Last week we talked about the Planning and Booking phases of the guest journey. Before we get into the guest experience on-site, let’s talk about the next phase: Packing and Travel.
I will be traveling with a pack of kids, and our method of transportation is road trip. No matter what form of travel your guests are using, there are certain to be frustrations. As a hotelier, the happiness of your guest is not truly your responsibility until they arrive on your property, but this is yet another opportunity to surprise and delight your guests, which in turn gets them talking up your brand to their friends.
Consider these ideas:
If mode of travel is one of the questions your staff asks during the booking process, can you use that to delight your guest? Consider choosing 5 guests per week, and sending them a travel kit in the mail. These can be customized for people who are flying or driving, and traveling alone or with a group. Attach a card that explains that they were chosen to receive it; it will make them feel special, and other guests won’t think they missed out on something.
Packing can be a huge frustration for anybody. Making lists, trying to remember everything, finding a spot for it, wrinkles…nobody wants to do it. How can a hotel make that process easier or more enjoyable for guests? Check out the Atlantis Hotel Philippines for a good example. Guest know long before the packing process what type of clothes to bring, what is in their rooms already, and what can be purchased at the shops. This is a cost-free way to make guests feel at home when they arrive at your property.
Be thinking in terms of social media, as well. What will your guests share with their friends before their trip, and can you brand it? A simple postcard with a note about their upcoming stay would be enough. Be sure to invite them to contact you with any special requests ahead of time.
Think a little outside the box, be personal and creative, and you will find your guests gushing over your property long before arrival. I would suggest providing guests with the opportunity to experience their vacation before it happens with fun virtual photo booths. Set up a link with shots of people at your property, but cut out the faces. Using simple cut and paste technology, guests can add their own faces to your photos, and share them to Facebook or Twitter.
What creative strategies do you employ that have guests bragging on your property before they arrive?