How technology can improve the guest experience before arrival

Technology pre arrivalmost-popular2Using technology to own the digital conversation has become the most important aspect of most hoteliers’ jobs. It leads to increased direct engagement with guests, an influx of guest conversion from unknown OTA bookings to real known guests, and ultimately, an increase in future direct bookings. From the moment that guest makes a booking, it’s your time as hoteliers to shine! 

Google identified that one of the top five most travel-related search terms was ‘what to do in [destination location]’. Travellers want to plan, they want to book in advance and they want this information at their fingertips on their mobile devices and desktops. Dara Brady of Ryanair shared his insights on the customer journey in a keynote recently and stated, “What customers want is communication, information and control.” Simple! Well, sort of…the key is using this knowledge and pairing it with technology in the right way.

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Below is an outline of a perfect guest experience and how easy it can be to execute at any type of property. Using these key elements to drive engagement, provide information and put the power of the guest experience and travel journey at the guests’ fingertips, allows hoteliers to drive brand loyalty, revenue and guest retention.

Using the above list of emails (see image), coupled with the below top tips, is an incredibly effective way of using technology to enhance the guest experience.

1. Use destination marketing before they arrive

A digital (or mobile) concierge allows guests to browse at their leisure all of your personalized and recommended activities, dining options, spa treatments, golf services etc. and then book directly with the hotel via the platform. It’s a great way of showing off all that is to offer in the local area, at your resort or just what locals recommend. This level of customer service builds anticipation for the guests as they can see what’s in store for them as soon as they arrive. It allows the hotel to learn about their guests preferences and use this information to tailor the guests’ stay and use in future marketing communications.

2. Communicate through personalized email automation

Automated pre-arrival emails allow the hotel to design, tailor and send beautiful branded emails to their guests without any manual work. On average, we see guests open and click their automated emails (with 39% average click-through rate) to access the mobile concierge six times before they arrive at the hotel. This improvement in engagement with the guest before arrival drives key marketing goals for the hotel, such as brand loyalty, awareness and revenue.

3. Know your guests

Using information gathered from automated email responses, mobile concierge requests and pre-arrival questionnaires, allows you to build the most robust yet dynamic guest profile possible. This unique ability to store and use this data for guests enhances marketing communications and drives guest retention over time.

So embrace your guest engagement, hotel marketing or CRM platform. Discover how to utilize every corner of it and engage with your guests. Driving conversations with guests is vital and using technology to instigate it is what guests want.

About the author

Nicki GrahamNicki Graham is the Marketing and Communications Manager at Guestfolio, a  guest engagement and marketing platform hat helps hoteliers engage, convert and retain guests. The company’s goal  is to personalize the travel experience for guests and provide insights and tools that build lasting brand loyalty for its hotel customers.

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