the services you offer is up to date (photos, descriptions, prices...)

5️⃣ Train seasonal workers on how to use LoungeUp with the help of Academy

All establishments should be looking to train new staff members, but even more so in seasonal hotels that receive so many new employees at once. The extra staff need to be trained quickly and efficiently.  

With this in mind, we have launched LoungeUp Academy to help train new employees who join your establishment. Academy offers training videos on how to use the platform, update the application and campaigns, upsell to guests, and personalise communications, always with a view to streamlining the guest experience and your teams' operational work

These online courses are designed for both beginners who have never used LoungeUp before, and more experienced users, who are more advanced in customisation and segmentation. They are available as separate videos, so you can proceed through the training steps at your own pace, whenever you wish.

6️⃣ Set up room service

LoungeUp is a great tool to increase your revenue through making the room service process digital. For example, guests can easily make an order from the comfort of their hotel room via the module integrated in the application, or book a table in your restaurant using a reservation form. 

Both ways of offering services aim tomake it easier for guests and hoteliers to place and manage orders. The services menu (room service, list of spa treatments, shop, list of activities, etc.) can be personalised according to the guest's profile, the time of the order, the reason for the stay, the products available, etc.

The order module and form are both advanced enough to prompt the guest to fill in the information you need or choose between different options. Several sub-categories can be added, with the options shown depending on the user's choice. For example for your food services: order delivery time, side dishes or extras, allergies, room delivery or click & collect, cooking preferences, etc. 

7️⃣ Promote events and activities in the local area 

Your guests want ideas for activities, walks or tours, and feel overwhelmed when faced with endless lists of tourist sites. Exceed their expectations by sending emails out about unmissable events and your recommendations for activities or monuments to visit. Help them choose and don't list too many, instead highlight your favourites

Pre-programmed messages help you save time by configuring your communications according to the time of the stay and the guest's profile! You can tailor the content according to the guest's preferences and the type of their stay (business/leisure, solo/family/group of friends, week/weekend stay, language/nationality, etc., new customer/regular/VIP, etc.). All this information can be combined for more targeted segmentation and personalisation. 

8️⃣ Use the Staff Companion app dedicated to your teams

The "Staff Companion" app (App Store / Google Play) is used to effectively notify the teams in charge of guest relations for each order, request, question, etc., so that nothing is forgotten and can be promptly followed up on. Like the Messaging Hub, each employee is assigned to a contact point in order to receive only the notifications that concern them. 

The app has recently been redesigned to improve the user experience and make it easier to navigate. It is free for all LoungeUp clients.

9️⃣ Activate Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp

For you, there is no extra work because all communication channels are centralised in a single tool, the Messaging Hub. You will be able to reply to your guests directly in the tool and access message histories, etc.

Like email campaigns, you can set up WhatsApp campaigns that are sent automatically at key moments of the stay or based on specific events (unopened e-mail, number of stays,...).

As for Facebook Messenger, you can easily integrate it into your website to chat with guests or manage their incoming requests.  

The addition of these communication channels makes you more available to answer your guests' requests.

🔟 Send out ultra-personalised newsletters

You have a lot of guest data at your fingertips that can help you improve your guest's experience and loyalty. Send ultra-targeted offers to recognise your loyal customers or turn your one-time visitors into repeat guests. Thank them for their stay/spa treatment/restaurant meal by offering to celebrate their visit with a promo code or a free treatment/breakfast/couple's package.  

Some examples of advanced guest segmentation:  

  • Number of stays greater than X
  • Week / weekend visitor
  • VIP/spa/... tags
  • Last review higher than ⅘
  • Number of Twitter followers greater than X
  • Reason for the business/leisure trip
  • X accompanying persons
  • ...

Continuing to communicate with your guests even after their stay is the only way to keep them loyal and ensure they don't forget you. The more your emails are adapted and personalised to the guest, the higher your guest loyalty rate will be.  

This is not an complete list but it covers the most important points needed to welcome your guests in the best way possible.

Have a good season!

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