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7 Steps to Enhance Your Hotel's Customer Journey

Online Marketing 3 Minutes
The customer journey for guests doesn't begin when they arrive at a hotel. It starts much earlier, during the inspiration phase, when they start to develop the desire to travel. This practical guide offers insights into how hotels can implement effective marketing strategies across all 7 phases of the customer journey.

As Steve Jobs once stated: “You have to begin with the customer experience and work backward to the technology.” This quote highlights the importance of placing the customer at the center of all efforts and designing every step of the journey with their satisfaction in mind.

Putting the 7 Phases of the Customer Journey into Practice

1. Analysis Phase:

Before creating content for various channels, it's crucial to identify the target audience and conduct a thorough analysis. This sets the foundation for delivering a customer-centered journey.

  • Determining the target group is essential: Both demographic data and interests/preferences should be considered when identifying the ideal audience.
  • Understanding where the target audience is active is key: This could include social media platforms, hotel websites, travel platforms, and comparison portals. The hotel's marketing presence should be visible in these areas, with the goal being to drive direct bookings.

2. The inspiration phase

At this stage, the guest is considering traveling but hasn't made a decision. Effective communication, such as travel inspiration, insider tips, and information about city trips, can bolster their desire to travel and ideally generate interest in the hotel. However, there is no concrete booking intention yet, so it's crucial to differentiate from other offerings and maintain their interest.

3. The research phase

At this point, the guest has determined their destination or region. The focus shifts to finding the right hotel. The city and the hotel must meet specific criteria, and the challenge for hotel marketing is to provide comprehensive and attractive information on multiple channels. Consistent branding and positive visuals can increase interest, and social proof such as customer reviews on social media can also have a significant impact on the likelihood of making a reservation.

4. Booking:

The guest has made a decision and now it's crucial to build trust during the booking process. This includes clear and straightforward pricing information and a user-friendly booking process. The guest will choose between an OTA, booking platform, or direct booking. If the hotel's website offers an easy and competitively priced option, the chance of gaining a direct customer increases.

5. On-Site Experience:

The guest and hotel finally meet in person, and it's crucial to prioritize guest satisfaction. This includes clean rooms, professional and high-quality service, effective complaint management, and prompt handling of special requests. All these interactions with the guest play a crucial role in building a loyal customer base.

6. After the Stay is Before the Next Stay:

The customer journey doesn't end with the guest's departure. Repeat and regular guests are invaluable to a hotel, as they tend to book earlier and create a more predictable occupancy rate. Maintaining communication is key, through newsletters, social media posts, and ads, to keep the hotel top-of-mind for the guest. A genuine thank you for the stay and reminders of the wonderful on-site experience can greatly increase the likelihood of a repeat booking.

7. Turning a former guest into a loyal guest

When everything on the customer journey has worked seamlessly, the guest will have many positive memories associated with their previous stay, which will be further strengthened by hotel marketing. Over time, this will result in the guest becoming a loyal and regular customer.
Effective hotel marketing is a daily challenge. Hotel marketing automation tools such as ADDITIVE+ HOTEL MARKETING AUTOMATION can make this process easier for hoteliers and marketing teams, as it targets potential customers based on data and maximizes conversion opportunities.

Would you like to learn more about how marketing automation can enhance the customer journey at your hotel? We'd be happy to provide you with a non-binding consultation.