These days, it’s not enough to offer attractive rooms at fair prices; customers also expect a positive guest experience when they make a booking. One of the best strategies for achieving this involves analysing each touchpoint in your customer journey in order to identify what’s working well and which aspects of your guest experience you need to enhance.
So, what does this involve?
Let’s find out.
What is a customer journey?
Before we look at how you can improve your customer journey, let’s take a quick look at what it is exactly.
In the hotel industry, the customer journey is a valuable revenue management UX tool that enables you to visualise each and every step that a guest takes before, during, and after their stay. This includes every brand interaction when they dream, research, book, experience, and share feedback on your hotel.
The biggest benefit of tracking your customer journey is that you get an objective snapshot of the experience that customers have when they make a booking with you. You can then identify any potential pain points and make the necessary adjustments to enhance your overall guest experience and attract more customers to your hotel.
How you can improve your hotel’s customer journey
Here are three effective strategies that will help you enhance your hotel’s customer journey.
Map your customer journey
Start by mapping your entire customer journey to help you identify where your pain points are. This will help you determine if you are missing any important stages and where you need to take action in order to improve the guest experience in your hotel. Make sure you consider pre-stay, arrival, stay, departure, and post-stay.
Here’s an example of different stages that should be included in your customer journey:
- Inspiration and research: OTA listings, hotel website, social media presence, ratings and reviews, etc.
- Booking process: ease of payment, ancillary service information and promotions, confirmation emails, etc.
- Pre-arrival communication channels: preference surveys, pre-arrival reminders, personalised pre-arrival upsell emails, etc.
- Stay: check-in process, personalised upsells, welcome drink, welcome emails, mid-stay checks, amenities and services, customer service, friendly check-out reminders, etc.
- Post stay: check-out process, review requests, special offers, incentives for referrals, invitations to join loyalty programs, ancillary services updates and promotions, etc.
Identify your customer segments
Once you’ve clearly defined your current customer journey, the next stage is to identify your customer segments and create guest personas. This process will help you get a clearer understanding of the wants, needs, desires, preferences, and expectations of your target market.
The best way to do this is by reviewing your historical guest data. What are the key demographics of each of your customer segments? Do you get more solo travellers, couples, or families? What are their booking habits? Which ancillary services do they prefer? What are their likes and dislikes?
You can then use the data you collect to create micro-segments within your market and design targeted strategies to enhance the customer journey of each customer persona.
Ask your customers about their expectations
The next strategy is all about feedback. After all, who better to inform you about the quality of your customer journey than your guests themselves?
Reviews and ratings are important here. Make sure you are using a robust reputation management system to get daily updates on all your hotel’s online reviews and mentions.
Guest satisfaction tools are also great for collecting valuable feedback. Get in touch with guests after they check out and ask them what they thought of your guest experience. You could even send them a post-stay survey. Are there any stages in the customer journey that they liked or disliked? Did you meet their expectations? Can they offer any suggestions for improvement? Would they recommend your hotel to their friends?
The more you understand your guests and their experience with your brand, the easier it will be to enhance your customer journey and boost guest satisfaction.
Enhance your ancillary services to boost customer satisfaction
Once you’ve done all your research, you’ll be ready for the most important stage: enhancing and expanding your ancillary services to boost customer satisfaction.
Remember to base your improvements on the wants and desires of your defined customer personas and the feedback you collect from your guests. Are there any opportunities to define new revenue streams in your customer journey? Have you addressed all identified pain points?
You can also use all this CRM data to design personalised and hyper-personalised guest experiences for each of your customer micro-segments. Designing attractive activities and services for your guests can be a great source of additional revenue. Plus, personalised experiences are great for increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty. And all this will help you boost your total profitability and secure your market position as a quality hotel and service provider.