There are many different benefits to closely monitoring the customer journey. By keeping a close eye on the decisions made by your prospects along the way to becoming a valued customer, you can help to optimize this experience and influence their end destination – making a hotel booking.
As a key concept in digital hotel marketing
, there are some interesting ways to use the power of digital to take charge of this journey and funnel your prospects through to the ultimate conversion objective of making a room reservation.
1. Understand Key Customer Channels
Knowing as much as possible about your customers gives you a much better chance of getting a decent handle on their activities and helping to shape them beneficially. Perform a careful analysis of the various contact points your customer has with your hotel. From a digital perspective, this is made much simpler than with offline marketing. There are a wide variety of digital methods a customer might use to engage with you which are not limited to simply interacting with your product or service directly at the booking stage.
Each point of contact your customers have with your hotel is a chance to influence their decision making process in one way or another. Customer journey mapping takes into account both what you want to provide the customer, and what the customer wishes to receive. The gaps between this idealised experience and the one your customer experiences in reality are where your efforts should be focused.
2. Research on Social Media
Look at your digital marketing channels including your activities on blogs and social networks. Observe the conversation around your brand, and note its tone. Are you engaging enough with your prospects? How does your hotel sound from an outsider perspective? How does it look? Would you book a room? By taking a dispassionate view to your offering, you can get a better idea of how a potential customer initially sees you. They have no vested interest in the success or failure of your business – what they see is what it can provide for them. By showing that you can deliver on a great experience from the get-go, you greatly enhance the likelihood that customers will make that all-important booking.
3. Join the Conversation
Set up Google Alerts for your business and regularly monitor them. You will gain a competitive advantage by engaging on a consumer level. Your ability to manage all levels of communication during the customer journey will have a make-or-break effect on its eventual outcome. Research different channels of discovery about your brand – be it consumer forums, comparison sites or your own website – and look at it all from a usability and desirability angle. Your end goal is to create a bond between you and your customer, so taking charge of the awareness and discovery stages in a digital sense takes into account the many activities and actions your customer will undergo before making a purchase – giving you chances to maximise these efforts to ensure they show your hotel in the best possible light.