Everything you need to know about the guest journey, & how to enhance your guests’ experience

Everything you need to know about the guest journey, & how to enhance your guests’ experience.

One of your primary goals should be to enhance your guest experience – focusing on every step of the guest journey from the moment you cross their lips to the moment they check out and leave a review! By making sure you craft a seamless guest journey you will build brand loyalty, increase repeat bookings (as creatures of habit we all love familiarity) and generate positive word-of-mouth marketing.

Let’s chat guest journey, the key stages, common pain points and strategies for enhancing the experience at each step.

#1 – Inspo and research

Potential guests are detective sleuths when it comes to researching the perfect getaway! So what starts as inspiration quickly spirals into a rabbit hole of “where to stay” research.
Guests may hear about your venue from a friend, see an advert or even come across your website when going down the Google rabbit hole. It’s at this stage your goal is to quickly capture their attention and spark their interest in your property.
Strategies for this stage include:
A visually appealing and user-friendly website that showcases your property and all its amenities to the max!
Targeted marketing via social media and Google Ads.
Offering special promotions or packages that encourage guests to book directly through your gorgeous SEO-optimised website.
Providing helpful information about your property, location, nearby attractions and things to do in the surrounding area – an e-booklet or brochure would go down a treat!

#2 – Booking and Pre-Arrival (Yes that’s a thing!)

Once guests have decided to book with you! HOORAY!
They’ll move into the booking and pre-arrival stage. This is where the questions arise (so many questions), questions about the booking process, room options, and additional amenities they can add to their stay. The goal post has changed and now your goal is to make the booking process as effortless and stress-free as possible, providing helpful information and DON’T FORGET – upsell opportunities.
Strategies for this stage include:
Offering a variety of room options and packages to suit different guest preferences and budgets.
Providing clear and easy-to-understand booking instructions and confirmation emails
Offering upsell opportunities for add-on amenities for example if you offer spa services, driving services, and restaurant reservations.
Personalise the guests’ booking experience by including checkboxes for their preferences and needs! We promise it’s these small extras that make a big difference.

#3 – Arrival and check-in! – Here’s where we take it offline!

When guests arrive at your property, they’ll move into the arrival and check-in stages.
This is the first time they get to interact with you and your staff, and the experience can set the tone for their entire stay. Your goal is to make guests feel welcome, happy, informed, and comfortable from the moment they arrive.
Strategies for this stage include:

Provide a warm and friendly welcome from your front desk staff (investing in training is vital!).
Offer a welcome drink or snack to your guests on arrival – this immediately gets guests in a festive, holiday mood.
Provide clear and helpful information in a booklet or in their room providing them with the WIFI details and any extra information they need regarding cleaning services, room features (fans, aircon, generators, inverters etc) as well as amenities close by.
Offer personalised recommendations for “what to do” in the area.

#4 – Check-out and post-stay

The final stage of the guest journey is check-out and post-stay. At this point, guests will be packing up, settling their bills, and preparing to pack up and hit the road.
However, this is also a crucial time to ensure a positive experience and leave a lasting impression on guests. Here are some ways to enhance this stage of the guest journey:
Strategies for this stage include:

Streamlining the checkout process – everyone appreciates a quick and hassle-free checkout process. Perhaps think of self-checkout options or mobile options.
Gather feedback – This is the perfect time to ask guests for feedback on their stay. Provide them with the link to your Google Business Profile via Whatsapp or email and encourage guests to leave their honest thoughts about their experience.
Follow-up – After guests have left, consider sending a follow-up email or message to thank them for their stay and encourage them to book again in the future.
Resolve outstanding issues – any issues that arrive during a guest’s stay, make sure to address them before they leave. This shows that you value their feedback and are committed to resolving any problems.

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