Guest Booking Process - Step Three Of The 5-Step Series

Guest Booking Process – Step Three Of The 5-Step Series

Once again, we are talking about the five steps of a guest booking process: the physiological route that your customers take before deciding where to spend their money. In the last two posts, I covered the first two steps: PLAN and RESEARCH. If you haven't read those entries yet, I recommend doing so prior to this post so you can get up to speed. If you're already caught up, read on.

(Check out first stage of the guest booking process here.

Here's the second stage of the guest booking process.)

Step 3: DECIDE

Our next step, DECIDE, happens when the guest has narrowed down their choice of hotel to maybe one or two properties. They'll have two tabs open on their browser or have saved a couple of favourites in an OTA. They could be looking at your property, hovering over the “Book Now” button, as you read these very words. (CLICK IT, PLEASE! CLICK IT!)

What makes them click BOOK? And, just as importantly, what makes them not? Read on to answer these questions.

At this step of the guest booking process, the potential customer should be 80% ready to DECIDE in your favour if you've done the first two steps right. Usually, the potential guest is deciding between two or three other properties in the mix.

This is where your USP needs to shine!

Boast about your Unique Selling Point (USP) to tip that customer over the edge! A USP is what you do better than anyone else. Some examples of possible USPs include:

  • The views from your property
  • The fantastic customer service
  • The food
  • The price
  • The amenities
  • Money-off vouchers
  • Free welcome drink
  • Afternoon tea


A gift, like fancy toiletries, a chocolate box, or wine. Whatever you do best must be clear to the potential guest.

How do you present this to a guest? On your website, it's easy.

The Power of Pop-ups

You can incorporate a pop-up ad in your vacation rental website builder to showcase your USP on your site and, more importantly, on the hotel accommodation page. Pop-ups are annoying, yes, but they work!

The purpose of pop-ups is to interpret and capture your customers' attention. Combine this with an added value offer, and you are on to a winner!

You can time pop-up ads to appear at exactly the point where you need to get the guest's attention.

  • When they scroll down to a particular part of your page
  • When they were just about to hit the “exit” box
  • When they have been on your page for a certain amount of time

Let's look at that last one. If someone has spent a good minute on your hotel accommodation page, you know they are interested in staying with you. If they spend more than two minutes, they are looking for more, which will help push them over the edge toward hitting the book button.

Say a pop-up was to appear at minute two with a beautiful reminder of your free welcome drink or money-off restaurant voucher. That reminder gives your customers the extra encouragement they need to go ahead and book with you.

Pop-up adverts are easy to set up.  I recommend checking out SumoMe, which can be located via a Google search. This service provides stunning ad templates and has the best customer service team on hand to help.

What if the guest isn't on your website and is instead looking at your property on an OTA, like Well, ensure you are taking full advantage of all the features the OTAs offer you. features a VIP product called “Genius Benefits.” This means that any member of gets extra benefits at properties. Ensure you check this out because you can offer these features to their members, and in return, you'll appear higher in the search ranking. Your USP will be visible to more people.

In conclusion

Step 3 is an important part of the booking process. If you mess this part up, then you'll lose the reservation. If you find that you get a lot of people clicking on the accommodation section on your vacation rental website but not a lot of bookings, then this is why.

Crack step 3, and you will increase your direct bookings.

The next step is all about BOOKING and why the OTAs are so good at it.

Now, Let's Jump over to Session Four of our five-step guide to Optimising your Guest Booking Process.

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