If you’re considering building a new website or getting one built for you, you first need to consider how it will guide potential customers through their booking journey.
Every customer goes through a journey. Some decide to book with you, while others decide to book elsewhere or perhaps still book with you but through a 3rd party. The role of your website is to maximise the number of people who will decide to book with you and then facilitate this process.
In this article, we’ll look at the different stages of a customer’s booking journey.
The stages of your customer’s booking journey.
Whether you’re looking to book accommodation, medical appointment, thing to do or dinner out, everyone goes through a journey from discovery to making a commitment.
But, not everyone goes through their journey at the same speed. Some people can skip through the phases relatively quickly, while others take their time analysing and assessing each step of the process.
We’ve mapped out 9 steps to the booking journey that we need to consider.
The trigger is the starting point of the booking journey. Prior to this point, the customer is in the status quo. A trigger can be internal or externally influenced.
Here are some examples of trigger points for different industries:
- External – A friend tells you about their recent trip, and it gets you dreaming of going on a holiday yourself, so you start researching options.
- Internal – You have some upcoming leave and are looking for inspiration on what do to during your time off.
- External – You read a review of a new restaurant in the local area, and you start planning a date night.
- Internal – You’re celebrating a milestone birthday, and you’re looking for a place to go and celebrate.
Medical / Cosmetics:
- External – You notice a friend looking better than ever. They refer you to the local clinic that helped them.
- Internal – You’re not feeling 100% and want to start feeling better.
During the research phase, you are actively looking into your options. You’ll be educating yourself and arming yourself with information to make the best decision possible.
You’ve narrowed the selection down to a handful of options and are comparing them to determine which is the best fit for you. Budget, location, value, reviews and subjective things like brand, aesthetics and connection sway your decision to move forward with a choice.
Committing to a decision
You’ve decided on the option for you and are ready to make the booking. At this stage, you’re checking availability and double-checking costs.
Making the booking
You make the booking and get immediate feedback from the business that your booking has been received and that you’ve been booked in.
You’re anticipating the upcoming experience. You might be looking forward to it, or perhaps you’re feeling a bit anxious about your appointment.
During this stage, you’re experiencing the thing you’ve booked.
You might share your experience with your friends or family, or perhaps you share photos or videos of your experience on social media.
This stage is where you advocate for the experience to others. It could be in the form of referring others to the business or leaving a review on digital channels.
Aligning your website to the booking journey
Now that you have a better understanding of what the booking journey is, it’s time to align it to your website. There are 3 fundamentals that you need to consider in this article here.