Long before a guest steps foot into a hotel lobby, the guest experience begins. Success in the early stages of the guest life cycle (GLC) is essential and knowing how to track it will allow for optimization throughout each phase. Identifying which areas need streamlining or improvement during pre-arrival and arrival stages is key to creating a profitable and growing operation. Here are some ways the right PMS can help hoteliers track performance in the early stages of the guest life cycle.
The guest life cycle begins when potential guests start browsing for a hotel. The guest will first go through the research phase where he or she will gather information about your property and compare it to other options. It is your goal during this time to get the prospective guest to choose your hotel over other options—having a strong OBE and mobile friendly website is a good place to start. You can track your performance during this stage with a few KPIs. The right PMS will integrate with applications like Google Analytics to track user behaviours and demographics. With this software, hoteliers can track how long a customer stays on the site before making a decision, whether or not they are interested in customized offers and how many users bounce shortly after visiting the page. The right integrations will allow you to gather this data and use it to your advantage.
Selection and Booking
It goes without saying that your own OBE is the preferred method of booking in this phase. Bookings that are done directly through your site will increase your ADR and turn a greater profit while allowing you to gather more valuable guest information. The right PMS will use an abandonment tool to prevent customers from leaving the site before completing their booking and be able to show hotel managers how many bookings are made through the OBE (as opposed to through OTAs). A PMS should also be TripConnect Certified to capture the 340 million unique monthly visitors TripAdvisor reports.
The pre-arrival stage occurs between the time of booking and check in. This is your opportunity to make sure all available guest information has been gathered, properly stored and is ready for your staff to access. Before choosing a PMS, take a look at its ability to store guest profiles and cleanse duplicate information. Having this information ready will allow your staff to provide the best service possible.
During this stage you’ll also want to monitor how successful your upselling efforts are. The pre-arrival phase is a good opportunity to generate additional revenue for your hotel by encouraging room upgrades, special packages and bonus events. A strong PMS system equipped with useful integrations, such as Guestfolio, will be able to leverage guest preferences to make more pointed customized offers. Hoteliers should use their PMS to track how successful these offers are so that they can continue upselling services before guests’ arrival.
During the check in stage, the guest arrives at the hotel and approaches the front desk. While this is not the first touchpoint of the guest experience, it is likely the most important, as there are many chances to impress or disappoint. Use your PMS to track how successful your front desk is at upgrading guests’ room packages and adding on services to their stay—if many guests opt for additional features and upgrades after speaking with your front desk, chances are your staff is properly equipped to provide in-person, customized deals to your customers.
The early stages of the guest life cycle provide rich opportunities to analyze guest behaviour, create customized offers, prepare for guest arrival and gather the data needed to identify where improvements can be made. A robust and integrated PMS is the best way to track your performance during the early stages of the guest life cycle to troubleshoot any issues and improve guest interactions to keep guests coming back again and again.
Learn more about The Impact of a PMS in the Guest Life Cycle by downloading Part 2 of RoomKey’s whitepaper series.
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