Time for step number two of the guest booking process. Are you ready? (Step one is here.)
In my last post, which was about step one, I explored the PLANNING process. I went into what psychological steps the potential guests go through at the beginning of their decision to book, and more importantly, what you can do to make sure they continue through the process and book with you.
Now let’s get into step two: RESEARCH.
STEP 2: RESEARCH
This is the step where the guest finds out more about what you have to offer and decides whether your services match their needs.
One of the first things that a potential guest does during this step is to check out your photos. That is why it is so important that your images are up to date and look great! (If you want to find out more about how to take the ideal photo of your hotel, CLICK HERE!)
Keeping this in mind, go to your OTA’s page and make sure that the first 5 images there are your best ones. I see many properties that post any old image on potentially lucrative OTAs, and honestly, it puts off many of their potential bookers. Don’t make that mistake if you want to take care of this second phase of guest booking process!
A good way to test what kind of response you’re getting from your customers is to check your stats on your OTA or TripAdvisor account. If a large number of people click on to your listing, but a low percentage actually book, it’s probably because of your photos.
Besides photos, the guest is researching what else they get for staying with you. Other big factors they look for include:
•What’s included in the room rate
•What facilities you have
It’s important that your website and online listings clearly state all of the above. Ideally, we want everyone to be on your hotel’s website at this stage. However, we have to be realistic and accept that most people will have discovered you for the first time via an OTA, TripAdvisor, or an online listing. Nevertheless, make sure that your location and facilities are clearly indicated on your website, maybe via the menu bar or on the home page. Remember, the goal is to keep the potential guest on your website, so make everything as easy and clear as possible.
It’s all about your reviews. Your reviews are the social proof that your property is a good fit for the potential guest. Display your online reviews on your website, ideally on your homepage.
Finally, get on your social media game and make sure you have a good presence. (Don’t forget to link your posts to your website!)
The cool thing about social media is that you can connect any platform to your website. Facebook is great! Not only can you put your posts on your website, but the potential guest will be able to see which of their friends have liked your page too. Social approval is a HUGE part of the buying process, so if they see that one of their friends has liked your Facebook page, then that potential customer will feel socially confirmed. This will make it easier to book them.
Hopefully, this post has left you with some helpful information regarding the second phase of guest booking process! I recommend that you go to your website right now and make sure that it’s not putting people off from going to the next step.