5 ways to reduce no shows and cancellations at your hotel

5 ways to reduce no shows and cancellations at your hotel

Prabhash Bhatnagar
Prabhash Bhatnagar

Imagine this! It’s about midnight and your front desk staff is about to perform night audit and then call it a day. But a certain guest who has made a reservation has not yet turned up. You’ve waited all day but there’s been no correspondence from the guest. You know that it’s a classic case of “no-show hotel reservation” and it is a common occurrence in hotels.

A no show hotel reservation is probably a Hotelier’s worst, yet frequent nightmare. Dealing with situations that directly affect your profit margins, is a major challenge. As a Hotelier, you are continuously trying to increase your bookings and reservations. Given that you have invested many man-hours and resources into it, it is only natural.

Here are 5 ways to ensure lesser cancellations and no-shows:

1. Make sure you have a cancellation policy

Include a cancellation policy in your hotel reservation system and make it visible to your guests. Make sure that your customers are held responsible in case of a no-show. Include a deadline in your cancellation policy, before which your guests can cancel their bookings. In case a guest fails to show up, they should be liable to pay you for it. This way if a guest’s decides not to go ahead with the reservation in advance, he can cancel it before the deadline. This room will, then, be available for walk-ins or last minute bookings. And if the guest ends up cancelling it after the stipulated time, he is aware of the cancellation fee and will pay for it. It’s a win-win for you both ways.

2. Offer discounts for confirmed bookings

This is another effective way to attract guests and reduce cancellations at your hotel. You can confirm the booking with your guest and then offer them a discount once done. You can throw in a clause here stating that if the guest pays upfront, they get a fatter discount. People love discounts and this is one of the easiest strategies to reduce no show rates.

3. Send them reminders about their booking

Apart from the obvious, this also works in building guest experience. Frame your message carefully so as to let them know that you look forward to their stay with you. Having a smart hotel booking software that integrates well with mobile devices is one of the many strategies to reduce no show rates. Set automatic emails and SMS that sends alerts and notifications about upcoming trips and deals you are offering.

4. Derive and act on insights from guest data

It’s important you check your reports regularly and understand important trends and KPIs that define your business. Not only will it help you in taking the right decisions but also suggest areas that need most attention. Understand which tours or packages generate the most no show hotel reservation and take immediate action accordingly.

5. Get in touch with guests when they don’t turn up

Empathize with the guest but be firm. At the end of the day, a no show hotel reservation impacts your revenue. In such cases, it is wise to talk to the guest and enquire what the reasons were. Explain calmly why you need to issue a no-show fee. Make sure, you still welcome them irrespective of the loss you incurred. Offer something intuitively, that might not be very significant to your property, but would make a difference to the guest. This might encourage them to re-book, but chances of a no show would be significantly lesser.

This article was originally published in Hotel-Online

strategies to reduce no show rates