What is the Guest Journey in a tourist accommodation?
The Customer Journey applied to the tourist accommodation sector is what is known today as the Guest Journey. If we analyze in detail the main stages of a guest's consumption, we find :
Search for travel ideas and destinations
As soon as the traveler feels the need to travel, he starts to study the options offered by the market: blogs, consulting friends, social networks, magazines...
Travelers have several options: OTAs, booking engines in preferred accommodations, agencies, etc....
At this point, as "managers" or "owners" of a home, we need to ask ourselves some questions:
Who are we? What type of accommodation do we offer? What do they say about us?
The more consistent the answers to these questions, the more successful our housing offer will be.
Deposit or security
Once the reservation process is complete, one of the steps that can cause the most friction among our clients begins: the request for a deposit for the accommodation.
Generally, a deposit is required, for which an amount is held on the credit card and released a few days after the property has been vacated and inspected.
What are the most common complaints reported by customers?
- Why do I have to pay again if I have already paid for my stay?
- When will I get my money back, and how can I be sure I will get it back?
- Can I give the deposit in cash on arrival and get it back in cash on departure?
Even if one has duly inquired about the platform from which the reservation was previously made, this generates mistrust between the client and the host; this can even lead to the cancellation of the reservation.
What does this bond consist of?
A security deposit is a refundable amount of money that the traveler is asked to pay in addition to the rental amount. Asking for a security deposit helps protect you from potential damage. In tourist rentals, as in car rentals, we receive travelers we don't know, and there is no reliable guarantee that they will be careful and responsible during their stay.
The best way to protect yourself from any damage is to ask for a bond. First of all, a bond protects our business by guaranteeing reimbursement for any damage caused. More importantly, requiring a deposit makes travelers feel more responsible. The deposit can be considered a preventive measure that has a strong psychological impact.
But then, how can we ask for a deposit without upsetting our guests? At ABAL Consultingwe recommend Swikly to be sure to ask for the deposit with all the guarantees that a stay in a tourist accommodation requires and to avoid all the "blocking points" in the reservation process for the clients.
The digital revolution has also reached the security deposits and the management of our bonds by Swikly is much easier than with the traditional system :
Swikly has invented the swik: it is a banking transaction that secures an online deposit. A swik is created from a credit card imprint to be entered by your customer on a secure form. It can be guaranteed online for a few hours or for several months and the guaranteed amounts are neither blocked nor debited: bank card limits are not affected by the security of a swik.
Let's review the most common pitfalls and see how to solve them with Swikly:
- Why do I have to pay again if I have already paid for my stay? Your card is not charged. You will not have to pay again.
- When will I get my money back, and how can I be sure I'll get it back? Since there are no fees on the card, the money is always available.
- Can I give the deposit in cash on arrival and get it back in cash on departure? This is no longer necessary 😉
Stay and post-stay
From the guest's arrival to their departure: we must study the accommodation experience and focus on all the points of improvement that can increase the satisfaction of all our guests.
Every step of the customer journey is linked to each other. It's our job to make it an experience that increases brand awareness.
At ABAL Consulting, we have a business intelligence software: ABAL MyReports from which we track real-time sales, costs, online reputation and market data. We make data-driven decisions to improve customer journey and other indicators to increase the profitability of your tourism accommodation.
Overall, the rental industry is facing many challenges today. You need to use the right technology and tools to be able to get the most out of your properties. We talked about all of these issues and more at the joint webinar between ABAL Consulting and Swikly which you can access through this link.