In marketing, there’s a lead generation and onboarding process that helps sales funnel gurus and the like turn cold leads into loyal customers.
It works like a dream, but sometimes it reads about as dry as the Sahara during a record drought.
So, forget the words “lead” and “process” and replace them with “guest” and “nurture”.
We’re going to teach you the fine art of guest nurturing in just five (kinda) easy steps, and your business is going to thank you for the results.
1. Mastering the First Touch Point
First impressions are everything and so many businesses jump the shark before a potential customer even has a chance to reach for their credit card.
Whether you make first contact by email, on social media, through a website form, or even by phone (people still do that, or so we’re told), make their first impression a great one. The guest experience has already begun.
Experts call this “lead acquisition”, but we like to call it smart business. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Don’t leave messages unanswered, respond using grown-up words and proper punctuation, and if you can find a way to go above and beyond, do it.
2. Streamline Your Booking System
One study found that travelers are actually happier when planning their vacation than they are while taking it.
Call it the power of anticipation or a love for creating itineraries, but a huge part of the guest experience is complete before they even hit your property.
A clunky or incomplete booking system is a stellar way to lose a customer, so check integrations often and ensure each step is user-friendly and clear cut.
3. Avoid Dropping the Ball Between Booking and Arrival
For one of our key clients, we sent out an exciting message to booked guests that included a packing checklist and a guide to the local area — the incredible Berkshires, FYI.
We also asked if they were joining our client to celebrate a special occasion and what their favorite snack is.
All these seemingly tiny things cost little but offer spine-tingling ROI. You stay top of mind and show guests they’re important long before they check-in.
4. Make the Most of Check In
Your guests are finally on property.
You can hand over a key and wish them well or continue nourishing your budding rapport.
- Use check in to talk about area attractions, offer special services, and congratulate guests for any celebratory milestones
- If the booking calls for it, stock the room with champagne and balloons as a surprise, but even “ordinary” guests are surprised to find their favorite snack lying in wait
- Give a branded gift that doubles as a souvenir and a reminder that your business helped create an unforgettable vacation that’s well worth repeating (hopefully soon) and sharing
5. Put a Bow on the Whole Guest Experience at Checkout
Checkout isn’t the end of the relationship. Play your cards right and it’s not even a proper pause. This is when you quadruple check everything exceeded expectations, make a few personal remarks confirming you know they’re a human rather than a walking dollar sign, and encourage them to book another stay.
It’s okay to ask for a review, too; people love knowing their opinions are valued, and a positive review is free publicity.
We’ve tailored this short-and-sweet guide to hotels, but it really works for any business.
Follow the same tips but tweak them to reflect digital communication and online channels.
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How you bring customers into the shop, educate them on their options, and make them feel comfortable enough to return could be the key to indomitable loyalty and stratospheric profits. Guest experience matters.
See How We Created An Experience at the Lake House.