Corporate bookings are the holy grail for hoteliers when it comes to filling midweek space that’s inconvenient for leisure guests.
There’s just one problem - attracting corporate clients is hard when you’re an independent hotelier battling against the big brands and their even bigger corporate booking schemes.
Don’t give up! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the following five tips will help you attract more corporate bookings to your hotel than you thought possible.
1. Keep an eye out for future local business events
Depending on your location, you may be within a short taxi ride of a popular event venue that regularly holds conferences or trade shows. If that’s the case, keep a close eye on its schedule and add some business seasonality to your tariff by pitching rates competitively during those times.
Look at what the big boys are doing; if they’re offering discounted B&B rates during a conference, go one step further and throw in free transport to and from the venue (assuming you have a minibus or similar), and add dinner as an option for weary event-goers.
2. Enable groups to manage the booking themselves
There’s nothing worse as the organiser of a group hotel booking for your company than feeling completely out of control when it comes to the accommodation arrangements.
As the hotelier, there’s nothing more time consuming than the constant requests for booking changes that often come from corporate clients.
Surely, there must be an answer that leaves everyone satisfied in this situation, right?
Thankfully, there is - if you have the right hotel booking systems in place (PMS). The best will enable you to provide group bookers with tightly controlled ways of modifying and managing the booking themselves. And don’t worry - you won’t be giving them the keys to your castle; instead, they’ll get just enough access to make the changes that would otherwise take up an inordinate amount of your day.
3. Don’t try and be something you’re not
You’re not a big hotel brand, but you know what? That’s absolutely fine!
Trying to compete with the big boys of the hotel sector by becoming a mini version of them will probably land you in hot water as you start implementing levels of service you simply can’t sustain.
Some business travellers want an independent, small hotel experience. In fact, many will crave it if they spend the majority of their travels staying in flat-pack, soulless brand hotels.
You are what you are, and that’s a very good thing indeed. Independent hotels will often stand out for all the right reasons (price, location and flexibility to name but a few) during corporate booking searches.
4. Automate where you can
Even if a business traveller yearns for an independent hotel experience, they’ll still expect certain levels of automation.
Lean on your PMS and its surrounding technology as much as you can to ensure your business guests get the swift, easy service they require from the point of booking to check-out.
Automated booking confirmation emails and SMS messages are a must, as is the ability for guests to have all of their miscellaneous spend conducted in the hotel posted directly (and accurately) to their room invoice.
5. Don’t skimp on Wi-Fi - ever
It’s amazing how many hotels still charge for access to in-room Wi-Fi.
Those days are long gone, and just because you’re trying to attract business guests, it doesn’t mean you can ‘get away’ with charging for access to the internet.
Make it free, fast and secure it behind login systems that don’t require a call to reception to unlock.
There are plenty of business guests out there for your hotel to welcome through its doors.
Don’t give up - the big boys have absolutely nothing on you when it comes to delivering a corporate accommodation experience that will keep businesses coming back for more.
Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part - it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.
Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.