The Guest Experience Journey is made up of five different steps: pre-arrival, arrival, stay, departure, and post-stay. In the world of modern hospitality, the
has become more than just a stay— it's a journey popularly coined as a guest journey. Let's explore the details of enhancing the hotel guest experience , exploring everything you need to know to transform your guests' stays into an unforgettable experience. hotel guest journey
In this smart and interactive guide, we'll navigate through the latest trends, state-of-the-art technology, and personalized touches that redefine the landscape of hospitality. From the moment a customer steps into the lobby for the first time to the final goodbye, each interaction should be carefully crafted to ensure comfort, delight, and premium hospitality.
Let us first understand what a guest journey is before delving into the details.
What is a Guest Journey?
The term "Guest Journey" is a sum total of guest experiences. It has to be intuitive, seamless and personalized .
At its core, the customer journey map refers to the entire lifecycle of a guest's interaction with a hotel or accommodation, from the initial point of interest to the post-stay feedback. It's the process that kicks in from the moment a potential guest explores booking options to the memories they carry away after checking out. It helps to enhance customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and gain a competitive edge in the hotel industry.
In the digital age, technology plays a pivotal role in shaping the guest journey map. Online booking platforms, mobile check-ins, and personalized services powered by data-driven insights are just a few examples of how technology is revolutionizing the overall guest experience. Quoality is a
that aims to create a lasting impression with guest experience platform . The software allows hotels to connect with guests on their preferred platforms, like WhatsApp, email, and SMS, and elevate their overall journey. guest journey automation
Now that we understand the guest journey, let us delve deeper into the different stages of this exhilarating journey.
Understanding The Different Stages of Hotel Guest Journey
Let's walk through these stages, defining the guest journey through a step-by-step guide:
This stage of the guest journey marks the beginning, where prospective guests begin researching the potential hotels for their stay. As per a recent
study, the online travel market was worth $2.3 trillion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a rate of 10.3% per year over the next five years. More than 700 million people are expected to book their trips online. During this phase, guests compare options, seek inspiration, and are driven by the desire to travel. Key Touchpoints: Social media Online travel agencies (OTAs) Hotel’s website Word of mouth or recommendation (traditional and online hotel reviews) How to drive guest engagement at the thought stage:
1. In this stage, hoteliers should increase engagement on social media platforms such as Instagram and other booking platforms to expand their online reach and engage with potential guests.
2. Guarantee a robust online presence by consistently sharing high-quality visuals and maintaining cohesive branding across all digital channels.
3. Foster user-generated content by encouraging guests to share their experiences through the use of dedicated hashtags, creating a sense of community around your hotel.
4. Pay close attention to your ranking and reviews on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs); actively prompt guests to provide feedback after their departure to enhance your online reputation.
5. Optimize your Google Business Profile by ensuring that all contact information, location details, and amenities are accurate and up-to-date, providing potential guests with reliable information.
6. Prioritize the enhancement of your website's Search Engine Optimization (SEO), page speed, and overall user-friendly design, making it easy for visitors to find essential information.
7. Invest in digital advertising, specifically focusing on paid search campaigns, to effectively promote packages and special offers through search engines and social media platforms.
In the research stage, guests transition from inspiration to thoughtful planning, considering factors like budget and preferences. Customers also research hotel offers, local tourist attractions, and additional services like guided tours, transportation, and in-house activities, seeking a comprehensive and tailored experience for their stay.
Key Touchpoints: Online reviews and testimonials Price comparison websites Hotel loyalty programs Direct communication with the hotel. Driving Guest Engagement during research stage:
1. Place emphasis on cultivating positive reviews and testimonials to build a favorable online reputation that instills confidence in potential guests.
2. Provide competitive pricing and feature special promotions to attract cost-conscious travelers and create added value for those considering your hotel.
3. Showcase the advantages of your hotel loyalty program, underlining the perks and exclusive benefits that guests can enjoy to encourage repeat visits.
4. Foster direct communication by ensuring a responsive front desk, allowing guests to easily address any queries, concerns, or special requests during their stay.
5. Highlight the diverse range of hotel amenities, including additional activities or ancillary upsells such as local food tastings, guided tours, cab services, and more, to enhance the overall guest experience and contribute to their satisfaction.
Guests define their budget for the trip, considering accommodation, activities, and overall expenses. Budget constraints play a pivotal role in decision-making, influencing the choice of accommodation.
Key Touchpoints: Pricing information is on the hotel website OTA Pricing Credit Card offers webpage on both OTA and Cards Research Ancillary costs included How can you help guest take a right decision during the budget stage:
1. Ensure transparency by clearly displaying pricing information on the website, allowing potential guests to make informed decisions based on their budget and preferences.
2. Proactively promote special packages and discounts, providing added value to guests and encouraging direct bookings through your website or other platforms.
3. Be clear of any additional costs associated with the stay to prevent surprises, creating a sense of trust and honesty among your guests.
4. Establish partnerships with various payment processors and cards that co-promote the brand, offering guests diverse and convenient payment options that align with their preferences.
Guests commit to their choice by making a reservation and kick starting their trip. This phase involves the completion of booking procedures, confirmation details, and securing the reservation. Currently,
, while 39% use their property management system's built-in payment processing features. 56% of hotel owners process funds through a third-party payment gateway Key Touchpoints: User-friendly online booking engine Confirmation emails and communication Hotel Front Desk How can you make the reservation process easy for your guests:
1. Begin by guaranteeing a seamless online booking experience for guests and providing a user-friendly and efficient process to facilitate easy reservations.
2. Immediately send confirmation emails containing essential details to guests, ensuring they have all the necessary information for their upcoming stay.
3. Implement proactive communication strategies that are both informative and enticing, keeping guests engaged and informed about any relevant updates or special offers.
4. Introduce convenient mobile check-in options to streamline the arrival process, offering guests a hassle-free and efficient way to check in and start their stay with ease.
Pro Tip: Streamline the reservation process to make it efficient and user-friendly by using guest experience software like Quoality to provide seamless communication and check in.
This phase encompasses the quality of service, staff interactions, and overall satisfaction during the stay.
Sol Kerzner, Founder, Kerzner International, stated, "When the guest arrives, give him an experience that's ahead of what he anticipates. What I'm hoping is that folks come away from [our hotels] having expected something, and come away thinking 'wow, so much better than what we expected to have'." Key Touchpoints: Quality of in-room amenities Staff responsiveness and friendliness Dining and recreational facilities. Front desk assistance for queries. Sentiment analysis How can you enhance your hotel’s guest experience:
1. Concentrate on offering high-quality amenities and services to guests, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay that meets or exceeds their expectations.
2. Give priority to staff training programs to enhance positive interactions with guests, emphasizing the importance of exceptional customer service throughout their stay.
3. Showcase the diverse dining and recreational options available at the hotel, aiming to enrich the overall guest experience by providing a range of enjoyable and memorable activities.
4. Proactively engage to know their ongoing experience and identify touch points to delight them
6. Final Impression
As the stay concludes, the final impression significantly influences guests' memories and potential return visits.
Check-out experiences, farewells, and any parting gestures contribute to the overall impression.
- Check-out process and efficiency
- Staff farewells and gratitude
- Post-stay communication.
Things to do at this stage for easy check out:
1. Streamline the check-out process to provide guests with convenience, allowing for a swift and efficient departure experience.
2. Guarantee warm farewells and expressions of gratitude during the check-out process, leaving guests with a positive and lasting impression of their stay.
3. Initiate post-stay communication to encourage direct feedback from guests, fostering a sense of loyalty and providing valuable insights for continuous improvement.
Pro Tip: Create a positive and memorable departure experience to leave a lasting impression with Quoality which can help in easily upselling amenities and making guest’s stay comfortable. 7. Post-Stay
Guests reflect on their experience and share feedback, influencing future decisions and potential return visits.
Online reviews, surveys, and social media have become channels for expressing opinions.
Key Touchpoints: Guest reviews on online platforms Post-stay surveys and feedback forms Social media posts and mentions. How to maintain guest loyalty post check out:
1. Actively encourage guests to share their experience by leaving reviews on popular booking sites, helping to build a positive online reputation and influencing potential guests.
2. Following guests' departure, send post-stay surveys to collect direct feedback on various aspects of their experience, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of their satisfaction and areas for improvement.
3. Monitor and respond to social media posts related to the hotel, expressing gratitude for positive feedback and promptly addressing any concerns or issues raised by guests, demonstrating a commitment to guest satisfaction and proactive problem resolution.
Pro Tip: Actively use guest feedback to make continuous improvements, showcasing your commitment to guest satisfaction with the simple-to-use Digital Guest Experience Platform, Quoality.
You can now automate the guest journey with Quoality, which allows you to streamline pre-arrival guest messaging, delight your in-stay guests, automate post checkout review collection, boost staff efficiency, and let your guests effortlessly engage with your hotel on their preferred device.
The Importance of Understanding the Entire Hotel Guest Journey
In this section, we'll unravel why comprehending the entire hotel guest journey is more than a trend—it's a key to unlocking the magic of exceptional guest experiences.
1. Enhanced Guest Experience
By mapping out the entire hotel guest experience journey, hoteliers can identify touchpoints and moments of interaction where they can enhance the guest experience. Understanding guest needs and expectations at each stage allows hotels to tailor services, amenities, and interactions to exceed guest expectations, leading to a positive and memorable experience.
Quoality helps in monitoring those touchpoints and creating an automated guest journey for improved customer satisfaction. 2. Customer Satisfaction
Satisfied guests are more likely to become repeat customers and advocates for the hotel. A positive guest experience contributes significantly to customer satisfaction. Analyzing the entire journey helps identify pain points or areas where improvements can be made, contributing to overall guest satisfaction and loyalty.
3. Brand Loyalty
A seamless and positive guest experience journey contributes to brand loyalty. Guests are more likely to choose a hotel they trust and have had a positive experience with in the past. Consistency in service quality throughout the guest journey helps build trust and encourages guests to return, recommend the hotel to others, and become brand ambassadors.
4. Operational Efficiency
Understanding the guest journey allows hoteliers to streamline internal processes and operations, reducing friction and optimizing efficiency. Operational improvements can lead to cost savings and better resource allocation, ultimately benefiting the hotel's bottom line.
5. Competitive Advantage:
Hotels that understand and optimize the guest journey gain a competitive advantage. In fact, the global
smart hospitality market was worth about 19 billion U.S. dollars in 2021 . It is projected to grow at a rate of 22% per year and reach 133.7 billion US dollars by 2031. The AI features allow differentiating through exceptional service that can set a hotel apart from competitors in a crowded market. 6. Revenue Generation:
Identifying different guest personas and offering just in time offers on ancillary services can lead to increased spending on additional services, such as dining, spa treatments, or recreational activities. This leads to additional revenue as well as enhanced guest satisfaction thereby enhancing the guest experience.
10 ways to enhance hotel guest journey
Enhancing the hotel guest journey involves a holistic approach to guest interactions, from the booking process to post-stay communication, with the goal of creating positive and memorable experiences from the first step. The following are the top ways to improve the hotel guest journey:
1. Seamless Booking Process
Ensure a user-friendly and efficient online booking engine to make reservations quickly and hassle-free.
For example: A hotel offers a user-friendly online booking platform with clear navigation, transparent pricing, and the ability to customize room preferences during the reservation process.
2. Personalized Welcome
Greet guests by name upon arrival and offer personalized touches, like a warm welcome with personalized notes or amenities based on preferences.
For example: Upon arrival, a hotel staff member welcomes a guest by name, and in the room, the guest finds a personalized welcome note along with a small gift that reflects their indicated preferences or special occasions.
3. Efficient Check-In/Check-Out
Streamline check-in and check-out procedures to minimize wait time and make the process hasslefree For example: The hotel implements mobile check-in and check-out options, allowing guests to complete the process through Quoality’s all-in-one hospitality app for staff, minimizing the time spent at the front desk.
4. Clear Communication
Provide clear and timely information about services, amenities, and local attractions to help guests plan their stay.
For example: make use of the guest experience software Quoality to ensure a consistent & exceptional experience around the clock. The hotel provides guests with a comprehensive welcome packet that includes information about the hotel's facilities, local attractions, dining options, and point of contact, ensuring guests are well-informed.
5. Comfortable Accommodations
Prioritize room comfort and cleanliness, addressing any issues promptly to ensure a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
For example: A hotel regularly updates its rooms with high-quality mattresses, modern furnishings, and amenities like premium toiletries to ensure a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for guests.
6. Quality Wi-Fi and Technology
Offer reliable and high-speed Wi-Fi, along with easy-to-use technology, in rooms for convenience.
For example: The hotel invests in high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the property and equips rooms with smart technology, such as smart TVs, in-room tablets, and convenient charging stations.
7. Responsive Customer Service
Ensure staff are readily available and responsive to guest needs, providing assistance with a friendly and helpful attitude.
For example: A guest contacts the hotel's customer service with a request, and the staff responds promptly, addressing the inquiry with a helpful and friendly attitude. Hoteliers integrate Quoality for its AI concierge feature, where guests can easily call for room services without calling the front desk, everything from their phone and convenience, and share their feedbacks and problems
8. Personalized Recommendations
Offer personalized suggestions for dining, activities, or local experiences based on guest preferences.
For example: Utilizing Quoality's upselling and concierge features, the hotel sends personalized recommendations aligned with guests' preferences, fostering a warm and welcoming atmosphere that contributes to an enhanced overall guest experience throughout the hotel customer journey.
9. Post-Stay Follow-Up
Send a thank-you message and request feedback post-stay, demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement. As large as
81% of travellers always read reviews before booking a hotel, and 70.9% say that an online image affects their choice of where to stay.
For example: After a guest checks out, the hotel sends a personalized thank-you email expressing appreciation for their stay and inviting them to provide feedback through a survey, demonstrating a commitment to continuous improvement.
10. Loyalty Programs
Implement a straightforward and rewarding loyalty program to encourage repeat visits and enhance guest loyalty.
For example: A hotel introduces a straightforward and rewarding loyalty program called "StayRewards." Guests can easily enroll during the booking process or at the front desk, and they start earning points on their first stay. The program offers clear benefits, such as room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and exclusive access to member-only events.
While performing the above methods can be challenging for hotels, Quality, a hospitality guest experience platform, can support them with its automation features. Experience increased guest satisfaction, revenue growth, and improved staff with this digital concierge.
In conclusion, the guest journey is a dynamic and multifaceted process that unfolds across various types and phases, shaping the overall experience of individuals within the hospitality industry. Understanding the intricacies of the hotel customer journey, which includes pre-stay, on-site, and post-stay phases, is essential for hotels seeking to provide a seamless and memorable experience for their guests.
In an era where customer experience is a key differentiator, hotels that prioritize and continuously refine their understanding of the hotel guest experience journey stand to gain a competitive advantage. By consistently delivering exceptional experiences at every touchpoint, hotels can thrive in an industry where guest satisfaction is paramount.
Quoality, a guest experience platform, enables hotels to capture guest feedback, allowing them to address any concerns promptly and provide personalized attention. The software allows hoteliers to personalize the process to encourage more satisfied guests. Let your guests experience the right guest experience through the new-age automation tools.
Book a personalized demo today.