#1 – Make a good first impression
The hotel guest journey starts from the moment a traveller comes across your accommodation, whether it’s on an Online Travel Agency (OTA) or on your own website. This is the moment of truth, so captivate the audience by telling your unique story with the help of authentic images. Take a moment to think about your USPs (Unique Selling Points). Why should people stay at your hotel?
It’s highly important to always keep your company details complete, consistent and up to date on all booking channels. Present a clear overview of your room types and packages, accompanied by accurate descriptions and the necessary photos for easy comparison. Avoid overbookings at all costs by using a reliable channel manager. Not having the right room available when the guest shows up is detrimental to the customer satisfaction. As a result, your trustworthiness and reputation as a hotel will take a serious hit!
Your own website should be easy to find and offer a straightforward booking process. Many travellers prefer to book directly, so having a booking engine on your official website is a must if you don’t want to lose potential customers. Make sure that your entire website and booking module are mobile-friendly to avoid irritation among users. Your booking engine should be easily accessible and visually in line with the rest of your website.
Finally, provide an effortless and secure payment experience by means of a Payment Service Provider, so guests can pay in advance using their preferred method. For you, this reduces the risk of no-shows and late cancellations. Guests like to be certain of their reservation, so don’t forget to schedule a professional-looking automated confirmation email that feels personal to the recipient.
#2 – Get in touch with guests before their arrival
The pre-arrival stage of the guest journey is the ideal occasion to start building a relationship with your customers and help them plan their trip. Send an automatic reminder that includes additional practical information (e.g. shuttle service, parking or other facilities) as well as a few recommendations such as nearby restaurants or places of interest.
Should guests have any questions – despite your efforts to present all necessary info in a clear way – it's important to be easily reachable through various channels. Consumers have varying preferences when it comes to communication: some like to give you a call, whereas others prefer to send a quick message on social media. Ensure fast and friendly responses across all mediums!
Additionally, you can invite your future guests to share their preferences or possible allergies, so that everything can be arranged well in advance. If possible, give guests the option to check in online a few days before their arrival in order to save both of you time and limit waiting lines at your front desk.
Aside from the regular guest communication, this stage in the customer journey is also a great opportunity for upselling and cross-selling. Send out an invitation to book extras, a room upgrade or even a package deal in collaboration with other businesses in your area for an even better experience. It’s a win-win situation: you have the chance to drive more revenue and hotel guests can plan activities without much effort or research.
#3 – Provide a unique and unforgettable stay
When guests set foot in your hotel, be ready to welcome them by name to create a feeling of familiarity. If possible, adapt your language to your clients. A small welcome gift can be a nice extra touch, especially when personalised. Next, hotel guests expect a seamless check-in and quick access to their rooms. Connect Cubilis to a solid Property Management System to help you speed up daily tasks like these!
It’s vital that your staff are on the same wavelength, know the USPs and are all dedicated to creating a unique experience. Thanks to technology, they can put more time into personal service and quality conversations with guests.
Is your accommodation located near worthwhile tourist attractions or are there any events planned in the area? Your employees should always be well-informed, so they can give suitable recommendations to guests. To be of even more help to your customers, dedicate a section of your website to must-sees & must-do’s and leave a couple of relevant brochures in each room.
The hotel bar, restaurant and room service also form an important aspect of the overall experience. Friendliness, speed and convenience are the goal here. Respond to the self-service trend by allowing guests to easily place orders themselves, for example by means of a QR code on the menu. Definitely offer the possibility to pay in a fast and contactless way.
Of course, things will not always go perfectly to plan at your hotel, but in that case, communication is key! Remain accessible to your guests so they can give feedback, ask questions and make additional requests at any time (for example via text message). Encourage your staff to be as attentive as possible to guests' concerns.
#4 – Make guests remember you after their departure
Post-stay guest communication is crucial if you want guests to return or recommend your property to others. After a smooth check-out, send your clients a personalised ‘thank you’ email with a request to leave a review, letting them know you value their opinion. You can even attach a small incentive to this, like a discount on their next stay.
Be sure to reserve some room in your schedule to do regular review management and try to respond to every comment in a professional manner. This way, you can show that you’re truly involved and avoid dissatisfaction spiralling out of control.
Do you already have a loyalty program in place? Turn new clients into regulars by offering exciting rewards like free use of the spa for a day, a free drink, early check-in … The possibilities are endless, so get creative with it and stand out from the competition!
Stay in touch long-term with clients through social media and occasional newsletters (not too many). You can use your customer database to send out targeted emails communicating special birthday offers or other promotions throughout the year.
Would you like some more advice? We’re here to help!
We are happy to explore with you how our solutions can contribute to a better guest experience at your hotel or B&B. Fill out the form below and we’ll get in touch as soon as possible.