To deliver the best service possible it is essential to analyse every step of the customer experience. A customer journey mapping strategy enables hotels to identify the desires and expectations of each guest and provide appropriate services at each touchpoint during their stay. It is about knowing what happens to the hotel guest, how it makes them feel and how to react (Dent, n.d.).
The first step to customer journey mapping is to identify customer personas. What kind of guests stay at the hotel and what value do they bring? This could be for example families, business travellers or couples. Consequently, the customer journey map won’t be the same for each of these type of guests due to different touchpoints of interest (Dent, n.d.).
The second step is to identify the steps in the journey of the different personas. These steps will reveal the touchpoints effecting the customer experience as well as their relative importance. The image below shows the customer journey map of hotel guests.
Now these steps have been identified it is important to put yourself in a customers’ shoes. For example, during check-in a business traveller might wonder what the WiFi password is, so he can check his emails. The hotel should react to this by providing the password during check-in. The business traveller should not have to ask for this information.
The next step is to determine the customers’ value. How can each segment add value to the hotel group? Research has shown that business travellers make more loyal guests than leisure travellers. 65% of business travellers are part of a hotel loyalty programme and therefore add more value to the hotel than leisure travellers that are proved to be more price sensitive (Hoang, 2014). Other ways to add value could be the likelihood to recommend or driving additional revenue by purchasing extra services, such as a room service (Dent, n.d.).
Furthermore, the customer experience should be consistent through all channels used by the hotel group (Dent, n.d.). This means for example that the mobile version of the hotel’s website should be as user-friendly as the desktop version.
If done properly, customer journey mapping can help a hotel group to determine which touchpoints are the most important from a customers’ point of view. It will show what is going well, where improvements are needed and where to invest in solutions to enhance the customer experience, increase revenue and grow brand loyalty (Dent, n.d.). After all, a happy customer is a happy company.
Abraham, J. (2013). Journey Mapping Helps Organize Around Your Customers. Retrieved from CMSWire: http://www.cmswire.com/cms/customer-experience/journey-mapping-helps-organize-around-your-customers-020795.php
Dent, J. (n.d.). Customer Journey Mapping: A Walk in Customers’ Shoes. Ascend.
Hoang, A. (2014). Understanding the Difference Between Business and Leisure Travellers. Retrieved from E-Marketing Associates: http://www.e-marketingassociates.com/understanding-differences-business-vs-leisure-travelers/