In this article, you will learn what you need in order to deliver the best customer experience and make sure your guests feel that the offer you created is made just for them.
No matter if you grow a small or bigger travel/hospitality brand, you most likely created it thinking about delivering unforgettable experiences to your clients. Despite the best intentions, I’ve seen so many people who are just starting out in business base their decisions on their gut feeling.
Following your heart is not the worse method, but shouldn’t be the main ingredient of your brand strategy. Often, we are victims of bias and do not have an accurate view of what our guests really want and need. But in your business journey, you quickly learn that solid knowledge is an important element of making their experience unforgettable.
So where to begin shaping the customer experience and what tools to use? Below you will find a short guide that will help you to start.
Get to know your ideal guest profile
For the business owners who just starting is a tricky task to say what their potential guests like or dislike. I often talk with people who are at the beginning of building their brand, thinking their product or service is made for everyone.
Are you one of them? There is no shame. I really understand where it comes from.
You are in love with your business idea and want people to benefit from what you provide to them. Good for you. In spite of the fact that reaching the largest number of people might seem like a great idea, studies have shown that the narrower the target group, the higher the chances of selling your product.
You may ask, so how narrow is narrow enough. Well, if there is only one answer to this question, it is: depends!
But one thing is for sure: knowing who you want to aproach will help you to use the right language and address important pain points.
Knowing the ideal guest profile will help you to stay laser-focused, choose the right marketing tools, and speed up the process of creating new products and offers.
Gather useful data in order to provide the best customer experience
We live in the world of information and the right type of data can be a gold mine for your business.
There are many controversies around gathering and processing data. As the awareness grows, more consumers are concerned about how companies are gathering information about them.
So make sure that you have transparent data policies and you secure it properly.
But how to even start gathering data and how to use it to improve customer experience?
Using tools like Google Analytics, and Facebook Pixel is where you can start as a small travel/hospitality business owner. It gives you an idea of how the user uses your website and what attracts their attention. You can then create offers and campaigns that target people who potentially going to be interested in your hotel, restaurant or tours.
You can gather data from your existing clients by simply asking questions – in person or by using a survey. Ask about their experience and decision making process. It will help you to level up your customer experience and take care of the needs of the rest of the people with similar preferences.
Some brands use technology to level up their customer service. For instance, Disney tracks their visitor’s footsteps to check what attractions are most popular throughout the day and year, and how to schedule their employees’ agenda. Thanks to data they even found out how far apart their trash bins should be located to avoid littering. With the right data, they’re able to keep the park cleaner and their customers don’t waste the time queuing in lines. It all results in an overall better customer experience (source)
Take care of all the touchpoints
Your customer experience doesn’t start at your hotel or restaurant. It begins way before they even book a tour with you.
Start with addressing every stage of their decision-making process. Think about what they have to know, what problems they can encounter, and what they can feel and think during at every stage.
Then, take a look at other processes, like check-in, check-out, and customer service during their stay. etc
In the times of the tech revolution, what your guests most likely look for is fast and efficient communication, intuitiveness, safety, and customization.
Take these factors under consideration at every step of your guest’s journey to ensure a better customer experience.
One of the most recognizable hotel brands – Taj Hotel, gathers data about its clients using its website and app. They use the data to train their employees who then know how to interact with the clients and also themselves become an important source of feedback and information (source)
Don’t forget about customer experience after the check-out
Many small travel/hospitality business owners lose contact with their guests after the check-out. However, being able to stay in touch with your customers after they leave your hotel can benefit your business. Providing excellent customer service when your guests have already used your service, further increases the likelihood of them using it again.
But don’t take this behavior for granted. The tourism industry is competitive. Customers are constantly bombed with amazing offers and discounts.
However, the connection you manage to establish during their stay and nurture it after gives you some advantages.
Data you collect about them in the early stages of their customer journey can be used to remind them about your brand. So when they’re finally ready to book their next trip, you will be the first one they think about.
To do so, you can use newsletters or your social media channels. Utilize them to show customized, interesting content and offers. Adding a personal touch, like remembering about their birthday, favorite food or interests can create an amazing bond between them and your brand.
HOW TO DELIVER THE BEST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE TO YOUR GUESTS – summary
Taking care of your customer experience can put you in a position to compete with much bigger brands.
Addressing the needs and understanding your guests is the first step to creating an unforgettable customer experience. Depending on the type of travel/hospitality brand you run, the strategies and tactics can differ. But gathering data and information, asking the right question, and being open-minded can help in the process.