6 ways for limited-service hotels to improve loyalty, operations

Select-service and limited-service hotels need to take steps to improve guest loyalty. Photo credit: Hilton (Tru by Hilton Lobby)

Whether your hotel is 50 rooms, 100 rooms or more, it is important to increase guest loyalty and improve operations. Implementing these tips will greatly assist in generating more revenue for your property. 

1. Loyal customers

Take care of your loyal and repeat customers. There are several inexpensive ways to do this. Ask them their favorite room or what floor they prefer, then preblock them before they arrive. Offer them a free bottle of water or any needed toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion and deodorant). Extending small items or extra courtesies to your guests will go a long way to ensure their repeat business. Loyal customers are your best form of advertising. 

2. Guest courtesy

If the hotel is not sold out and you would not sell the room anyway, try to be as flexible as possible in regard to reservation changes or no shows. If a guest calls asking for a refund due to an emergency or their trip was canceled at the last minute, tell them it’s no problem and to keep you in mind in the future. Guests will remember how you treated them the next time they need a hotel room in your area. 

3. Customer feedback

You might not have time to reply to every online review from all the different sources, but definitely respond to the ones with negative feedback. Emphasize any positives they mention and apologize for the problems that occurred. Make sure to explain action is being taken to resolve issues so they won’t happen again. Addressing problems directly and promptly will achieve the best outcome possible.

4. Vendor relations

It is important to build a strong relationship with vendors who provide your hotel with guest supplies, cleaning supplies, food and other items. Having a long-term cordial partnership will ensure you receive the best service and pricing. If you ever run out of a product and are in a bind, they are more likely to do whatever they can to get you what you need quickly. 

5. City meetings

Try to attend (in-person or virtual) or at least read the minutes of important meetings hosted by your local city government or convention and visitors bureau. Examples of meetings that could have an effect on your property are: city council, planning and zoning and economic development. These meetings are a great source to find out about new companies or venues that are planning to open in your area, which could be new potential business. Also, you will be informed about hotels and other competitors possibly being developed in your city. 

6. Inspections

Always keep current with monthly service and equipment inspections (pest control and elevator) and annual inspections (fire extinguishers, pool and food permits). You don’t want to be caught not having these inspections up to date. It could lead to expensive fines or equipment failure. 

Alex Kramer is president of Elite Hotel Group.