In a previous article on the customer journey, we noted the significant share of mobile usage in travel reservations. For example, on Booking.com, 70% of reservations are made from a mobile device.
Then, we went on vacation with the Johnson family to witness their “Sofa to Sofa” experience via the resorts’ mobile services through Skitude during their annual ski trip.
Now that we know the ideal digital journey for your customers, we will outline which tools you can put in place to provide customers with this optimal experience.
The best way to reach your customers at the right time and the right place is to know their preparation process for their stay. We identified the following 5 phases:
- 1 – Destination search phase
- 2 – Stay preparation and reservation
- 3 – Project planning phase before the trip
- 4 – The stay
- 5 – Customer Loyalty
1 - Encourage them to choose your destination
The actions within this phase may be different depending on your target customers. Normally, your customers are not on site so digital tools will play a key role in this phase.
Here are some examples of digital levers to use:
For new customers:
- The website (s) linked to your destination – This is often the first digital impression of your business, it showcases your destination and all that you have to offer
- Social networks, these networks humanize your business and communication with clients and reflect the atmosphere of your destination
- Promotional offers, they add attractiveness and value to your destination
- Other online communication actions for your brand image: blogs, online advertising, etc
To keep customers coming back, CRM data is a very strong asset. Thanks to your database provided to you by Skitude’s services personal resort management platform you will be able to:
- Send targeted newsletters
- Send push messages via your mobile application to share offers or news
The more communication channels you use, the more likely you are to be successful reaching your customers- which will generate positive results in your business.
Personalized communication and marketing actions
2 - Facilitate the preparation of the stay
A week of vacation has to be organized! In this phase your digital tools can become a real competitive asset. Many consumers will not select a provider just because there is no ability to book online.
The key assets of this phase will be:
- Your website – It should bring together all the information about your destination and what can be done there. This will prevent your customers from juggling between different sites and will allow you to keep their attention and focus solely on your destination.
- Online sales – This is the holy grail of a digital customer experience. The more services you offer that can be booked online, the more your customers will be able to prepare and anticipate their stay. Be careful not to neglect the mobile optimization of online sales though, because more and more reservations are being made via the mobile channel.
At the end of this phase, your client is calm, organized and satisfied and can begin the countdown before his stay with you.
Online reservation of services
3 - Help them plan their stay
It has been said that the days before the holidays are an integral part of the holidays, which means we appreciate our holidays even more because we have this intrinsic phase of looking forward to them.
The goal of this phase is therefore to enrich these days of haste, to help your customers imagine themselves within your destination, in one of your restaurants, walking through your hotel, etc., with the aim for them to live an atypical experience within your destination…
Apply to their stay what you do yourself during your special holiday countdown:
- Checklist of all there is to do and see
- Become familiar with the domain and the village by using interactive maps
- Look at the webcams to see live conditions and weather
- Consult the entertainment program to list events you would like to attend
- Start following the destination on Instagram to start dreaming and soak up the atmosphere on site
These last 5 actions will be easily accessible via the mobile application, your social networks and informational newsletters.
Discovery of the resort through the mobile application
Events program and tips on site
4 - Make their stay the best it can be
Go time! The long awaited moment of the vacation is here. Your customer has just arrived at their destination. Your role will then be to support them as much as possible:
- Locate their accommodation geographically through in app map services
- Identify where to retrieve the services purchased online. In an ideal world this step would not need to exist. Your customer should be able to enjoy their service purchased online the day they book it. For example, for a ski pass, all they have to do is present their QR code to the pick-up boxes to collect their ski pass on the first day. No more queues!
- Enjoy the activities. Raise the level of fun thanks to gamification: descent tracking and statistics, challenges between friends, and contests and challenges at the resort level to win exclusive prizes
- Access real-time information: webcams, status of slopes and lifts, snowfall, push messages….
Avoid disappointment – Use the app as a vacation companion. Share your tips with them: restaurants, spas, viewpoints, unique experiences offered…
Facilitate the journey: maps, list of restaurants, on-site services, real-time information (weather forecast, webcams, etc.)
Gamification : tracking, social media sharing, etc.
Share tips: offers, activities …
5 - Returning home
Use the tools you have in hand to maintain the link with your customers. It’s even easier now that you know them, you have their email address, and you know what types of products and holidays they choose. You are in their pocket every day thanks to the mobile application.
Some action examples to maintain your communication:
- Repost some of their content on social networks
- Thank them via an email or a push notification
- Offer them advantages and discounts to retain them
- Keep digital mementos of their trip through their profile’s tracked activity and photos
- Send push messages with news and upcoming events
Highlight customer content
Share offers and discounts
In summary, what are the essentials to put in place?
Throughout the 5 phases we find the same digital tools:
- The website – Indispensable tool to attract, inform and guide the customer
- The online sale of services – Essential tool for a digital experience. Online sales will simplify the process and reassure customers all the way up to and during the stay. And as mentioned above, don’t neglect the mobile sales channel!
- The mobile app – Your destination’s best asset. The app supports your customers, facilitates their journey, enhances their stay and allows you to stay in touch with them once they’ve left.
- Interactive maps – These will facilitate the customer experience within the grounds of your destination. Whether it is to familiarize oneself with the layout of the slopes (ski or hiking) or finding a way around the village, a good map is essential.
Big data and marketing services – The collection of data from the mobile application and its analysis helps you to better understand your customers and their behaviors for increased efficiency of your marketing campaigns.
What are the advantages of this digital strategy?
- Keep in touch with customers through a line of direct communication
- Increase customer engagement and satisfaction
- Collect data to target your marketing campaigns
- Increase revenues with omnichannel online sales
- Stand out from the competition by offering a better experience
At Skitude our goal is to connect you with your customers. We share our digital expertise and our knowledge of the market, to support you in the implementation of these digital services.
Support in the digitalization of your resort
Tool optimization thanks to our market expertise
Our digital techniques at the service of your project
Always in tune with digital trends
Promotion of your destination
For more information, do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to adapt this “Sofa to Sofa” experience to your destination.