How to get more bookings with the right strategy
How to get more bookings with the right strategy
September 11, 2018

How to get more bookings with the right strategy

There are many ways your business can manage bookings. Traditional methods like phone or email remain the primary source of bookings for many businesses; however, direct bookings to your own website are important and with the ongoing growth of mobile usage, you’d be wise to have a mobile responsive website.

The reality is not all bookings will come direct via one of these methods and you’ll need to establish partnerships and relationships to increase your bookings, in this article we’ll explain how and why.

What are the benefits of direct bookings?

The more direct bookings you can get to your business the better. Generally, these bookings will cost you less per customer and they have added benefits. These benefits include:

  • It’s the simplest (once you are familiar with the process) – you control the sales process and the relationship with the customer.
  • It’s also generally cheaper with no commission – or little commission to the booking system
  • You own the entire customer journey – you can create a relationship before they arrive
  • You have control over their experience – to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction
  • You have the relationship from the get-go and for future visits and referrals – completely autonomous

There are also costs, but in today’s environment you cannot afford not to be online even if you haven’t currently got a booking system!

  • Investment in your online presence – consider both financial and human resource costs, both start up and ongoing.
  • Online marketing – you time to expose your product to the market, you cannot set and forget
  • Pay to grow your audience – any online advertising costs you may incur

You should consider working with partners such as regional organizations, industry bodies, and other operators

By working together all parties can benefit and improve the visitor experience, increase their length of stay and increase the economic benefit to the region. Benefits include:

  • An extended reach to the same market segment – you are more likely to get conversions as all parties are working to the same end
  • You’ll get more worth for your money by working cooperatively
  • No or low commission when compared with alternatives
  • An Improved length of stay and visitor spend for destination – this is a win-win situation, especially if you use your local knowledge to recommend experiences, restaurants and stop off, etc.

The costs are:

  • The effort required to nurture and maintain those relationships – this can be a very positive experience
  • Establishing and maintaining clarity in terms of relationship
  • Without a commercial contract, risks are increased

So, how do you Establish Strong Partnerships?

You need to take the following steps:

  • Identify what your business needs e.g. more week night bookings, wedding business, etc.
  • Seek businesses that can help you do that; it might be an activity, a transfer or an out of region business
  • Aim is for the arrangement to be mutual
  • Spell out benefits for each partner
  • Map out the itinerary or package
  • Define the operational process
  • Assess how to take it to market
  • By working together with relationships of trust you will all benefit and so will your customers. Remember – always review and refine!