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How to onboard your guests?

05 May 2022
Many industries, especially the technology industry, think that customer onboarding is the most crucial part of the customer journey to maximize revenue and long-term success. The hotel industry has much to learn from other industries to develop methods to increase hotel consumer spending.
A well-defined guest onboarding process in a hotel would be a high-return investment. A perfect onboarding would encourage the guest to spend more. Apart from that, the hotel secures that the guest will be happy with the experience. Therefore, hotels need better onboarding of guests.

Definition of onboarding

The process is the buyer's journey until the guest makes a reservation. As soon as the buyer decides to buy, the guest's journey starts. Here are the significant benefits of a great guest onboarding.

Onboard the hotel guest

The starting point is when the guest makes a reservation. The reservation means that the guest notifies the hotel that they will become guests on a specific date. The reservation will probably materialize, and one day the guest will meet the front desk team members to check in. Worst case, the guest might cancel the reservation and never show up to become a guest.

Start the onboarding before arrival

Many hotels think that onboarding starts when the guest arrives at the hotel, but that is not the best time to start onboarding. A better way is to begin onboarding when sending the guest the confirmation. Then the onboarding begins as soon as the hotel sends the first personal message to the guest. The guest's contact information makes it possible to communicate with them and send messages before arrival. These pre-arrival emails are part of the onboarding. The hotel has the opportunity to give the guest information about the hotel and also to sell more products and services before arrival.

Someone else owns the customer

Tip: If you do not send the confirmation, it is not your customer. Guests who book on any OTAs will receive well-written and informative confirmations from the OTA - not the hotel. The OTA has a well-designed onboarding process to ensure that the guest stays loyal to the OTA. The OTA will provide their version of the hotel information that the OTA finds appropriate. Therefore, the hotel onboarding of someone else's guest will start at check-in.

Onboarding at check-in

The next phase in the onboarding is check-in. The hotel will help the guest navigate through some obstacles, such as an ID check, credit card for a deposit, and getting the key. On top of that, the receptionist tells the guest all about the hotel in a pre-learned high-speed speech. Finally, the hotel can allow the guest to stay at the hotel and conclude the check-in. The guest is exhausted but relieved that the check-in process is finally over. When the guest has check-in, the hotel does not disturb the guest anymore and hopes that the guest caught some of the information given at check-in and will spend additional money at the hotel.

Continued onboarding

The onboarding continues during the first part of the stay when the guest enters the room, looks at information, uses room amenities, and visits the bar and restaurant or other hotel facilities. A better onboarding of all hotel products and services would increase guest satisfaction and allow the hotel to sell more to each guest.

Change the perspective

Thinking about the check-in process as onboarding the guest changes the perspective. With a well-thought-out onboarding, the guest will spend more at the hotel during the stay and become a happy guest that will return and recommend the hotel to others.