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5 Ways to Enhance Your Hotel Guest Experience Before Arrival

Take these steps to create a positive impression before guests even set foot in your hotel.

In the hospitality industry, the guest experience from hotel research to check-out forms each guest’s impression of your brand. From the minute they hear about your hotel, its amenities and services, they form an initial opinion that shapes their guest experience with your hotel.

“The guest experience focuses on the relationship between your hotel and its guests,” according to hotel software platform Oaky. “It includes every interaction or communication with your guests, whether direct or indirect, even if it doesn’t result in a booking.”

When guests have a smooth experience from beginning to end, they’re more likely to book your hotel again. Your brand begins forming that relationship before guests even arrive.

Your hotel also experiences benefits, according to Oaky:

  • Improve word-of-mouth marketing and the number of positive reviews
  • Solidify your brand image
  • Increase repeat booking and guest loyalty

“It’s crucial to deliver a seamless experience from when your guests book their stay to when they leave your hotel. It is a continual process,” says Oaky.

5 tips for enhancing the pre-arrival guest experience

Creating the best guest experience before the guest arrives is essential to an enhanced guest stay. Oaky recommends taking these five steps to create a lasting impression from the get-go.

1. Create guest profiles

Research the types of guests that stay at your hotel. Do business travelers make up a greater portion of bookings? How many guests are leisure travelers? Or maybe your hotel has a percentage of “bleisure” travelers who combine business with a vacation.

Guest profiles allow your hotel to personalize the guest experience for each type of traveler.

“The more you can personalize their stay, the more appreciated and welcome your guests will feel,” says Oaky. “Every personalized interaction elevates your hotel in the eyes of your guests.”

2. Ensure a smooth website booking process

To make booking as easy as possible, your hotel website should provide:

  • Complete information about room types, amenities and services
  • Appealing photos and videos. Many potential guests enjoy taking a virtual tour of your hotel, including rooms, amenities and services
  • Reliable and efficient booking software
  • Multi-channel contact options that appeal to different generations, including phone numbers, chatbots and messaging
  • Online payment options
  • Promotions and special offers

3. Send a confirmation email

Send a confirmation email immediately after booking. Include information about check-in options, services, amenities, events and local offerings.

4. Allow guests to customize their stay

“Give your guests the opportunity to tailor their stay to their needs in advance,” says Oaky. “Rather than guessing what packages they prefer, you could allow your guests to choose how they want to customize their stay. This way, you can leverage the power of upselling early on in the journey.”

5. Make contact easy

Communication can make or break a guest experience. Make sure guests receive quick answers to their questions and requests. Realize that some guests prefer to ask questions by phone while others communicate almost exclusively by messaging.

Why pre-arrival matters

The way you treat guests from the day they book to the day they arrive is only the beginning of the overall guest experience. Your hotel must also stay on top of providing a superior guest experience during their stay. Even after guests check out, asking about their experience via email surveys or responding to their online reviews cements the total guest experience.

Starting off on the right foot with pre-arrival attention lets guests know that you value their business and want them to enjoy their stay. And they’re likely to let others know, too.

“If guests enjoy their stay at your hotel, they are more likely to return and refer your hotel to others, helping you attract even more guests,” says Oakly.