Objective: Corporate guests can provide an excellent source of regular business and have the potential to greatly boost your occupancy over periods that are less popular for leisure travellers. They also have a high on-property spend (F&B/ Dry Cleaning). Aside from offering the obvious amenities (free Wi-Fi, a desk and a chair), there are some simple steps that could help you gain corporate guests with relatively little effort.
Aside from offering the obvious amenities (free WiFi, a desk and a chair), there are some simple steps that could help you gain corporate guests with relatively little effort. A simple start is asking the Booker to add their Company Name to the Guest Details page when booking to create leads and gauge where their Corporate Travellers are coming from. You can then explore if there is more potential from this company for additional room nights.
Generally there are two types of corporate business that you can target. The transient business traveller and the negotiated corporate. City centre, Airport Hotels or properties with (or convenient to) conferencing or event facilities can attract more transient business travellers. Non city centre properties should build their corporate strategy around forging partnerships with local companies or organisations. They may have remote employees who regularly travel to head office on business or host business partners on site for meetings. Adding the Company Name as above allows you to collate a list of any of these potential targets.
Some Key Tactics to Drive More Corporate Business through your Website
Whilst having an attractive website is likely to impress both corporate and leisure guests, the content is an easy opportunity to show off your assets and target corporate travellers specifically. When building out the content you must shout about your amenities that are of particular interest to corporate guests.
The inclusion of Corporate Testimonials could also be a nice hook to influence potential clients as they are unbiased peer perspectives. Getting companies on site through your Meeting & Event Space is a great way of fostering relationships with a view to obtaining a rooms contract.
An excellent way of doing this is to have a “Business Amenities” page on your website. What services set you apart from your competitors? Business travellers are always looking for an efficient and streamlined stay, so be sure to highlight any express or complimentary amenities offered at your hotel. Hotels need to showcase the details that will convince a corporate traveller to book. Some examples of amenities that could be included on this sort of page are:
- complimentary parking,
- complimentary airport shuttle,
- complimentary grab & go breakfast
- complimentary printing
- copy facilities
- extra-large work desks
- easy-access charging ports
- hi-speed complimentary WiFi
- electronic safes with space for a laptop
- meeting spaces
- luggage storage
- in-room multiple power outlets
- Zip in check-in with/ without mobile app
- Zip out check-out with/ without mobile app
Location too remains the top priority. You may not be (or want to be) next to the nearest convention centre/ business park/ airport/ city centre etc. however, it is important to make sure that you are advertising the assets that you have! Information as to how long it takes to get to key locations, immediately gives corporate guests the information that they need, and may help to spike their interest. Additionally, a line on your website that says “near” or “close to" Cork Airport/ Dublin Airport will help it to come up when a traveller searches for “hotels near to Cork Airport/ Dublin Airport ''
Millennial travellers use social media at least once a day and are more likely to reach out with questions about your hotel before making a direct booking. It’s important to keep an active Facebook page to raise your hotel profile and keep that line of communication open.
More and more hotels are allowing guests to contact them via Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. In order for this to work effectively hotels require one person to respond and clearly outline what their KPIs are regarding response time.
Users are updating information on your Google My Business listing continuously. Ensure that you are reviewing these updates and that they are accurate. These updates can be based on amenities or how accessible you might be. Incorrect information can be misleading and you could be losing out on showcasing important features of the hotel.
Don’t stop at Google My Business - If you are based in the UK or US you can now optimise your Bing Places listing also.
If you are going to put the effort into developing a relationship with a single corporate guest, why not upscale? Target the whole company! If a company has regular business commitments near to you, they are likely to need accommodation for their employees on a regular basis. So what steps can you take to tap into this potential gold mine?
The first step is to create corporate accounts with a company, so that they are able to pay directly for their employees’ stay. Flexibility with this is KEY, some companies may prefer their employees to pay for themselves, or may be happy to pay for accommodation but
not food and beverages.
Define your Corporate rate strategy. You can map multiple rates to Corporate User accounts that will be accessible on login. The alternative would be to offer discounted rates that can be unlocked via a PROMO Code or deeplink.
Create hidden rates for companies / corporate travellers that are specific to the volume of business they can provide.
When creating Corporate rates (public or hidden) ensure you have targeted rate incentives and descriptions that will grab the attention of the business traveller. Advise bookers that they can make a reservation on a Corporate guest’s behalf. Many companies share PAs between several people, and they are often responsible for arranging business travel. They can all have their own logins to the same information. If you ensure that this is a positive experience for them, they may be some of your most loyal customers. Some hotels even offer specific PA discounts or incentives - for example after making five bookings on behalf of their colleagues, they could receive a discounted stay for themselves/ lunch voucher/ dinner etc.
Within the Avvio Corporate Account set up it is also possible to create sub accounts that are mapped to a parent account. This allows you to create the Company as the main account (parent) and have any number of linked accounts for employees who wish to make their own bookings. This enables corporate travellers to make reservations and bill back e.g. Accommodation & Breakfast is charged to the company. This billing option can be set-up on account creation as per the image below. The Notes section is free text and for internal reference only.
It is also possible for a hotel to have either a Payment Gateway (such as Realex (Global Payments or Sage Pay) and Paypal settings enabled on their Booking Engine. A Corporate traveller/ PA making a reservation on an account that has not been set up to accept non secured reservations can choose to pay using either method if they are booking an advance purchase rate.
Corporate guests could be an excellent source of business, especially if you can attract an entire company. By taking a few simple steps as outlined above, you could win a reliable stream of business with minimal effort!