When we talk about creating remarkable guest experiences, we often focus on the part after the client checks in. However, the guest experience starts well before that – from the moment they are researching their next holiday. During this pre-stay phase, you can already start creating great experiences and boost revenue while guests are looking, booking, and preparing their stay.
Here are six tips on how to boost revenue by improving the guest experience in the pre-stay phase.
1. See Online Reviews As Your Hotel’s Shop Window
We all dream about our next holidays, and as an online business – you are never closed. While potential guests browse the internet looking for information, what will they find about your establishment online? The experience of former guests at your property, how any negative issues have been handled, or the positive points about your hotel will help them to form opinions about your brand.
2. A Good Review Response Goes a Long Way
A negative review can always happen, but this doesn’t necessarily harm your online reputation with the correct management response. Because, just like the reviews themselves, your management response to both positive and negative reviews is right at the front of your hotel’s shop window.
- Every response should be written in an appropriate tone, apologizing if needed, while giving further details on what the guest has mentioned and should end on a positive note.
- Speed is key and ideally, reviews are responded to within 72 hours.
- Use templates to facilitate and increase efficiency, but make sure you personalize the responses!
- Use the responses as an opportunity to highlight any new cleanliness measures you’ve implemented recently.
3. An Optimized Website is Your Best Friend
The post-pandemic landscape offers a great opportunity for many hoteliers to drive guests to book on their own website instead of that of an OTA. However, is your website optimized to boost revenue?
Even if your property is closed right now, your website never is. A website with outdated information will push your guests to look for information somewhere else. Here two ways you can optimize your website and boost direct bookings:
- An up-to-date hotel chatbot is a perfect way for website visitors to obtain quick and easy information, instead of having to browse through endless pages around the website.
- Showcase some of your more recent reviews to boost consumer confidence, just like adding any quality seals you have might have obtained.
4. Provide Answers From the Cloud
With the rise of the mobile phone, we have gotten used to pulling information whenever and wherever we want “from the cloud”. Looking up hotel information should be as easy as looking up the capital of Iceland. An AI-fueled chatbot can offer answers within seconds, just like when you are looking for the answer to the capital of Iceland (it’s Reykjavík, by the way). If you want to improve the pre-stay experience in order to drive bookings, instant answers on your website are crucial.
5. Upgrade your Chatbot to a Direct Booking Assistant
From that same conversation where your chatbot captured the sales lead asking for information, it can then close the deal. By integrating your chatbot with a booking engine, the book-a-room process can be initiated within the chat, which will prefill the booking form later. By simplifying the process, you not only ensure fewer potential bookings drop off but also reduce noise in your contact centers.
6. Be Both Reactive & Proactive
By proactively reaching out to your guests you can set the right expectations, while also exceeding them. Send out a proactive message to your guests to inform them of your messaging service or with upgrade and upsell opportunities a few days before arrival. This allows them to tailor their stay to their needs, whether that is a relaxing spa stay with friends or a gastronomic getaway.
Ensure the guest experience pre-check-in is communicative, informative, and frictionless and increase guest satisfaction, while also increasing direct bookings.
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