Hotels today sell a large number of their rooms through online travel agencies and this is great for generating bookings. However, partnering with OTAs also comes with a huge downside for hotels – they can’t communicate with guests prior to their arrival. This happens because OTAs capture guests’ contact information and often don’t share it with hotels, meaning they control the conversation during this important stage of the guest journey.
The pre-arrival period, whether it’s a day, a week or a month, gives property operators a unique opportunity to engage with their guests and build trust. This time should ideally be used to share valuable, personalized information and offers that will enrich guests’ stay and consequently boost hotel ancillary revenues.
So, how can hotels take back the control over this significant guest touchpoint?
One way to do this is through embedding the LasoExperience link within your OTA reservation confirmation. This link will identify your arriving guests as OTA customers and automate the delivery of a web page asking them to submit their mobile number or email. From that point on your guests will be empowered to design their ideal stay and you’ll be there for them at every step.
This means you can proactively engage your guests early on and make them feel like they’ve made the best possible decision by choosing to stay at your property.
Here’s how you can power the pre-arrival stage with the help of hotel tech like LasoExperience.
Nothing can ruin the start of a hotel stay like long waits at the front desk. Put your guests' mind at ease by letting them know they can check in remotely using their phone, skip the front desk, and go straight to their room. By letting guests check in from their phone and sending them their mobile key, you’ll deliver a painless check-in experience for a smooth start of their stay.
The pre-arrival stage is the time when your guests are planning their trip and exploring different experiences that they could add to make their stay more enjoyable. This is the perfect time to help them plan their visit and get them excited about the things they can enjoy during their stay, like your top amenities, activities, local attractions, city tours, events organized by your property, etc.
Before they arrive at your hotel, your guests will likely have some questions about things like airport transfer, parking options, meal times, etc. The right hotel tech will make it easy for you to answer FAQs through automated messaging.
Best of all, you’ll allow your guests to choose how they want to communicate with your hotel – SMS, instant messaging, or in-app chat, whatever they feel most comfortable with. When you show them that they can get answers from your property instantaneously, they’ll feel good about reaching out to your staff throughout their stay.
The best time to upsell your guests with things like room upgrades and ancillary services is before they arrive in your hotel. You just need to be mindful about how and what you offer e.g. tailor your offers based on guest context, like offering a family package to guests staying with children, or a room upgrade with cool images showing off the room’s top features.
When you upsell with the value for guests in mind, you make them feel appreciated while increasing RevPar.
The day before your guests arrive, send them a friendly welcome message and use this opportunity to remind them of any complimentary services you have available or upcoming events and activities that may interest them. Also, you can ask them if they require any special assistance during the stay or if they’re traveling to mark a special occasion. This way you can prepare to provide the best possible service, building customer loyalty for your hotel.
Hotel technology like LasoExperience helps hotel operators to connect with guests from the moment they book their room, no matter if they came through OTAs or direct booking. What matters is that you take back the control of pre-stay communication with guests so you can build trust with meaningful, contextual information and offers that will add value to their stay and your bottom line.
LasoExperience is helping hotels improve guest communication throughout the guest journey while maximizing guest lifetime value. Contact us to have a chat and see how we can help!