Customer Journey

The Customer Journey Explained

Understanding the customer journey can be a compelling way for your property to stand out among your competitors. This journey has many steps where you can display your property and display your point of difference. Learn about this process to create a viable advantage for your property.  

What is a Hotel Customer Journey?

The Hotel customer journey is the process that guests undertake from the initial stage of planning a trip, to post-stay activities. Knowing about the customer journey is vital for hotels/motels, as understanding key reasons guests booked or didn’t book. It’s also informative post-trip to find areas they enjoyed and things that weren’t for them.

Customer Journey

The initial stages of the customer journey 

The initial stages of the customer journey begin with planning on the location they would like to visit. This could be either international or domestic, requiring the traveller to use a plethora of resources to make an informed decision on where they would like to visit. 

What does this mean for your property? This allows for you at your property to have a potential influence on their decision. Marketing your property and the area around, could catch the eye of potential consumers and help sway them toward making a decision. This could be done through a variety of channels, such as Social media, online travel agents (OTA) and tourism websites. It has been found that when researching where to visit travellers are more inclined to visit OTAs and independent hotel sites.

 

You should be placing a large focus on how your OTA profile looks for your property. Don’t overlook the importance of your OTA profile. It should have all the same details and information as your website and display your property at its highest standard. Along with your OTA profile, your website should be modern and simple to use for all customers. A well-built website will help with your SEO, it also should be compatible with mobile phones due to mobile-first indexing. If you aren’t skilled at website creation it is worth the investment to get a third-party website builder experienced in accommodation to help enhance your property’s online presence. 

Accommodation selection and booking stage

During the selection stage, travellers will have decided on the destinations that they want to travel to and will be looking at which accommodation suits them best to book. Similar to the previous stage there will be a high frequency of research through OTAs, direct websites and even word of mouth from friends or family. The importance of a strong online presence both through OTAs and your website being up to date is essential for success. Travellers will compile a list of hotels that suit their travel needs, and this stage requires your property to stand out from the others, so displaying your point of difference (POD) is highly valuable. 

The key to the booking stage is a frictionless process for your consumer to book a room. If you have offered any additional packages these should be easily accessible and able to be added to their booking with ease. Any bumps in their booking process may cause them to choose a different hotel without much hesitation. 

Preparation Stage 

This limbo stage is when guests have booked the accommodation and are getting things in place at home ready to travel. Although this stage may feel like there is little a hotel can do, there are many processes you can undertake to gain more value. Through the use of pre-stay emails, you can inform guests of different packages and add-ons available to them, any room upgrades that may become available and any events happening around the area during the time of their stay. This both builds the potential for more revenue and a better customer relationship making it seem like you are looking out for their best interests. 

 

The Experience stage 

Within this stage, the details count. As guests have arrived and are looking to relax and enjoy their trip. The simple things matter such as customer service and general cleanliness, these processes require nothing but effort and go a long way in the mind of the consumer. The guest is looking to enjoy their holiday, so you should advise about the local area, also look to offer in-house deals to make them feel as if any need they have is no big deal. Ensuring they have an enjoyable time at your property should be at the top of your priority list. 

The review stage

Through this review stage, this is where your property can build its resonance. If guests have an enjoyable experience and leave reviews or are likely to recommend your property to fellow travellers or family. This builds upon your salience allowing for more people to become aware of your property and potentially what differentiates you from your competitors. It’s been found that 97% of millennials share pictures while travelling on different social media platforms. Having an online presence then allows these travellers to tag you in their content giving free marketing which allows for similar-minded people to create their judgements of your property and become more aware of what you can offer. 

Return Stage

It’s important to note that once a relationship has been formed with a guest, it should never end. If everything went well within the previous stages then a guest returning is more likely than not. How should you build upon this relationship you have formed? Creating specials for returning customers or the use of a loyalty program could be the solution. It’s important for customers to feel as if they have developed a connection with your property. Use tools such as email marketing around holiday periods to remind previous guests about the fun they have had at your property. 

How can GuestPoint assist you in this process? 

The customer journey is an intricate process that shows the continuous connection between the property and the decision-making travellers. Although this process is very customer dominated there are many solutions you can use to influence this decision. Amongst these solutions is the need for a modern-looking website, also the use of a channel manager would be effective.  

Highlighted throughout has been the need for an accommodation-tailored modern website, GuestPoint offers website creation for all types of properties. Our team is experienced and understands the importance of a smooth website. Websites created by the GuestPoint team take into consideration Mobile First Indexing to create enhanced SEO for your property. Creating a seamless booking process for potential guests should be at the forefront of your online presence. Professional-looking websites have proven to increase direct bookings. Let the GuestPoint team create a modern solution for your modern problem. 

A channel manager can be a compelling tool to assist in the customer journey and create a more in-depth online presence for your property. While creating a level of efficiency, and declining the risk of overbooking. GuestPoints Channel Manager offers the ability to advertise on hundreds of separate travel sites with over 730 days of inventory this allows for your property to be a viable option for trips planned years in advance. Not only does the Channel manager help your property be noticed it also enhances your management efficiency with live automatic booking updates directly into your PMS saving countless admin hours. 

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