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All About Hotel Guest Experience Journey and Hotel Marketing

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Coordonnatrice Marketing | Rédactrice et graphiste. La création, c'est ma passion !

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The tourism and hospitality industry is a very competitive environment, as many establishments compete to attract guests to their hotels. The hotel guest experience journey is something that makes all the difference! Moreover, know that this journey begins well before a booking. The hotel guest experience journey starts from the first searches of your potential clientele and ends only at the end of the stay, more precisely after the departure.

In this competitive environment, it is necessary to be resourceful to attract new customers through marketing adapted to the hospitality industry. This way, you will increase your number of bookings considerably.

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Want to learn how to improve your hotel guest experience journey? To help you, here are ten elements impacting the hotel guest experience journey as well as ten best practices to follow to improve the marketing of your hotel.

What is the hotel guest experience journey?

Definition of the hotel guest experience journey

In the hotel industry, the customer experience is defined by the sum of the perceptions felt by your clientele throughout the hotel guest experience journey. These perceptions may include:

  • The furnishings of your hotel;
  • Your offer of products and services;
  • Interactions between clients and your staff;
  • The quality of your website;
  • The speed of the support;
  • And much more!

Each of these elements impacts customer satisfaction, which in turn influences your e-reputation and online reviews. A quality experience offered by qualified staff will allow you to acquire good customer reviews. Thanks to these reviews, your hotel will stand out from its competitors: you will get many bookings from your current customers as well as your prospects. Thus, by offering a good hotel guest experience journey, you can better manage the marketing of your hotel.

Which elements have an impact on the hotel guest experience journey?

You don’t know the different elements that impact your customers’ satisfaction?  To this end, take care to properly analyze your customer journey. Survey your customers regularly with hotel satisfaction surveys, and then take action to correct any flaws in your customer experience. If necessary, don’t hesitate to implement a solution like InputKit to better identify the needs of your hotel customers. Such software can be beneficial for the management of your hotel: it will increase your number of positive customer reviews and allow you to increase your online visibility.

Without further ado, here are ten factors that influence the hotel guest experience journey.

1. The hotel’s reception

When your guests arrive at your establishment, take care to welcome them warmly. Greet them with a benevolent smile, politely invite them to dispose of their luggage, and then ensure that you are available to meet their needs. This welcome will make them feel pampered and appreciated: they will know that their well-being is at the heart of your priorities.

Avoid leaving your customers on their own. In a foreign location, a neglected customer will be reluctant to come back, let alone leave you a positive review online. As a result, it is important to let your customers know that you are available when needed. Offer an impeccable welcome that will make your guests feel at home: it won’t take long to improve your hotel guest experience journey.

3 examples of successful customer satisfaction surveys

2. The hotel’s decors

When we talk about decor in a hotel, we have to create a WOW effect. Basic, old rooms that do not represent current trends will disappoint your guests. Be sure to rely on the latest decor trends and hire an experienced designer to set up your establishment.

Everything has to be thought through: colors, smells, textures, patterns, plants and more! The idea is to create an enveloping atmosphere that people will want to capture on social media. So, if your decor generates a favorite effect, people will have the reflex to take a photo in your decor and identify you on social media. This will make you an interesting advertisement that will give you a new clientele.

Find out about the trendy colors of the moment and the most popular materials in decoration magazines. Integrate vegetal walls to create an effect of nature inside. Incorporate thoughtful architectural details, such as arches that will give your institution a unique touch. The idea is to create a unique tourism experience and to get there, you’ll need a unique setting!

3. The price

In the hotel industry, it is important to know how to offer a fair and competitive price. With this in mind, attract your prospects to your hotel by setting up packages with a good quality/price ratio.

Does a client want a tour guide for the week? Does a family require several separate rooms? According to the current needs of your customers, create formulas at prices adapted to your different personas. These competitively priced formulas will be available on the web and will differentiate you from your competitors. This is a great strategy to provide a personalized hotel guest experience journey.

4. Flexibility of booking policies

When they finally find a suitable hotel, many guests will want to book their room several months in advance. However, such a reservation is not immune to unforeseen events, especially during this pandemic.

Cancellation of a flight, work, changes to travel laws abroad: several factors influence the arrival of your guests in your hotel. In this sense, a group that has to cancel their reservation at the last minute should not run into policies that make cancellations impossible. When the time comes to make a choice, a potential customer will tend to favor a hotelier who is more flexible.

To minimize customer dissatisfaction, be empathetic. If possible, agree to delay certain bookings to better synchronize with the arrival of your guests. In the event of a cancellation, offer your customers a full refund and make sure you understand the situation. By preserving the satisfaction of your customers, you have a better chance that they will come back to you for a future trip. It will then be interesting to promote this flexibility policy in your marketing practices promoting your hotel!

5. The employee’s courtesy

To optimize your hotel guest experience journey, you must offer your guests an unforgettable experience combined with impeccable service. In order to achieve this, what could be better than a friendly, professional and proactive staff?

As soon as your guests arrive, greet them with a warm smile and ask for their room number. Take their luggage and take them to their room. If this is their first time staying with you, why not give them a guided tour of your hotel? This is a perfect opportunity to show them the extent of your services.

Remember that your employees are a reflection of your business. Therefore, a team that is motivated and attentive to the needs of your customers will be favorable for your brand image as well as for your hotel guest experience journey.

6. The frequency of household service

Of course, your guests want to stay in a clean and tidy space. With this in mind, be sure to provide regular housekeeping service in your guests’ rooms. Be sure to apply the best sanitary practices. Also, pay special attention to common areas that can get dirty quickly. During this pandemic, redouble your efforts to ensure a clean place for your customers. To ensure a good hotel guest experience journey, share your COVID-19 measures on your website as well as your Google My Business to show your customers that their health is at the heart of your priorities. Being proactive will significantly increase your customer satisfaction.

Free French EBook - 3 examples of successful customer satisfaction surveys

7. The access to customer support when needed

Since your customers will need support during their stay, be sure to set up a team entirely dedicated to customer support.

These staff members must be trained to answer the needs and questions of your clientele at all times. To do this, make sure they speak multiple languages and are available at any time of the day. After all, your guests can’t predict the unpredictable!

To facilitate communication, provide a card with the hotel’s phone number. Ensure there is always a receptionist available to answer questions from your clients. This will benefit your hotel guest experience journey.

8. Personalization of the hotel guest experience

Customers are more critical of their stay in the hotel industry. Personalizing the experience is a crucial issue to set you apart from the competition.

When it comes to your hotel guest experience journey, make sure you have a formula adapted to the type of traveler in front of you. Are you dealing with a traveler in ‘staycation’ mode or rather an adventurer abroad? As mentioned above, be sure to offer rates and formulas tailored to your customers’ current needs. When making a booking, customize your messages according to the name of your client and the chosen formula. Finally, when your guests arrive, take a moment to discuss their stay to better advise them on the local activities available to them. These small attentions will greatly contribute to your customer experience. They will allow you to build a relationship of trust with your customers in order to better retain them. This is a great strategy to improve your hotel guest experience journey.

9. The integration of new technologies

Do you want to optimize your hotel guest experience journey? If this is your case, the integration of new technologies is a golden opportunity to improve your experience and thereby the image and marketing of your hotel.

For example, a good hotel management software will help you better manage your guests’ bookings, invoicing, arrivals and departures. This is a great asset to improve the customer experience, but also to save valuable management hours for your employees.

In addition, if you think about the technological experience in the rooms, it may be appropriate to set up a Bluetooth system to allow your customers to control the brightness, the temperature, the TV set, and the music in their rooms with their phones. By spreading the fact that you are providing a state-of-the-art experience, you will greatly improve your hotel guest experience journey.

10. A quick departure without any inconvenience

At the end of their stay, your guests are in a hurry to return home. In this sense, it is crucial to offer a seamless experience from the beginning to the end of your customer journey.

In addition, set clear guidelines for the arrival and departure of your customers. On the last day of their stay, send them a personalized and concise message to remind them of their maximum departure time. This way, they will have time to prepare to leave the hotel or to extend their stay without the slightest inconvenience. Finally, when the time comes to leave, offer them your support to carry their luggage to their transport and remind them to give you back the key to their room.

These small details will allow your customers to better prepare to minimize delays. This way, your guests will be able to leave the hotel without delay. This is a good way to get positive online reviews!

What can you do to improve your hotel marketing?

Now that you know the different elements of the hotel guest experience journey, it’s time to spread a good brand image for your hotel.

The marketing of your hotel is the key to the success of your business. Thanks to it, you will get bookings and a good reputation. In this sense, a good marketing strategy will allow you to generate the revenues necessary for the proper functioning of your hotel while setting you apart from your competitors.

However, implementing good marketing strategies for your hotel can be complex. How can you improve the marketing of your hotel? To help you, here are ten best practices to follow that will benefit your hotel’s marketing.

1. Create an inspiring website with online bookings

In order to ensure the proper marketing of your hotel, it is essential to have a well structured and ergonomic website. In this sense, create an inspiring website highlighting local activities as well as the services offered by your hotel.

To optimize your website:

  • Establish a clear hierarchy with a clean style to allow users to easily find the information they want;
  • Set up an intuitive navigation approved with a simple interface to allow optimal navigation for your users;
  • Optimize the loading time of your pages;
  • Write quality content related to your local activities, your services as well as your different formulas/rates;
  • Highlight the interactive elements with bright colors to create contrast with the rest of your interface;
  • Optimize your website for mobile devices;
  • Fix broken links to optimize your SEO and improve your Google positioning.

Remember: the ideal website will make your guests dream while providing them with the appropriate information for their stay. This will benefit your hotel guest experience journey as well as your hotel marketing.

2. Optimize your SEO with local keywords

Almost every hotel guest experience journey begins with a search on the web. In this sense, when it comes to hotel marketing, it is crucial to optimize the SEO of your website so that it appears on search engine results. To this end, follow our best practices to improve your organic and local SEO:

  • Optimize your Google My Business page by describing your company and your product and service offering;
  • Add your company page on Google Maps;
  • Ask your satisfied customers for Google reviews;
  • Disallow broken or suspicious links from your website;
  • Regularly update the information as well as the content of your website;
  • Write quality content to better inform your guests about the activities, services and benefits of your hotel;
  • Get recommended by travel agencies as well as B2B companies;
  • Adapt your website for mobile devices;
  • Integrate various local keywords related to your positioning and services to increase your online visibility.

3. Improve your online reviews to build trust with your prospects

Online reviews play a crucial role in the marketing of your hotel. According to PRNewswire81% of Internet users read reviews online before choosing their hotel. In this sense, having online reviews from satisfied customers will help you acquire new leads, in addition to attesting to your credibility on the search engines. This is a great opportunity to display in Google’s first results and stand out in the hospitality industry.

Did you know that software like InputKit can benefit your hotel’s marketing? At the end of a customer satisfaction survey, our solution invites your satisfied customers to leave a positive review online. This way, you can improve your hotel guest experience journey while optimizing the marketing of your hotel. That’s why it’s important to have good management software for your hotel!

4. Ensure your presence on travel review platforms

As discussed above, online reviews play a crucial role in the marketing of your hotel. However, did you know that there are a variety of travel and hospitality review platforms you need to monitor to maximize your positive reviews? In terms of platforms, we are thinking in particular of:

  • Booking;
  • Expedia;
  • Google My Business;
  • Tripadvisor;
  • Trivago;
  • Yelp;
  • And more!

When searching for your potential visitors, these platforms will have a considerable impact on the purchase decision. Many positive reviews will improve your search engine positioning and allow you to acquire new customers, while negative feedback will discourage your prospects from doing business with you.

To ensure the proper marketing of your hotel, optimize your online presence on review platforms. Regularly invite your satisfied customers to leave a positive review on these online review platforms and be sure to respond to dissatisfied customers to show them that their well-being is at the center of your priorities. These answers will help you improve your SEO, your hotel guest experience journey and your e-reputation.

5. Collaborate with influencers

Do you want to improve the marketing of your hotel? If so, it may be appropriate to work with influencers to promote the qualities of your hotel to your prospects.

For example, why not invite an influencer to stay at your hotel for free? During their stay, the influencer will take the opportunity to introduce their community to your hotel, activities, services and local attractions. This taste of an unforgettable hotel guest experience journey will make their audience dream and will inevitably attract new guests to your hotel.

6. Share customer-generated content to build trust with your prospects

Every day, hundreds of thousands of Internet users share opinions and images related to their hotel guest experience journey on social networks. In this sense, a great marketing strategy for your hotel is to share the content generated by your customers (User Generated Content) to show your prospects that you are trustworthy.

Share your customers’ social media posts on your platforms to show them that you appreciate their content. You could even take the opportunity to respond to their opinions and comments in order to improve your e-reputation. This tactic is a good way to build confidence in your prospects, as the shared content comes from satisfied customers. This will be beneficial for your e-reputation as well as for your acquisition of new customers!

7. Promote neighborhoods around your hotel to sell the destination

During a trip abroad, it is interesting to visit some local attractions. In this sense, promoting these tourism activities is an excellent hotel marketing strategy to attract more tourists. 

On your website, make a list of local attractions and interesting areas to visit near your hotel.  Be sure to embed breathtaking landscape photos to create a WOW effect!

You could even use Google Maps to show Internet users the best points of interest (restaurants, museums, historical monuments, etc.) near your hotel. This is a considerable asset for your hotel guest experience journey as well as your marketing! In order to encourage family or group bookings, offer in some packages a tourist guide to show your guests around. This will improve your tourism experience: your interest in the well-being of your customers will ensure you receive many positive reviews online!

8. Post frequently on social networks

A key strategy to ensure the marketing of your hotel is to optimize your presence on social networks. To this end, take care of your online presence to show Internet users that you are reading their comments while sharing quality content. This will greatly improve your e-reputation while giving you good online visibility.

On TikTok and Youtube, stream informative videos about your local services and attractions to make your customers dream. Add a touch of humor when relevant!

On platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, talk to your prospects about your rates, formulas and services to inform them. You can also take note of their opinion to improve your hotel guest experience journey.

Finally, on Instagram, share high-quality photos of your hotel, activities, rooms and staff. This will show your exceptional hotel guest experience journey to your leads and will be favorable for the marketing of your hotel!

9. Personalize your online experience

Of course, a personalized experience is necessary to set you apart from your competitors. As a result, when it comes to hotel marketing, take care to integrate a few personalized elements in order to attract potential customers to your establishment.

For example, on your website, set up pop-ups customized to the page you are currently visiting in order to offer your users recommendations based on their specific interests. This strategy will allow you to encourage your prospects to discover more services or formulas related to their interests and improve their hotel guest experience journey.

Finally, social media sites and tools like Google AdWords can also be favorable for the marketing of your hotel. With their retargeting techniques, you can create custom paid ads that target users who have already interacted with your website. Through data collection, these advertisements will relaunch your prospects and even offer them some rooms or formulas based on their latest research. This is a huge asset to increase your customer acquisition through customization!

10. Offer an augmented reality virtual tour

Although it is often associated with the world of video games, a great strategy for marketing your hotel is to take advantage of virtual reality (VR) technology to offer your users an augmented reality virtual tour.

In recent years, the hotel industry has taken the opportunity to allow Internet users to virtually visit their hotel, room and nearby attractions to give them a taste of the services offered. Such a tactic could allow potential holidaymakers to discover your hotel freely and greatly reduces the cumbersome decision-making process. In this context, virtual reality is an asset for the marketing of your hotel.

How InputKit can help you improve your hotel guest experience journey and hotel marketing

Do you want to improve your hotel guest experience journey? If so, InputKit’s customer experience assessment and improvement solution can help.

Our solution allows you to send customer satisfaction surveys at the right time, one to two hours after the experience. In addition, our 49% response rate by email and 57% by SMS will help you gather valuable information to improve your guest experience in the hotel industry. This is an asset to better track your customer satisfaction and correct some flaws in your hotel guest experience journey.

Did you know that these surveys are also fully customized and automated? With the help of our artificial intelligence (AI), you will be able to adapt your surveys to your clients’ stay. Thus, you will establish a human and trusting relationship with your customers while saving several hours of management. This feature is a must to offer your guests an unforgettable stay in your hotel!

If you want to improve the marketing of your hotel, our online review improvement solution is a choice of choice. This solution will allow you to improve the marketing of your hotel while simplifying the management of your online reviews. Interesting, isn’t it?

Our dashboard allows you to centrally manage your online reviews. This feature, along with an unanswered review filter, allows you to easily read and respond to feedback from your customers. In this way, you can easily establish human contact with your customers, and even rectify some customer dissatisfactions to improve your e-reputation. Thanks to our artificial intelligence, you can even program automated and personalized answers to your customers’ reviews. This is a must for optimizing the marketing of your hotel while saving precious management hours.

Finally, did you know that InputKit’s solution can help you evaluate and motivate your staff? Thanks to our hotel management software, you can share positive feedback from satisfied customers to motivate and empower your employees. This valuable feedback will help your staff better understand the impact their service has on the lives of your clients. Thus, they will give the best of themselves to offer an unforgettable experience to your customers. This will set you apart from the competition while optimizing the marketing of your hotel.

In addition, our solution will soon provide the opportunity to create satisfaction surveys for your staff. With this feature, you will be able to better identify certain issues impacting your employees’ job satisfaction. In addition, you can offer your employees competitive working conditions that will motivate them to give the best of themselves. So you can provide your guests with an unforgettable hotel guest experience journey!

Finally, while implementing a hotel marketing strategy can be complex, follow our best practices to promote your property while delivering an exceptional hotel guest experience journey!

First, take care to set flexible booking policies, then create different formulas and rates according to your customers’ specific needs. When guests arrive, give them a warm reception at your hotel. Take the time to get to know them and give them a personalized experience, then guide them to a room that’s thoughtfully decorated. Throughout their stay, provide them with the necessary support: integrate new technologies to facilitate the personalization of their experience and take care to establish a frequent household service. Finally, make sure their departure is smooth and hassle-free.

To improve the marketing of your hotel, create an inspiring website with optimized SEO using local keywords. It’s important to deliver a personalized and efficient digital customer experience! nvite your satisfied customers to leave you positive online reviews, especially on travel-related review platforms. Collaborate with influencers to attract new leads, then share your customer-generated content to attest to the quality of your services. Finally, optimize your presence on social networks and do not hesitate to offer visits on your site with virtual reality (VR).

Now that you know our best practices, it’s time to take action! We invite you to schedule a free, personalized demo of our online review enhancement and customer experience enhancement solution. Our team of experts will be delighted to contribute to the success of your hotel!

3 Examples of Successful Customer Satisfaction Surveys

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