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What is Pre-Stay Communication and how does it improve guest satisfaction?
articles June, 2018
When does the perfect guest experience begin? From the moment the journey starts? So your future guest sets off, gets in the car, heads for the airport? Or when he is actually staying at your establishment – so after he has reached his destination, is greeted by the porter, enters your hotel and checks in at the front desk?
The guest experience starts with the booking
Maybe the guest experience starts with the booking – and all the communication that takes place in advance between you and your future guests. With the information you provide to your guests – in the booking confirmation and on your website. It may only be small details, but these are the ones that influence the user experience in advance, both positively and negatively. And thus already creates a subtle mood that connect your guests with your establishment – and can be compared to a piece of hand luggage the user brings along on his trip.
After all, it is not enough to just sit back after the booking has been confirmed and to become active again when the arrival of the guest is imminent. Prepare your guests in advance for the best possible guest experience and let them breathe a little holiday air before the trip.
Welcoming your guests …
Personal communication in advance gives your guests the feeling that you are always there for them and concerned about their well-being – by proactively taking care of it. This in turn creates a personal bond and strengthens the trust of the guests in your establishment. Your guests will already feel welcome before entering your hotel.
This positive mood can be transported through a successful service throughout the stay. And should something go wrong, be rest assured: happy guests forgive a small faux pas, as they feel valued and taken care of.
In the best case, these lucky guests will become satisfied regular customers – and you already lay the foundations for this success with a well thought-out and guest-oriented pre-stay communication.
… and you increase your sales
How do you currently manage the guest communication before arrival? Do you already send essential information, such as the directions, to your customers with the booking confirmation? And subsequently? A few days before the arrival of the guest, do you send out another personal message to the guest – who usually has booked weeks or months in advance – to give him an update and prepare him for his stay?
Use the opportunity of communication before their stay as a unique opportunity to offer your guests a great experience in advance and provide him with everything his heart desires – and look after yourself at the same time. Because such a personal e-mail, a few days before arrival, is a unique opportunity for hoteliers to upsell. Upgrade the booked breakfast to a half pension? Book wellness treatments in advance? A room upgrade for special conditions? From the cool bottle of Champagne in the room on arrival to the organised day trip – take advantage of the opportunity to convince your guests with selected and exclusive offers shortly before arrival.
A welcome e-mail with added value – for you and your guests
Of course, the pre-stay communication must also contain an obvious added value for your guests. In short, everything that makes your guests’ lives easier, any other questions they might have at the reception desk and the saving of valuable time must be covered by the pre-stay communication. In addition to the already mentioned classic, the approach, there are some possible points:
- Updated traffic information (Is there currently any road works in your area? Detours? Road closures due to events?)
- Information about the parking situation
- Weather Report: A forecast for the coming days, supplemented with information that not every app provides, such as the water temperature
- Breakfast or meal times. Are they already on your website? Wonderful, but you do not know if your guest have visited again since making the booking?
- Opening hours of the pool, the SPA, the wellness area
- Events in your establishment: On Saturdays, the Champions League is always shown in your lounge, on Wednesdays it’s a long sauna night and on Sundays you can enjoy an afternoon tea? Let your guests know!
- A short, external calendar of events: from the wine festival over the marathon to the music festival
- Restaurant Tips: The question will probably will be asked at one point anyway, so just be proactive
Of course, these are all just suggestions, the list may be supplemented by individual points: Everything is a can do, nothing is a must.
Also keep in mind that in addition to the basics such as directions, check-in and check-out times, you want to do a bit of upselling as well as provide targeted information without writing a novel. So it’s best to identify a few topics that are most relevant to you, your establishment, your region, and your guests.
Customer Alliance handles pre-stay communications for you
Does this all sound great, but you are asking yourself when in amongst all of the other tasks required during daily hotel operations, can I send each guest their own pre-stay mail? How can I create extra capacity for this?
That may be true. You can live without pre-stay communications, but it has its charm and a certain potential.
At this point we would like to tell you that we at Customer Alliance transform reviews into sales. You probably know that, too. But we do even more: with our pre-stay communication, you have the option of implementing individualised e-mail templates in your Customer Alliance backend, which are automatically sent to your future guests. When you want, with the content you want. Thus, the pre-stay communication takes up no time in everyday life apart from the one-time set-up and yet supplies your guests with important information. The work is carried out by the Customer Alliance Tool for you. And the whole process, of course, is completely GDPR compliant.
This is how it works:
Log into your backend, go to “Settings” and then navigate to “Pre-Stay”. Activate the “Pre-Stay” function by setting the switch to green.
Customise the welcome email for your guests and review the content again.
Now you can already send your welcome e-mail to your guests – either manually, to send customised content to individual guests or groups, or automatically by using your PMS interface.
We are happy to activate your account for pre-stay communication – contact us today!