Competing in the hospitality industry can be an overwhelming challenge, particularly during seasons with lower travel rates and tourism.
Fortunately, business travel is consistent throughout most of the year. Tweaking customer service strategies to accommodate the unique needs of this demographic might help hotels maintain a more consistent rate of occupancy.
Curious about how you can attract business travelers and earn their loyalty for future trips? Let’s explore a few of the simplest ways to do it.
Feature Flexible Check-in and Check-out Times
Business travelers don’t often arrive in your city at the standard 3 pm check-in time, leaving them with few options for ways to kill time while they wait to have access to a hotel room.
After an exhausting day of travel, it’s not appealing to check the luggage and waste time in an unfamiliar location. Travelers are typically longing for a shower, nap, or space to prepare for the meetings and events ahead of them.
Within reason, offering more flexibility with check-in and check-out times can set your hotel apart by accommodating the needs of business travelers.
Add Meeting Spaces and Business Services
One challenge teams encounter is a lack of space for collaborating and planning outside of their client’s offices or a conference center.
Having access to a private meeting room designated just for a certain group during their stay can be a significant benefit because it eliminates the cost and inconvenience of renting coworking rooms to prepare for meetings.
Pro tip: equip the rooms with helpful gear like a projector, TV with Bluetooth connectivity, charging stations, and basic writing materials.
Additionally, you might consider offering free or upgraded internet to business clientele, as the cost of these services is frequently an irritating and expensive budget consideration for managers.
Other services such as dry cleaning and a skilled shoe shiner can be appealing to certain groups. No need to hire special staff or invest in new equipment, however. Work with local businesses that provide these services to arrange pickups and dropoffs as needed.
Expand Shuttle Services
While rideshare apps and taxis do get people from point A to point B, these aren’t always reliable, affordable, or practical options for business groups.
Additionally, the challenge of renting multiple cars and coordinating departure or arrival times can make business trips more stressful.
If you already offer an airport shuttle service, you might be able to attract more business travelers to your hotel by offering the option to book a ride anywhere within a certain distance.
Go the extra mile by providing rides to locations like:
- Grocery stores and pharmacies
- Client offices and meeting locations
- Conference and expo centers
- Group activities
- Gyms and fitness classes
- Local parks
- Shopping centers
- Locations for spiritual practice or religious worship
Provide Team Building Activities
Business travel planners seek out hotels in a client’s location for work purposes, but many managers also take advantage of the time away from home and office to encourage team bonding through purely recreational activities.
Because they’re unfamiliar with the location, your hotel can stand apart by taking the guesswork out of coordinating these team-building activities for your clients.
A reserved pool access social gathering or interactive cooking demonstration with the hotel chef can offer business groups a chance to relax and have fun.
Whether you opt to offer in-house group events or plan local excursions, be sure to offer options that are inclusive. Ask about the group’s preferences, such as activities free from alcohol, physical exertion, contact with animals, or overwhelming light and sound.
Sometimes, it’s the little perks that attract business travelers to your hotel over that of a competitor.
Why? The most effective marketing efforts recently have been personalized or provide an experience that makes the customer feel valued and special. Offering small perks can make a big difference when it comes to business travelers selecting your hotel for their current stay (and remaining loyal in the future).
Consider adding perks like:
- Complimentary spa service
- Restaurant discount
- Free appetizer or dessert
- Premium toiletries upgrade
- Premium coffee and espresso in-room
Making a few adjustments to your current offerings and adding a few new services can immensely improve your hotel’s appeal for business accommodations.
Try incorporating some of these strategic tips, and enjoy the benefits of creating lasting relationships with business travelers and groups.