We know the guest booking journey is crucial to maximising revenue at hotels but it can be tricky to capitalise on without the right planning and the right tools.
NB: This is an article from SiteMinder
You need to remember your property is not simply a passive structure waiting to be booked. Your hotel is a business and a brand that can influence customers long before they arrive at your front door, and today there’s more opportunities than ever to do so.
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It’s important to unlock revenue potential even while travellers are still deciding on their plans – if you want to stay ahead of the competition and grow your business in the future.
In this blog we’ll help you address every guest touchpoint and the role your tech stack plays.
Defining the hotel customer journey
Typically it’s a good idea to base your strategy around Google’s well known Dreaming, Planning, Booking, Experiencing, and Sharing stages of the travel journey.
This gives you plenty of detail to work with, however there are even more touchpoints in and around these key stages that you can use to influence travellers.
Think about the time between booking and experiencing when the guest is preparing for their trip. Think about long term post-stay when the guest is looking back on memories or starting to itch for travel once again.
In a world that now runs predominantly online, there are very few moments in time where you can’t have an impact on your customer’s behaviour.
Let’s see how you can influence your revenue potential at each stage…
Reaching guests in the dreaming stage of travel
If we’re focusing on leisure travel, the dreaming stage of a trip is all about fantasising. The guest knows they want to take a break or go on an adventure but have no idea where or when yet.
They will jump all around the internet during this stage including:
- Browsing travel pages on Instagram.
- Looking at photos from friends and family.
- Chatting with people on Facebook.
- Reading travel blogs.
- Entering countless queries on Google.
- Watching videos on YouTube.
They want all possibilities on the table because it’s exciting to dream about where travel might take them. Gradually they will start to get a firmer idea of what they want out of their next trip.
Key tactics for dreaming touchpoints
While you may not be able to unlock direct revenue at this stage, you can certainly start to put your brand front and centre of a traveller’s mind with the right approach.
Social media and destination marketing tactics are recommended here. In particular you should:
- Use your instagram account to post the most breathtaking images of your property and the local area, making sure to use the most popular travel related hashtags.
- Encourage all guests to tag your property in any photos they post on Facebook or Instagram.
- Publish videos on YouTube that have a global flavour or the potential to go viral – what’s something unique about your property or destination that people will find fascinating.
- Ensure your hotel is affiliated with travel associations and travel boards for your area
- Interact with your online community and encourage sharing – perhaps with giveaways or competitions.
Basically you want to make as much ‘noise’ as you can online to capture the attention of dreaming travellers, however this is not a point where you want to spend too much time or budget.