Encompassing your guest’s interactions in one journey can reveal many details about your hotel. From research to stay and loyalty, you can recognize guest’s needs in different moments of their stay from a holistic approach and transform your own processes on the way.
When it comes to customizing your guest’s journey, some hoteliers are thinking outside the box to create memorable and unique experiences. The traditional approach based on RFM (Recency, Frequency, and Monetary value) and mass marketing are simply not as effective as before due to their generic nature. Now, we use one-to-one marketing, communicating with potential guests in a more effective manner.
Some hospitality players are using technology, social media, and other innovations to create the ultimate guest experience. These actions aim to understand, improve, and ultimately master all contact points between properties and guests, working towards guest loyalty. As a consequence, guest journeys are becoming fascinating and intricate. But how? Let’s dissect the guest journey and see some examples.
A fascinating experience: transforming guest journey by revising
contact points and improving your performance.
1. Travel idea
Coming from a magazine, a movie, or a conversation, travel ideas can come from any source. One great example is how Norway experienced 37% more tourist influx from the United States after the movie ‘Frozen’ came out to the cinema in 2013-2014. Marketing influences can fulfill internal motivations and needs through promotional messages. In all situations, you can influence a traveler’s mind through different marketing, promotional, and emotional techniques.
Once travelers have made up their mind aspirational ideas, research follows. With overwhelming information on the internet, travelers will browse and dig all the necessary information until they are satisfied. Consultation from friends, other experienced travelers, social media, OTAs and reviews, all information points influence every property’s image. Therefore, building and sustaining a coherent and strong online image is a key. We have mentioned an amazing website, direct booking options, attractive photos, and local experiences contributing towards strong relationship building with previous guests, transforming into new guests. That’s one way to grab traveler’s attention and convert.
How is your distribution strategy working out? Are you balancing your direct bookings and your OTAs? Are there competitive advantages for travelers who book through different channels? Is your image consistent and are you taking care of each website where your hotel is displayed? Along with stay, this contact point is extremely important. The question some hoteliers never ask themselves is ‘how can we affect their decision to book with us?’. The answer starts with the basics. Can travelers book and pay in your booking engine? Is it reliable and secure? How are travelers browsing? And can you be present in different media in the right way? Do you communicate all the important messages during and after booking? At the end of the day, getting heads in beds is your goal, but also quality, security, and trust are values to develop since this instant. Your hotel is a brand, and your job is to nurture it through supporting experiences.
It might sound obvious, but a smile and good ears can make or break your service. Thank your guest for staying with you from check-in to entering the room, through room experience, F&B moments, services and check-out. Those are the main contact point during their stay. Actions should aim to perfect service through those brief moments, as a result creating happier guests, thus loyal guests.
Once your guest leaves, some hoteliers immediately go into ‘number’ mode , measuring channel performance, not guest experience. If one channel performs better than others, compare, analyze, and take action to boost your guest experience but always remember the human side. An action as simple as reading and answering reviews can show you hotel flaws and strengths. Reviews can make or break millions of possible booking from search engines, ‘meta‘ or OTAs. Through effective communication using social media, email, or other marketing channels you can reach them and promote engagement with the property.
Why is this fascinating?
Have you noticed all processes are interconnected? Starting with your online presence and reputation, moving through infrastructure and communication techniques, finishing in recognizing and meeting needs and expectations, a customer-centric culture with an individualized mentality can have positive results for your property. If we were to define the process, it would be variable and organic. Continuous listening and reviewing lead to constant operational updates. Therefore, you are working on the guest journey by imprinting experiences and your hotel on their minds. That’s how you can transform your guest journey from commonplace to fascinating.