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Encourage Direct Bookings from Returning Customers

Many accommodation providers prioritise bringing in new clients and pay hefty commissions to OTAs to encourage bookings from those who aren’t on their mailing list. However, getting to know your current consumers is a process that is just as crucial, if not more so, since it can ultimately lead to higher customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Because they are already familiar with your services and staff, returning consumers are more inclined to book straight through your website. They are also more likely to spread the word about you, acting as brand ambassadors and boosting your standing in the industry.

Become the Best Provider Out There

We’re not advocating severing all ties with OTAs because they are an important source of new reservations and essential to ensuring a positive return on investment. Instead of relying solely on OTAs for reservations, keep in mind the value of establishing solid relationships with the clients who discovered your business through OTAs.

By encouraging people to think of you when making travel arrangements in the future, you are also emphasising the main features that make your service the best available. Customers are therefore more willing to approach you directly because they are aware that you are working hard to give them the greatest experience possible.

Provide Reasonable Prices and See Customers Flooding In

Rising fees for both accommodation providers and customers are also an issue that OTAs are facing now.

Being the intermediary is a difficult job. OTAs are required to respond to both parties involved in the booking process, meaning extra time and expenses to provide support every step of the way. This is why OTAs ask for high commission from providers in their partnerships, which can occasionally result in high rates for clients as well.

Although OTAs can streamline the process of acquiring new clients, paying up to 20% commission is a sizable commitment, particularly for smaller businesses. Maintaining your OTA listings is essential to the growth of your business in order to resolve this dilemma, but it’s also crucial to create a distinctive brand that clients will want to interact with often.

This means that even while OTAs help you attract new clients, it’s your responsibility to develop a world-class guest experience that will keep clients coming back to your business and communicating with you directly rather than through the OTA platform.

Improve Your Service to Increase Your Bookings

Even while OTAs are still a significant source of new reservations, there is still a growing lack of trust on the part of guests who reserve their stays through OTAs. The main problem is that clients are more cautious to book with OTAs since they take a long time to reply to questions and issues or to provide refunds when necessary.

This is a reasonable position, given that OTAs must deal with thousands of customers each day and that there simply aren’t enough employees to respond to all support requests. However, for clients looking for accommodation, this will frequently be a make-or-break argument, and it may direct them to substitute websites.

Therefore, developing a good reputation with in-house guests is key to increasing returning sales and bookings outside of OTA influence.

Improving your own on-hand services is the best way to lead returning customers back to your website. Answering to concerns on the live chat within 24 hours and offering 24/7 support for in-apartment stays are key to providing a guest experience that your customers will remember in the future – and are more likely to come back for!