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The Guest Experience Map®


When Pixar makes a movie, instead of starting with a script, it begins with storyboards. It tries out new ideas to see what works. A Guest Experience Map® is your storyboard to design a new experience or improve a current one. The map is used by hoteliers and experience-makers to design and test as quickly as possible with as little effort as possible.

Your experience has greatness in it

Every segment of the travel and hospitality industry has a leading player.  

No matter the economy, the competition, the market condition, in every category you can think of you will find at least one great hotel or experience that is doing well -- one that’s dominating its target market.

Your experiences and the moments you create for your guests has the potential to be great.

That greatness comes from your ability to not only deliver remarkable experiences guest love, but to extend those experiences in moments that take place well-before a guest even knows about you, and well-after that guest has left.

Like a great chess master,  you must understand all the moves and how the game is played in order to win.

But let’s face it, the guest's journey is messy. It is nonlinear and it’s dynamic. While we may never fully understand precisely the path our guests take, we can understand the general direction they are going in.

Great guest-experience designers, therefore, are great systems thinkers. They see the experience they’re creating for guests as a collection of moments, and they can simply and beautifully explain the story of how these moments come together.

That’s what a Guest Experience Map® helps you do.

It helps tell the story of how you systematically attract the right guests and get them to the point of booking, how you create remarkable guest experiences and incremental revenue-generation opportunities, and how you make your guests part of our family and earn lifetime fans.

The Guest Experience Map® is created from a specific set of universal ideas, and it’s designed as a big-picture assessment of your guests’ experience. Its purpose is to provide you with a framework for creating breakthroughs that elevate our guests’ experiences to memorable and meaningful.  


Your experience is delivered in three parts:

  1. What happens BEFORE the guest has booked.

  2. What happens DURING the guest’s in-residence time

  3. What happens AFTER the guest’s departure


Each of these is an independent unit of the business or the experience, and each has its own operations, objectives, metrics and financial contribution to the business as a whole. But the complex story of how it all comes together can be told very simply.

When you define and map out your guest experience Before, During and After, you can start to identify opportunities to make your entire experience great by making each of the components great.


Here’s how a map can help you


Tell the story of how your experiences come together

This could be our overall guest experience in general, or a map for specific guest segments, or experiences within your business.

Create a map for offering a new experience

Launching a new experience? The Guest Experience Map® helps you create a plan for how you will deliver this experience.

Identify strategic opportunities in your experiences

By mapping out your current experience, you can identify opportunities for strategic breakthroughs by applying the 10 Profit Activator to each major component of our map.


The Guest Experience Map® pinpoints better ideas

This tool is not about us flawlessly executing a plan. It’s about helping you identify ideas that can elevate your guests’ experiences. Because, ultimately, implementing a better idea -- even if it’s not perfect -- always trumps flawlessly executing a poor idea.

The hospitality industry -- or any service industry, for that matter --  is filled with checklists and processes.

That’s not what this is about. Instead, this map helps you identity better ideas so that we can fill our guests’ experiences with moments that are a better fit and that not only exceed what our competition offers, but exceeds what our guests expect.

The 10 Profit Activators

The 10 Profit Activators are simple, yet very powerful questions that help you design, deliver and capture more value, well before a guest arrives and well after they’ve left.

While some terminology might be different in your our experience (i.e. check-in instead of sign-in, or in-residence vs in-house) the principles remain the same.

The Guest Experience Map® is built to answer these 10 Profits Activators.

  1. How we predictably attract our ideal guests

  2. How we educate and motivate

  3. How we create irresistible offerings

  4. How we communicate to guests pre-arrival

  5. How we create a great first impression

  6. How we create a ‘world-class’ in-residence experience

  7. How we say goodbye

  8. How we communicate post-departure

  9. How we make our guests part of our family

  10. How we orchestrate referrals


Request access

We are currently working with a small number of hoteliers and experience makers on implementing The Guest Experience Map® methodology in their business.

To request access please contact us.

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