“Great guest service is neither easy nor cheap” John Logan (CEO, Mirbeau Hospitality Services) posted in his original Blog titled “Guest Service Drives Profits” (3rd May 2012).
In releasing our 4th Luxury Hotel Benchmarking Report, the point John Logan makes is only further reinforced.
Speaking with a number of luxury and boutique hoteliers, ideally what they want is to be selling as close to rack rate as possible, with long lead times generated by non commission sources. That would be utopia.
So how can luxury and boutique hotels start working towards this “utopia”? By delivering great guest service, 24/7 356 days of the year, from the moment a guest has initial contact with the hotel until the moment they leave the property. In the marketing world, this is also known as “touch points” or “moments of truth”.
Our 4th Luxury Hotel Benchmarking Report (based on 4,795 guest responses from an exceptional portfolio of UK luxury and boutique properties between July to September 2013) illustrates that on average 44% of guests are either repeat guests or are staying at the hotel based on a recommendation or through word of mouth. The best performing property within the report achieves 71%.
In regards to that particular leading property, of the 71% who were repeat guests or heard about the property via word of mouth or recommendation, 76% booked by calling direct, 9% booked through the hotel’s website and 5% emailed, leaving 10% or less of the bookings coming via 3rd party channels (90/10 ratio). Although overall, 16% (84/16 ratio) of all guests book via 3rd party channels.
The flip side of this analysis is a hotel within the same benchmarking report has only 17% of guests booking via word of mouth, recommendation or repeat. Out of the 17%, only 66% booked via calling direct, email or hotel website (or a 66/34 ratio), although overall 40% (60/40 ratio) of all the guests booked via 3rd party channels.
If we were to translate this to the bottom line it would equate to approximately £135,000 per annum difference between the two properties based on industry standards if they were both 80 room properties.
Can luxury and boutique hotels afford not to deliver an exceptional guest experience? The exceptional guest experience drives repeat guests and bookings through word of mouth or recommendations with the savings made on commission bookings flowing straight to the bottom line.
To get your copy of our Luxury Hotel Benchmarking report, please click here.
For more information on how to deliver great customer service visit the original blog by John Logan.