In an industry as competitive as hospitality, creating a seamless guest journey is essential for accommodation providers. Whether you are a small family hotel or a big hotel chain, you will benefit from communicating with your guests in a consistent way and via different channels.
One of the main advantages of drawing a guest journey for your brand is that will be able to personalise the guest experience for your guests while driving even more satisfaction and fostering guest loyalty. All key aspects for revenue.
If you haven’t designed a guest journey before, don’t worry. In this article, we will outline seven actionable steps to create a guest journey for the first time. From understanding your target audience to leveraging guest data, we’ll explore how to put together a guest journey that helps you to achieve the desired results.
Step 1: Understand your target audience
To create a successful guest journey, it’s vital to understand your target audience. One key piece to accomplish is a hotel CRM software that helps you to unravel your guest data and gain insights into guest preferences, demographics, and behaviour patterns. By analysing this data, you can effectively tailor your offerings to meet guest expectations.
Step 2: Define guest touchpoints
Identifying guest touchpoints is crucial for designing a successful guest journey. From the initial booking stage to post-stay follow-ups, each touchpoint presents an opportunity to engage guests and leave a lasting impression. You can either use your CRM for hospitality to help you map out these touchpoints or you can do it on your own, using pen and paper. The important part is to define all the key messages you want to send and when. In this step, the focus is on identifying and understanding the specific touchpoints or interactions that occur between the guest and your hotel throughout the guest’s journey.
Step 3: Map out the guest journey
While in step 2 you would identify all the touchpoints necessary, in step 3 you will put them into a visual representation or a diagram that illustrates the different stages and touchpoints. This is essential to get a holistic view of all the interactions that will take place in the guest journey. And it will allow you to identify gaps, pain points and opportunities for enhancing the guest experience at each touchpoint.
Step 4: Pre-arrival communication
In this step, you need to focus on establishing effective pre-arrival communication with your guests. The important part is to think about how every touchpoint will deliver value to them. This means, not sending the same message to every person. Here you can utilize the communication capabilities of your hotel CRM to send personalised and timely messages. You can analyze guest preferences, behaviour patterns, and booking history to develop targeted offers and promotions. For example, sending welcome emails with essential information, such as check-in procedures, directions to the property, and local recommendations for attractions, restaurants, or events. Additionally, you can leverage the guest data stored in your CRM to tailor special offers. In this way, you will talk differently to a first-timer than to a returning guest.
Step 5: Streamline check-in process
Streamlining the check-in process is crucial for providing a seamless guest experience and therefore it should be part of your guest journey. The goal is to simplify the check-in experience by allowing guests to provide necessary information in advance, reducing waiting times, and enhancing operational efficiency.
Step 6: Foster engagement during the stay
Engaging with guests during their stay is vital for ensuring guest satisfaction. You can check in on them to see if everything is going okay and address any concerns or issues promptly. Encourage guests to share their experiences through online reviews and social media. By leveraging the power of the CRM system, accommodation brands can foster meaningful guest interactions, respond to feedback in real time, and proactively enhance the guest experience throughout their stay.
Step 7: Post-departure follow-up
Post-departure follow-up is a critical step in creating a memorable guest journey. Utilise your hotel CRM to send personalised thank-you notes and surveys to gather valuable feedback. Encourage guests to share their experiences through online reviews and provide incentives for their participation. By leveraging CRM capabilities, accommodation brands can strengthen guest relationships, gain insights into their preferences, and continuously improve the guest experience.
Finally, continuous improvement is the key to a successful guest journey. The best you can do is to regularly analyse the guest feedback, review data insights, and new hospitality trends and identify areas for enhancement. By embracing a culture of continuous improvement, you can ensure that your guest journey remains relevant, engaging, and memorable.