How Your Online Booking Process Impacts Overall Guest Experiences
Your hotel customer has a long journey from research to walking away a happy customer. As a hotelier, your goal is to create the best overall customer experience you can during the entire customer journey.
This experience is what drives customers to your hotel and keeps them returning again and again.
A positive experience is beneficial because it engenders customer loyalty and also creates brand ambassadors who will tell their friends and family all about your hotel.
The first step in the customer experience is their visit to your website and their experience with your online reservation system. Let’s look at how your online booking process impacts the overall guest experience so you can meet your goals.
Make Online Booking the Priority
Did you know that nearly 70% of all hotel reservations are made online? Because of this, you want to make sure that you have prioritized online booking on your website.
When people visit your website, not only do they want to see inside your rooms and amenities, but they also want easy access to your online booking. Making a reservation should be front and center, as this is the first access point to your overall guest experience.
Today’s traveler does not want to have to call you to make a reservation. In fact, Millennials avoid phone calls at all costs.
So, if you don’t have an easily accessible online booking system on your website, you need to add one or refresh your existing one immediately. If your guests incur any issues making a reservation on your hotel website, they are likely to leave and visit your competitor’s website.
Make one-stop booking easy, understandable, and speedy on any device your website visitors and potential lodgers are using.
Now, let’s look at how your online booking process impacts overall guest experiences.
It’s Available 24/7
Your online booking system is hard at work 365 days a year, every hour of the day.
This means your customers can make a reservation with you at any time of day or night and even in their pajamas.
Not only will it increase your overall guest experience, but it will increase your bookings, too.
It Frees Your Staff Up to Concentrate on Customer Service
When your staff doesn’t have to answer the phone, they have more time to provide the best customer experience inside your hotel.
Your staff is more efficient; they aren’t tied to a telephone, and now their job is to make your customers feel comfortable, appreciated, and at home during their stay.
Guests Can Make Changes on Their Own
Your online booking process also means that your customers can make a change to their reservation on their own and at any time.
They don’t have to call you or wait on hold. They can change anything your booking system allows them to. This immediately improves their guest experience and puts the control in their hands.
You have made things easy for them, and they aren’t frustrated before they ever enter your hotel.
You Can Offer a Chat Feature
Does your booking system offer a chat feature? If not, it’s a good idea to add it. You’ll find that this automated feature also impacts your overall guest experience. Think about the answers they can get by simply asking them online.
- Guests can ask your booking chatbot questions about directions or check-in times.
- They can ask questions if they can’t find the answer on your website.
- It provides immediate service to busy customers.
Using chatbots in the booking process gives your customers immediate answers. They don’t have to call you or wait on hold.
If hotel agents manage your chatbot, these agents can manage multiple chats at once, so everyone gets served sooner, improving customer service.
Planning the Overall Guest Experience
Your goal as a hotelier is to provide the best customer service and overall experience to all of your guests. The guest experience is the sum total of every interaction a person has with your hotel and your staff. (tweet this)
The guest experience generally begins online, so it starts before anyone ever sets foot on your property. This is the pre-stay experience and one you have every opportunity to capitalize on.
Consider your website and your booking engine the first touchpoint of your potential guests. This is where they first “meet” you and form their first impression. In fact, if they aren’t comfortable on your website and making a reservation, they just might leave.
According to one source, you want to make your customers feel safe and assured before making a reservation. Are you doing that?
You have a chance to interact positively with your customers at each touchpoint along their customer journey. This is why you want to make the reservation process as easy and efficient as possible. There should be no confusion at all, and it should be very quick and seamless.
Your online booking process is vital for attracting new visitors to your hotel as well as returning customers. Make sure that the whole process is a positive one so your customers walk into your hotel with a smile on your face, knowing that their guest experience will be a good one.
Finally, use technology to your advantage throughout the booking process. This increases the goodwill customers feel toward your hotel, and you’ll find they are happier during their stay and even more likely to return.
Your hotel customers want to be self-sufficient, but they do expect your reservation system to work with ease. Provide this to them, and you’ve set the stage for a positive guest experience.
We are your hotel digital advertising specialists, and we can help you add a reservation system to your website and even refresh an old one. Along with your website, we can create a winning social media marketing strategy that also ties back into your website. As website design and redesign experts, we can also create a new or refreshed website accessible to all. And we can also help with search engine marketing, online booking, online listings, and social media marketing. We are here to help. Contact us today for your consultation!
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