The leisure industry has experienced a significant shift in recent years. With the majority of bookings being made online, the importance of digital interactions in the customer journey cannot be overstated. The customer journey begins the moment the customer lands on your website and continues past the booking stage.
In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the customer journey when booking a stay, restaurant table, spa or any other activity in the leisure industry and how websites play a crucial role in the customer decision-making process.
The customer journey for any online booking typically involves four stages: awareness, consideration, booking and post-booking. Each stage has its own unique challenges but digital interactions make the customer experience seamless from start to finish. To get into technicalities, let’s integrate the user journey with the AIDA model which is a popular marketing framework that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. This model describes the stages that a customer goes through when making a purchasing decision.
In the awareness stage of the customer journey, the goal is to grab the customer’s attention and create awareness about your business. Within the leisure industry, this typically starts through search engines or booking websites to find properties/ activities. At this point, digital interactions can help customers discover your business. This is where a multi-channel marketing approach can help, utilising methods such as search engine optimisation, paid ads, programmatic ads and social media of course! Relevant to this, we have achieved a 20% increase in session durations for our clients, Perfect Stays by doing this. By creating engaging content and showcasing unique selling points, you can attract potential customers and make them aware of your brand. These key things can be valuable tools in a successful marketing strategy as these tactics can help you target specific audiences and increase brand awareness, website traffic and conversions.
Once you have captured the customer’s attention, the next step is to build their interest. This is where your website REALLY comes into play as the customer is now exploring your website, learning more about your offerings, reading reviews and comparing prices. A well-designed user-friendly website can make all the difference in converting a potential customer into a paying one! By providing relevant and useful information, you can build customer interest and make them more likely to consider you as an option.
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In the booking stage, the customer has made the decision to book with you. This is where you can create the desire by making the booking process as seamless as possible. A quick and simple process can make a customer feel confident in their decision. Your website should be seamless to navigate as this is your only point of contact with the customer at this moment. A recent Google study found out that 53% of mobile website visitors wait at most three seconds for the web page to load before moving on. So make sure your website has clarity, a responsive web design and an optimised page loading speed to retain customers.
Head over to our blog post for “9 Quick Tips For A Responsive Web Design!” - Read More!
As mentioned above, the customer journey doesn’t end with the user's booking submission. After the customer has made the booking, the post-booking stage provides an opportunity to take action and create loyal customers. Post-booking interactions will take your website up a notch! Providing your customer with a little extra something in the form of digital interactions will create a positive experience that will encourage the customers to return. For example, these interactions could be in the form of booking confirmation notifications, pre-arrival emails, post-activity surveys, and on-site experiences.
Pro Tip: Having a user-friendly customer portal on the website that helps customers manage their bookings, make changes and access important information will give you that extra edge over your competitors and help you retain customers.
In summary, a well-designed website can make all the difference! The AIDA model can be used to guide your digital interactions and touchpoints throughout the customer journey. By investing in digital interactions, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, increase bookings, and build brand loyalty. However, simply providing access to a booking site or an online portal is not enough. These digital channels and touchpoints must be thoughtfully integrated into the broader experience.
So there you have it, an in-depth overview of the digital interactions with your customer from start to finish. Now, it's time to take action by actually implementing these secrets and improving the user experience of your website and ultimately increasing your bookings and conversions. So don’t wait any longer, start optimising your website today. If you have any questions, get in touch with us and let our expert team help you!