The customer is the king in the hospitality industry. We have heard this phrase many times. But, did you ever try to figure out services or things that make these customers feel like kings. In this post, we cover some of the most important customer touch points in the hospitality industry.
Make your customers feel like a king using these touch points. It is important to trace hotel industry customer journey and then use it to your best advantage in exceeding customer’s expectations.
After all happier customers mean more business and more profit.
Service is the key to success in the hospitality industry and these customer touch points can help provide superior service. In order to quickly define these touch points we can mention that these are the point of contact for the hotel right from a prospective guest visiting a website.
The touch points for customers can start right from booking to post-purchase or post stay in the case of hotels and Cruises. These are hospitality service points, the discrete ones, in the hospitality customer journey with the respective brand or service provider.
So, let’s get started with pointing these out now.
Crucial Customer Touch Points in the Hospitality Industry
It is through the customer touch points that hospitality businesses can do customer mapping. Understanding of the guest touch points is crucial in terms of delivering the best possible hospitality service.
These are extremely useful to grab that lifetime worth of a customer through the support of technology in the hospitality industry.
The below image by Smart Insights shows touch points that would help the customer journey mapping.
Let’s get started with listing and explaining the customer touch points in the hospitality industry.
First things first now.
A great website to touch mind and soul
We all know about “Love at first sight”.
This should happen as soon as a potential customer comes to the website of a hospitality business.
Whether it is a hotel, airline, cruise, an amusement park, a restaurant or a cinema; the decision to purchase happens much before the real purchase.
The website thus acts as one of the first and one of the most crucial customer touch points in the hospitality industry.
Thus if you want to influence the customer decision process, a remarkable website hold the key.
If your customer falls in love with the product the search for alternatives is skipped and a purchase is made. Here’s a sample hotel customer’s mental journey map in terms of zeroing on a decision to select a hotel.
- Need recognition
- Information searching
- Evaluation of alternatives
- Decision of Purchase
- Post-purchase evaluation
Hospitality businesses have started investing wisely to create remarkable websites.
So, impacting customer decision at the initial touch point can be a big win over the competition.
2. SMS / E-mails / Notifications before, during and after the purchase of service
Technology gives you ample opportunities to delight customers at multiple touch points after the purchase of service has been made.
- A nice e-mail after a hotel is booked.
- A lovely SMS 48 hours before the departure of a flight
- Few app notifications about the sightseeing they can do during their visit
- A Nice welcome card sent through room service or even better if sent by a Robot Butler.
- Offer messages during service
- Notifications of events
and much more.
A hotel manager or a hospitality manager is contained not by resources today but by imagination.
Hospitality businesses should create more opportunities to touch their customer’s mind to give them delight before, during and after the purchase of service is made.
Artificial intelligence is revolutionising the hospitality experience. AI-based messaging can help to create delights for customers as displayed by the below image by IBM.
3. Creating delight during Check-in (Hotels, Travel, Restaurants)
This is one of the most important customer touch points in the hospitality industry.
It is the first real face to face encounter. Hospitality businesses should make the most of it ensure customer’s best attention span.
Great experience here means repeat business and more profit.
A great smile and hassle-free check-in do wonder to the guest experience.
Companies should make the first impression count and ensure that they create multiple mini touch points during customers stay.
Hotel guest experience journey should be as pleasant as possible. The first impression can make a huge difference to set the tone for overall customer experience.
While there are various customer service touchpoints but the first impression might trump them all in terms of impact. The below image by Routier explains the importance of the first impression quite beautifully.
4. A Perfect Parting Gift for a Perfect Customer Touch
It is important to leave a great impression when a guest leaves or at the completion of service.
A parting gift after a meal, after a hotel stay or after travel is just like an icing on the cake.
Again, if a gift is out of the budget, a smile and some discussion could also do wonders at times.
Another lasting experience could be an enhanced experience through the use of technology.
Quick hassle-free checkout can give your guests a big reason to come back. Add some more delight by some parting smiles and comments.
Image courtesy- Pureites
5. Touch your customers through emails and promotions
The attention span of customers in this technology era is extremely less.
A great digital marketing strategy is a must to increase that attention span of all customers.
It is important that they keep getting regular updates through e-mailers, messages, social media promotion and so on.
It is crucial to prolong the customer’s journey with your brand. This can be done through pre-arrival and post-departure communication.
It can prime the customers for a great experience and leave a lasting impact on the hotel customers. This can help the hotels in terms of getting repeat business and recommendations.
A strategy must be in place to understand and influence the Customer touch points for the brand. We have tried to define customer touch points and list the same in this post specifically for the hospitality industry.
A brand must establish its personality that should reflect completely at each of the customer touch points discussed in this article.
It is crucial to touch the customer at every part of its hotel journey right from the booking to departure and post-departure marketing.
In the current technology era, a lot of the services can be automated especially the services that don’t require face to face interaction.
It is important to keep delighting customers at every touch point.
Teams must be aware of the priorities. A solid operations execution strategy is a pre-requisite. Our other blog post has summed up the best strategies to delight hotel customers at every touch point.
So, it’s over to the hospitality managers now to understand and act upon the most important customer touch points in the hospitality industry.
And we know that whatever delight the lovely hospitality professionals will create for customers, few smiles would follow.
Keep creating smiles and happiness fellas and stay awesome!