A potential guest looking for a hotel first looks at his possibilities. He reads reviews from other guests on rating portals, looks through your website for your offers and compares prices at online travel agencies or meta search engines. So you do not even have to wait for your guest to enter the lobby to communicate with him. Pre-stay communication is an important part of the Guest Journey, as is post-stay communication. Once your guest has left, you must not lose contact with your guest. In this blog post we will tell you about the advantages of pre- and post-stay communication for hotels and how hoteliers can reach their guests even if they are not, or no longer, in the hotel.
Why pre- and post-stay communication is so important for hotels and what you should tell your guests
Why not wait for his arrival at the hotel until you start communicating with your guest with a friendly smile from your reception staff? And why should you keep in touch with him if he has already left? With the right information at the right time, you not only increase the satisfaction of your guests, but also your turnover. And the right time is not only when your guest has already arrived.
Give your guest all the important information
Your hotel guest has a need for information, which you can satisfy with the right communication. At the moment, your guests are probably interested in the new hygiene measures at your hotel, whether the wellness area has already reopened and what regulations are currently in place for breakfast. But not only now does your guest have a list of questions about his holiday and his hotel stay. After all, he wants to be prepared for his journey. Also, give your guest important information for his trip to the hotel. Where can he park? When can he check in? And what offers can your guest already book from home? Perhaps there will be a special event at your hotel on the day of his arrival, which you would like to draw his attention to. Insider tips for leisure activities will help your guest to plan his or her holiday even before arriving at the hotel.
What is frequently asked at the reception desk? Create a list of frequently asked questions and have the answers sent to your guests before they arrive. With special recommendations for a trip in the area or information about an event during his stay, you will not only satisfy his need for information, but at the same time build a basis of trust. And customer loyalty is built on a good basis. So, that is a good start to make your guest a regular guest.
Make them aware of your digital services. Do you have a hotel app? Can your guest check in and check out digitally? Then send them an email on the day of their arrival with all the information about your digital services. For example, explain the digital check-in procedure to him before his arrival and let him check in independently and without contact.
Use the up- and cross selling potential
With the right information you can boost your sales at the same time. Up- and cross-selling potential lurks in pre- and post-stay communication that you do not want to miss. Tell your guests about your special offers before they arrive and give them the opportunity to book different services or inspire them to book an upgrade for their rooms. Offer your guests the possibility to make an appointment for a wellness treatment in advance to avoid possible appointment bottlenecks. This will not only make the holiday for your guest less stressful, but will also help you plan your personnel early on. Even after his stay, simply send him a voucher for his next stay or draw his attention later to a special hotel offer. In this way you can encourage your guest to book a stay with you again.
Collect feedback and reviews
A nice message after your guests have left, thanking them for their stay, is an easy way to keep in touch. After the stay, hoteliers should use the opportunities of digital communication tools to remind their guests to leave a review. With a link to a rating platform, you can directly forward your guest and make it as easy as possible for him. Collect important feedback from your guests when the memories of their stay are still fresh. This way, you will get more ratings, which will make the decision process easier for other hotel seekers. You may also find potential for improvement in your hotel. The feedback from guests is therefore just as important for the travellers as it is for your hotel itself.
How to communicate with your guests during the pre- and post-stay phase
The hotel webseite
The hotel website is one of the first touchpoints your guest has withyour hotel. A hotel website is part of the basic equipment by now. If the guest is looking for suitable hotels in the desired holiday region, the search engine first shows hotel websites and the websites of the OTAs. With your website, you can reach the potential guest who is still looking for the right hotel. Now, an website with pictures of the hotel and the service offered helps, so he sees what he can look forward to. A personal message from the hotel director and his team also gives the guest the feeling of being welcome. Strengthen the trust already before the arrival and build up a bond with the guest with an appealing hotel website.
Emails from the hotel
Once your guests have booked a stay at your hotel, you can begin with the direct communication. Send them an e-mail and help them to plan their holiday. Personalize the e-mails and greet your guests with their name. With the personal touch, your e-mail will stand out in their inbox. Use e-mails to establish contact with your guest before their stay and create a basis of trust with the right information. Even after the stay, e-mails are essential to keep the connection to the guests alive. This does not mean, of course, that you should annoy them with e-mails every day. This is anything but target-oriented. Let your guest determine the frequency himself.
Always up-to-date with the hotel app
Communication with the guest before and after the stay is particularly easy via a hotel app. If your guest has a quiet minute and wants to plan his holiday, he opens the app. Everything important about the hotel and the area is collected in one place and can be accessed at any time. Because his smartphone with the app – or web app, which he doesn’t even have to download – is always at hand. Push messages via the app additionally draw attention to certain hotel offers or services, such as digital check-in and check-out. The guest then also uses the hotel app directly to check in and out.
Your hotel on social media platforms
You can also reach your guest via social media. With pictures of your hotel, hotel rooms, activities and the surroundings, your guest gets an insight into the hotel and knows what he can look forward to in the near future. If your guest follows your profile on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram, you also establish a connection to him or her and every post reminds them of the hotel even after their stay. Social media is particularly suitable for exchanging information directly with the guests. Active users like to comment under a new picture or use the simple and quick contact option for questions.
Out of sight, out of mind?
With the help of digital assistants you can simplify communication with your (potential) guests. Your guests will quickly find answers to their questions. With additional information and insider tips, you build a connection and trust between your hotel and your guests. Various solutions are available to reach your guest before and after their stay. The right mix makes the difference. After all, it is not only what you communicate that matters, but also where and when. And pre- and post-stay communication helps to achieve this. Because only in this way will the Guest Journey become a special experience for your guest.
In order to close the circle of the Guest Journey, one important part is still missing: communication during the stay phase. Whether face-to-face or via digital helpers – communication between a hotel and its guest is also during the stay a decisive factor for an unforgettable hotel stay. In our next blog post you can read about the possibilities you have during your stay to stay in touch with your guest and to reach him or her in a targeted manner.