Your guest probably goes through many emotions and aspirations before your guest book your hotel and come stay in your hotel or reserve a table in the restaurant. No new guest simply books without some sort of checking, either on the popular review sites or from their friends. Simply put they move from one stage to another before deciding to book. In fact the movement looks like a leaking funnel. Many people go into the funnel, a few come out as guest.
In order to maximize your revenue you need to find ways to plug the holes in the funnel so that the leak is minimized and many people use your hotel or restaurant. After all, more guest more often than not implies more profit, unless you are mismanaging your business.
So what does the funnel and the stages look like?
In the restaurant industry a guest moves from awareness, interest, enquire and finally the booking
Awareness may be achieved by many ways: advertising, marketing, PR, social media or word of mouth. If you are relatively unknown in the market place the chances are that there is not many people visiting you because you funnel is very small.
In order to get people to know you and be aware of your business, you may decide of a particular route but no strategy is equal and you may have to allocate resources to all parts of the marketing strategy to make you place popular.
In this stage it may feel like you are pouring water into sand, the money is just going out but you are not seeing result, that is because the potential guest are just moving into the next phase.
It is in this phase that the prospective guest is still trying to figure out if you are the real deal. Has he heard things about your business from the various activities you did to appeal to his needs and wants. Remember it is about creating a compelling story for your end customer and you will not attract everyone.
At this stage, people are still evaluating your business to see if it will provide them with a solution whatever it may be. A fancy dinner, a place to be seen, a cozy getaway, a fun day with the family.
They are considering if your place fits their need at that point in time. If they are interested, then comes the next part of the funnel which is
This is the phase where you or your representative will interact with for the first time. Your advertising efforts generating a query. At this point it is still not a confirmed business and the prospective guest is still finding out more details from the organization.
Your response to the guest will make or break the booking channel. How fast do you respond? How well do you respond? Do you have a value proposition for the prospective guest at the price point he is looking for? How friendly was your team in answering the query? Did you make the person comfortable and entice him to open his wallet?
Once he is satisfied then they move to the next phase that is
This is where the booking happens and you finally get the ROI for your advertising or PR campaigns.
Of course the journey does not end here and your operations team must deliver on all the promise so that the guest becomes a brand ambassador for your business. You may surely know that it costs more than 5 times to generate a new customer than to retain an existing customer so be sure to take good care of your guest so that he spreads word of mouth awareness with his social network reducing your cost of doing business.
A buying decision is a complex structure where a potential customer goes through many phases of the funnel before he decided to buy. By making sure your streamline you operations with the correct process will help you to minimize the leakage in your funnel.
And if you are interested in training your team, do check out our training plans for hotels