Hotel Businesses: How to Gain a Loyal Customer Base
Wondering how to gain a loyal customer base in the hotel business?
Loyal hotel occupancy has a crucial impact on the business. It will
literally make or break the hotel.
First, do you have a solid
marketing plan? This is among the most important factors for running any
successful business, let alone a hotel. Other factors to consider
include the following:
- Staff – Are they friendly, knowledgeable and well-trained?
- Amenities – What do you offer that’s different from the other hotels? Find something unique to offer your guests.
- Curb appeal – How does the property look from the street? Customers
return to hotels that are well-maintained, attractive and meticulously
- Parking – There must be plenty of convenient and easily-accessible parking available.
- Rooms – They must be tastefully furnished. Fixtures must be modern and always in proper working order.
- Convenience – Guests must have access to all their favorite
conveniences that keep them coming back for hotel visits, i.e., room
service, recreation and top-notch housekeeping.
A frequently overlooked factor in the hotel business: merchant
services. If you’ve been thinking about starting a hotel or taking your
existing hotel to the next level, a merchant account may be the best way
to make you and your customers’ lives easier.
If you’d like to
accept credit or debit cards at your hotel, you’re going to need a
merchant account. The application process is fairly simple, but you will
need to show proper documentation proving that yours is a bona fide
business. If your business is legit, then this shouldn’t be any problem.
This process doesn’t take long, and it’s very much worth it in the long
run. If you’re running a hotel that doesn’t accept plastic, then your
business is bound to struggle. Every reputable hotel accepts
credit/debit cards; yours should too.
So, you’re looking for a
merchant services provider. Make sure you go with a reputable company.
There are loads of companies out there that provide member services, but
not all are created equal. Be sure to read the fine print. Some charge
exorbitant fees, many of which are buried deep within the contract
language. Always speak to a knowledgeable representative before signing
anything. Ask them to tell you point-blank about any fees they charge.
They’re required by law to tell you this. Don’t get duped! Also, always
ask for their credentials. You want your merchant account provider to be
backed by a professional bank with a solid reputation. Make sure this
bank is FDIC-insured.
Did you know that there are special credit
card terminals that are custom-made for the hotel industry? There are
terminals that can store whatever information about guests that you
would like to retain. You can program these terminals to put additional
hotel charges (such as dining, gift shop purchases, etc.) straight onto
the card. This saves tons of time and energy.
Which Hotels Need a Merchant Account?
hotel needs a merchant account. Regardless of the size of the hotel, or
how much business it does, merchant accounts help boost revenue and
help keep customers happy. In this day and age, plastic is accepted
almost everywhere. If you own a business, there’s no reason why you
shouldn’t have a merchant account. It just makes good business sense.
businesses require specialized merchant accounts to accommodate their
payment processing requirements. Is your business one that involves
direct, face-to-face contact with customers? Then you’ll need merchant
processing equipment that allows you and/or your customers to manually
swipe their credit cards.
Online businesses are becoming more and
more popular. These businesses require special Internet merchant
accounts that allow them to process transactions without the card
actually present for the sale. These merchant accounts for online
business also protect the business by monitoring payments and ensuring
that all customer credit card information is kept confidential and
Whether your hotel reservations are taken over the phone,
on the Internet or both, a merchant account not only makes life simpler
for you and your customers, but it also lends an extra bit of
legitimacy to your operation. The ability to process credit and debit
cards becomes ever more essential as day-to-day transactions in every
arena, from the grocery store to the doctor’s office, involve less paper
money and more plastic. With careful research and informed choices, the
decision to accept credit can be a no-brainer.
As a hotel owner,
general manager, or controller, you know that smooth money transactions
are absolutely crucial to gaining a loyal customer base. That’s why
24-hour credit card processing should be considered one of the most
important aspects of your business.