Use your data to get more bookings

Are you making the most of SuperControl? Shrewd analysis of the data your booking software holds will help you make better business choices, and ultimately improve your guests’ experience.

When you personalise their experience at every stage, guests get a holiday tailored just for them – without having to search for it. It saves them time, makes them feel valued and validates their loyalty.

You benefit because it gives guests a reason to book direct instead of through one of the big booking websites. It increases upselling opportunities, maximises profits, encourages return visits and can turn your guests into champions of your holiday cottage. Here’s how to do it:

1. Rate your customers

Add a field in the Rating section of your booking record to identify guests who have invested in you, so that you can return the favour. Go to Bookings>Customer ratings to add fields.

Highly valued customer
could be a guest who has booked X times before; it might be someone who organised a large group booking (eg for a family reunion or a big birthday celebration); or a previous guest who recommended your holiday rental on social media posts, which resulted in more bookings.

You could upgrade them or provide a luxury hamper on arrival, making the guest feel valued at relatively little expense to you.

2. Check the Previous bookings tab

Get in the habit of checking the Previous bookings tab when a new booking comes in (this only works if all the information entered is the same that has been used before). You could set a benchmark and manually add a free option or extra when a returning guest reaches that threshold.

3. Filter your database

You can filter your database and then send acutely targeted emails, giving you the competitive edge.

You can identify groups of people that have a common reason for staying, then tailor your messaging accordingly (eg guests with children, those that brought a dog with them, if they booked a spa treatment). Any options and extras a guest can select will appear here.

To drill down further look at the booking details: booking date, holiday date, lead time, duration, how they booked (online, by phone, direct or through an agency). This gives you an insight in to their buying habits.

When you have filtered your database you can create personalised offers, and send the email at the time you know those guests are in the planning stage.

4. Auto-add options

When you have identified the guests you want to target, you can auto-add options as an incentive.

Auto add options in SuperControl

By duration: You could apply this to, for instance, bookings longer than six days. You save by having fewer changeovers when a full-week holiday is booked and your guest feels valued by getting a free gift tailored to their preferences.

By the number of guests: For example, when guest numbers are less than or equal to two you could offer them a complimentary luxury hamper. This could be used to target couples who have stayed before if you have another larger property to fill during the shoulder season.

By date: Send out an email to guests who booked a spa treatment as an extra in the past, offering a free facial if they book before the end of the month.

5. Use Automated emails

Automated emails are a favourite feature! You could write a loyalty letter and set the criteria so that it is sent automatically at the end of a guest’s stay only if they are a returning guest: “We’re delighted that you came back for a return visit – to say thank you we’d like to offer you our luxury lodge at current prices when you book next time.”

This is just one idea; it’s really up to you what letters you send, and the criteria that is set to trigger the email being sent. Think about what you can offer your guests that the booking websites can’t.

Anticipating and providing for your guests’ preferences is the equivalent of being given your favourite table in your local restaurant, or the waiter knowing your choice of drink. It makes your guests feel special, and that’s what counts.