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The hotel guest journey can be likened to an extended road trip. Beyond the basics of finding a room, booking a room, and staying for one or two nights, the entire hotel guest journey covers multiple guest touchpoints that occur during and after their stay. Hotel guest journey touchpoints consist of any interaction or point of contact between a customer on their journey and the hotel business.

The adventure begins from the moment a potential guest finds your website and interacts with your content and core amenities. Booking a room is only the beginning — with hotel guest journey mapping, hotels can identify hotel guest touchpoints, strategically engage with guests at different stages until check out, and continue their impression on guests until long after their stay is over.

7 Essential Hotel Guest Journey Touchpoints

For hoteliers, having a firm grasp on the customer journey for hotel guests means zooming out and seeing the big-picture view, as well as zooming in and examining how well the hotel accommodates guests at each stage. Here, we highlight how to use hotel guest journey mapping to identify the most essential hotel guest touch points through the hotel guest journey.

7 essential hotel guest journey touchpoints

1. Crafting a Responsive, Informative Website

First impressions matter, especially in a busy digital era when attention spans are short. Your hotel’s website often serves as that first impression, so it needs to resonate with prospective guests with the right information and delivery of content.

Having a responsive website – one that offers a clean and easy experience across all types of devices – is a fundamental necessity for the first guest touchpoint. Data shows that nearly 45% of travelers use mobile devices to book their accommodations and 85% use a smartphone to book travel activities.

A responsive and informative website is a must-have for hotels to reach their target audience and increase brand awareness. With that in mind, here are a few important boxes to check:

Investing in professional photography, interactive online tours, and other web-related features can also provide high ROI in booking more guests. Pro tip: Consider adding an FAQ section to answer common questions guests might have before booking. Also consider turning your website into a marketing powerhouse by integrating SEO, social media, and email.

2. Engaging Social Media Presence

Having an engaging social media presence acting as a hotel guest journey touchpoint is critical for hotels for several reasons. For one, some potential guests overlook visiting the hotel’s website entirely, solely relying on social media search engines and social pages for their information.

According to Expedia, 90% of Gen Z travelers make decisions influenced by social media. This provides a powerful advertising launching pad to use as a hotel guest journey touchpoint, as many prospective guests turn to Facebook or Instagram to browse photos, reviews, and other socially relevant content to validate whether a hotel is hip to their liking.

But beyond connecting with young travelers, social media as a whole is a crucial asset for a wide range of reasons.

By leveraging the power of social media as a hotel guest touchpoint, hotels can create a strong brand, drive more bookings, and build loyalty among their customers. Next to having a website, prioritizing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and/or Snapchat is vital when mapping the hotel guest journey.

3. Personalizing Guest Welcome Emails

Welcome emails are a hotel’s digital handshake, the first step to building a rapport with guests. It’s about resonating with guests on a more meaningful level that fosters a sense of loyalty throughout the customer journey.

A study by Experian showed that personalized emails can generate up to six times more revenue than conventional, non-personalized emails. While this data looks at emails as a whole, personalizing guest welcome emails is an easy win for hotels when done right.

So how can hotels tailor their email communications to be more personalized with guests? Consider these approaches:

Personalized welcome emails help hotels build stronger relationships with their guests and improve the overall guest experience. There are many ways a welcome email can be personalized toward guests, and these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.

4. Customized Marketing and Upsells

In hospitality, customized marketing and upselling techniques can be game changers. Hotels can leverage hotel guest journey mapping to understand guest’s preferences and create custom-tailored offers that resonate with them. Making your guests feel special is not only about increasing revenue but also providing them with a personalized experience.

Hotels can offer a variety of customized upsells to enhance the guest experience and increase revenue. Here are some examples:

As with guest welcome emails, personalization is key to successful upselling, and hotels can use guest data to tailor their upsells to guests’ preferences and needs.

hotel guest journey touchpoints

5. Gentle Check-Out Reminders

The check-out stage of the hotel guest experience journey is a crux that requires a mindful approach. Hotels can use gentle check-out reminders to ensure that guests leave on time and to avoid operational issues.

Automated messages to remind guests of the check-out time the night before their departure can help avoid any confusion and ensure that guests leave on time. But while automated, hotels can personalize check-out messages via SMS or email and include the guest’s name and any special requests or preferences they have indicated. It’s also helpful to communicate any late check-out fees upfront and include them in the check-out message to encourage guests to leave on time.

A hotel’s check-out reminder could be a text or email message saying something like, “Hi Sarah, don’t forget checkout is at 11 AM tomorrow. If you need more time, please contact the front desk about arranging a later check-out time.”

With this approach, guests feel cared for even in their final moments and leave with a positive impression that lingers long after they’ve left the property.

6. Request a Positive Review

One of the final and most valuable touchpoints in a hotel guest’s customer journey comes after the stay is over. Your hotel’s reputation can skyrocket when guests share their positive experiences online — but encouraging guests to leave positive reviews is easier said than done. Here are a few best practices to request positive reviews from guests:

By following techniques like these, hotels can more seamlessly request positive reviews from guests and bolster their online reputation. After all, research from TripAdvisor found that 81% of people always or frequently read a hotel’s reviews before booking.

7. Leverage Email Incentives for Future Stays

As a boon for establishing customer loyalty, email incentives can offer guests special deals, discounts, and packages that they may not find elsewhere. Not only can this help build loyalty and encourage repeat bookings, but email incentives act as hotel guest journey touchpoints that provide a direct line of communication between the hotel and its guests.

Hotels can harness the power of email incentives in many creative ways:

Additionally, hotels can use post-stay email incentives to solicit guest feedback and encourage them to leave reviews. Technology is a critical foundation to all this, enabling effective hotel guest journey mapping and optimization across each hotel guest touchpoint. This is where the support of companies like Blueprint RF comes into play.

Optimize the Hotel Guest Journey with Blueprint RF

A key component to enhancing the hotel guest experience and improving guest satisfaction is connectivity. Blueprint RF provides secure and reliable hotel WiFi services to ensure that guests have a high-speed Internet connection throughout their stay. Via hotel automation and dashboarding solutions, Blueprint RF also helps streamline various aspects of the guest experience journey. In turn, this can help hotels better analyze customer data and improve their operations to support strategic initiatives. For more information, contact Blueprint RF.

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