For many, guest service and the guest experience are seemingly interchangeable. While guest service may imply a single interaction, the guest experience is the continuum of interactions between the guest and your hospitality organization. These interactions translate to specific stages of the guest journey, and they include awareness, advocacy, acquisition, delivery, and nurture.
- A guest’s first point of contact with your property is usually through online channels. Consider this the first stage of the connected guest experience – or the awareness stage. Guest engagement at the awareness stage is critical; it’s about helping more people discover your brand. And the technology you use can affect the likelihood of appealing to future guests. Accessibility of your brand is achieved using multiple technology channels. Guests should be able to find and interact with your property with ease regardless of the preferred platform or devices they use – a truly omnichannel approach connects your brand to more guests.
- Once a guest becomes aware of your brand, advocacy begins. As prospects discover all the amenities and services your property has to offer, are you poised to encourage continued engagement? How easily can prospects navigate your site to get their questions answered? Consistent and seamless experiences, regardless of the devices used, translates to more people connecting with your brand, ultimately moving to the next stage: acquisition.
- Is your guest reservation process straightforward? Regardless of the visitor’s operating system, and no matter their preferred browser, the acquisition of guests requires a multi-channel approach. It’s about allowing each visitor to connect to you the way that is most comfortable and convenient for them. A straightforward reservation process makes all the difference to convert and acquire guests.
- Digital communication channels have entirely altered the way guests engage with brands, but there are still those who want the human touch. While an enjoyable experience results from individualized service, it also can also require engaging with guests using technology. Delivering service, the way guests want, when, where, and how they want, involves a consistent, end-to-end experience supported by backend technology and processes.
- In the nurture stage, it’s about understanding and leveraging the personal preferences of your guests. Data is typically captured from several channels: the booking engine, PMS, and even social media. This profile data helps you promote personalized offers that stand the best chance of exceeding guests’ expectations. A connected experience is created when you can anticipate guests’ needs – providing what they want, perhaps even before they know they want it. The ability to deliver against these expectations goes a long way in building a stellar brand reputation.
To create a truly relevant, connected guest experience, take your digital strategy up a notch. Consider starting with network-connected technologies that help automate and drive business intelligence, point-of-sale, property management, mobile check-ins and check-outs, and AI for suggestive upsells.