Thanks for taking the time to read my first blog. I am Niels Verspui, and brought RoomRaccoon to South Africa in 2017. For the past two and a half years that I have worked at RoomRaccoon, I visited many clients and have observed how hoteliers work nowadays.
What I love so much about the industry is that we are in contact with amazing individuals across the world. Making the guests experience the greatest from the moment they get in touch with your brand until, hopefully, indefinitely. You will be amazed at what positive changes you can make if you know and understand your guests customer journey. Trying to explore their unique experience for leisure or for business. This is why I am personally so fascinated about the ‘customer journey’ which resulted in me writing my thesis for a beautiful 24 bedroom boutique hotel in Cape Town. For this thesis I did research on the customer journey of the hotel’s guests for six months.
Let’s start with a basic explanation about the customer journey. Your potential guests go through multiple stages and touch points before they make the decision of where they will book their stay. A few simple things that are important to consider to attract your potential guests are:
- Have professional high-resolution photos taken
- Always have a bathroom photo
- Focus on reviews on the different platforms
- Don’t out price yourself with your competition
- Don’t make it complicated for your potential guests to chose
- Be visible on relevant booking channels
When I did my thesis we worked with different systems, which I did not mind to work with. I did, however, discover that the systems had a major impact on a negative customer journey. Once the guest has chosen to book your accommodation, it’s important to consider the following throughout your guests customer journey.
- Just before the guest finishes the booking, you would like to find out more about your guest. Do they have dietary requirements, meal preferences, are they interested in a transfer or maybe, for the leisure guests, any activities they are interested in.
- The moment the guest books with you via a booking channel, a personalised acknowledgement mail should be sent to the guest. This mail should make the booking details, location, the requests they booked as well as the T&C’s clear. The design of the mail is also very important as this is one of the touch-points of the customer journey.
- After booking and before arrival, communication should go smoothly and should be captured. Preparations for the requests should be clear for the hotel and a friendly reminder is a great way to get in touch with your guest again. This also allows you to upsell, meaning, to improve the customer journey because of a more personalised experience.
- The arrival, personalisation: know your guests requests and speak about it on arrival. They will experience this as very professional and it is a great start to the initial physical contact with the guests.
- Find out what your guests like, what activities they did and capture it in their profile.
- Connect with your guest via a post departure email requesting them to write a review and provide them with an instant return discount.
The key of making it happen to potentially give your guest the best experience is to make use of a well implemented all-in-one system. The major challenge I had with the previous systems I worked on is the missing features as well as a lot of manual input requires by staff. This unfortunately kept us away from providing our guests with the perfect experience.
This is one of the reasons I started bringing RoomRaccoon to South Africa. The RoomRaccoon system has beautifully integrated an upsell functionality in the booking engine and with the automised personalised booking confirmation/ pre-arrival email send. This also eliminates waiting time for the guests to receive acknowledgement of the booking / pre-payment. Special requests are nicely captured separately about the specific booking as well as the guest. A major benefit is that all the requests, such as twin beds, vegetarian and a bottle of wine on arrival will automatically be communicated to the breakfast / housekeeping list to avoid any mistakes.
Capturing more information about the guest is easy in the system and next time when your guest books again, the information is readily available. And to stimulate your guest returning, RoomRaccoon has implemented an automatic post departure email allowing you to ask for a TripAdvisor review and providing an instant return discount via your own website.
I am very excited to show you what RoomRaccoon can do for your establishment. Get in contact with me on [email protected]