“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
First impressions are the most lasting, especially with independent hotels. An excellent independent hotel put it’s guests first. Every last detail is tailored to their guests and to making a positive, lasting first impression. Any independent hotel must be expertly maintained online and on-site to create the best experience for their guests.
- Hotel Website: Your guests first experience with your hotel will most likely be online. With OTAs and Metasearch options becoming increasingly popular, it’s important to give your guests an excellent online first impression. Make your website mobile accessible and easy to navigate.
- Incentive Program: 8 out of 10 travelers look for an incentive program when booking a hotel. Advertise your hotel’s incentive program in an easy-to-use and attractive manner. Don’t have an incentive program? Learn more about InnDependent InnCentives.
- Online Reviews: Reviews are often the first thing travelers see when searching for your hotel. Encourage past guests to leave reviews. Be actively engaged in responding to reviews, both positive and negative.
- On property arrival: This is historically the cusp of a first impression for travelers. Typically because of this, hotels must invest friendly uniformed people in an engaging lobby and front desk area. But does the first impression extend beyond that? Provide top-notch experiences from the lobby all the way to the hotel room. Your guests and subsequent repeat business will thank you.
As independent properties usually get fewer opportunities to capture guests’ attention, every interaction, especially the first one, matters. It’s important for independent hotels to provide guests with top-notch experiences to encourage bookings and maintain guest loyalty.
One strategy is to create your independent brand consistency across all of these platforms. Make it easy for travelers to see a review, spot a picture, or click on a website and immediately recognize your hotel for it’s excellent impression. Pick a common phrase, font, or color you want to promote and stick with it. Creating brand awareness is crucial to first impressions for travelers.
Not sure where to start? Let IBC help! IBC offers excellent meta search and booking engine, CRS, and soft brand benefits options.