We can write teaching-gran-to-suck-eggs articles about being customer focussed on repeat until they become white noise. And it stands to reason; your hotel's warm and friendly experience will always be top priority. However, you can't provide warmth or friendship if there's nobody booked in to experience it.
You're still running a business, after all... right?
Those doors need to swing open; heads need to hit pillows. Your hotel may have a parade of loyal customers coming back to you every time they're in the area, but how often do they visit? You still need a murderously good room rate strategy for your hotel.
Here are a few ideas to get as many guests as possible through your door.
Adopt Pyschological Pricing
This might just be the oldest trick in the book - but still one of the best.
We know there's no tangible difference between £99 and £100. When you have time to weigh it all up and talk about it, there isn't a lot of value that can be found in the £1 you're losing. But when people are comparing prices, £99 looks a lot cheaper.
In fact, it looks almost £10 cheaper!
Keep an eye on the competition
If your hotel's struggling to get people through the door, there's a good chance that it might be happening to other hotels in your area, and some of them may have tried to counteract the quiet period by creating low rate strategies.
It's always good to know what your competition are doing.
By using your PMS, researching OTAs, or by using social listening techniques on Twitter and Facebook, you can keep tabs on them. If a competitor's basic room price is lower than yours, then combat it. Can you lower your price to match? Can you add something of value to your own room to capture the interest of potential guests?
Is your hotel just a building full of beds? Does it have a restaurant in which you could add a set price for a meal? A free breakfast, perhaps? If your hotel can add value to the customer's stay, then go ahead and create the ideal package for your guests.
Even if there's little extra you can offer, you can create great experiences by partnering with other businesses in the area. Between you and the local golf course, for instance, can you work together and create a package with great value? And what about local attractions and museums?
There's always opportunity to add value to your customers stay, whether you have extra facilities or not.
Implement a length of stay strategy
Is your hotel in a bustling city? Is there a local festival or attraction happening? Could it be that there is so much to do that it might just take more than one night to make the most of the trip?
A convincingly low price on multiple nights might just tempt your guests into elongating their visit. Even if this sounds like you're losing money on the room, you may just make up for it at the bar and restaurant.
For some hotels, standard room rates are as much a fixture of the hotel as that great big tree in the car park. However, some things shouldn't be quite so immovable. By using real-time data, and creating tantalising offers you could still drag people through the door.
Look at your pricing strategy often. In fact, look at the OTAs and GDSs on a near daily basis to see what's happening in the market. I am sure, with one of these strategies, you'll be filling your hotel in no time!