How to maximise your customers’ stay experience through mobile
January 03, 2019
Hotels, hostels and holiday parks all share the same organisational goal: servicing the customer for the entirety of their stay in order to secure a return visit. Until now, this was achieved by friendly staff, offers and modern facilities. Digitalisation has disrupted the travel industry as organisations embrace the contribution and convenience digital and mobile experiences bring to their customers stay. Digitalisation is the modern backbone of convenience which in turn leads to loyal customers. But how does it work?
We have already seen the switch from desktop to mobile. Mobile phones have become the most personalised and used device globally. It’s the go-to channel when searching for answers and often the only device your customers carry when staying in your accommodation. A client’s mobile phone and the conveniences it offers can either make or break a memorable experience or stay. Mobile and specifically app’s can have a huge impact pre-during and post stay.
Recent research by Criteo showed that mobile bookings go up to 53% in some regions already and that 80% of last minute bookings are made on mobile devices globally. Customers claim that an app is the most convenient way of booking, and numbers back it up. The booking conversion rate on apps is 5x higher than on mobile websites. Plus, the difference gets bigger year over year. Nowadays, travel players with a booking app make 60% of transactions on mobile devices vs 41% last year. But what makes customers download an app in the first place?
Mobile Check-in & Room Key
An incentive for your customer to download your app is the ease of skipping the check-in line. No more waiting time. Mobile is the preferred channel for checking-in for 55% of respondents of the 2017 Customer Engagement Technology Study . Remarkably, the number for checking-out is even higher (57%).
Loyalty, insurance and payment cards are already on mobile phones, so why would you ask your customers to carry an entrée card? The CET study showed that 48% of hotel visitors desire a mobile key. Take away that hassle and offer your customers convenience with the option of mobile check-in.
Want to take your mobile room key to the next level? Jump into the cloud!
Cloud based check-in system are directly linked to the locks (installed as an addition or replacement of the card reader) offer hotels and hostels more operational efficiency. It generates less employee and hardware costs and more control over who has room access. The backend system can detail real-time who has entered which room. Also, access can be changed within seconds, when there is a last-minute room swap, or given at certain time slots for the cleaning staff.
The guest has installed the app, the next question is - how can we leverage the app to enhance the accommodation experience and maximize the users spend for the duration of their stay?
Customer Service Chat
Firstly, by making it easy and convenient for your customers to ask questions and make requests. In today’s digital world, messaging has become the go-to communication method. Your customers spend 5x times longer texting daily than they do on telephone calls. Chat services enable a new channel for 1 on 1 conversation based on your customers preferred communication channel.
Up-Sell Through Digital Offers
Generic guest offers and vouchers have been a mechanism for extra purchases within the travel industry for ages, however, relevancy and personalization are the new norm. Once your guest has checked-in, the app can serve as a direct communication channel for tailored offers. Offers can match seasonal marketing needs, highlight & push new services available and can also be based on a guests customer’s geo-location within the your accommodation, city or even transportation hub. This results in the right offer, for the right person at the right time.
Routing To Room
Make it easy for your guests to navigate through your establishment. By using location tools such as iBeacons an in-app map can be used to navigate and direct guests through your park or building, highlight lounge areas, recreational facilities, bars and restaurants. If you don’t do it, your competitor will. 2018 Lodging Technology Research showed that a mobile app and location-based technology will be the second and third largest digital additions for guest-facing technologies in 2018.
Let’s imagine the scenario end to end. Your guest checks in while in transport, skip’s the line and receives a push message upon arrival – “click the room finder for the route to your room”. When arrived at the room, the quest opens the door via the phone in their hand. It’s 6:15 pm, a push notification arrives – “happy hour 20% off cocktails - check your in box”. Your guest is reminded he/she needs a 5:45am wake up call, pops open the chat function, requests a wake-up call and taxi ride for 6:45am. Simple, easy & convenient.
The visits done, by the experience not over. Exclusive vouchers and incentives can be pushed to the guest for the next booking. Satisfaction surveys and ratings can be requested and rewarded. All data on purchases, feedback, preferences and interactions can be attributed to make the futures stays more personalized.
How can your organization maintain relevancy and make sure the app is kept on your guests phone?
By creating a loyalty program that goes beyond one-off vouchers but builds up rewards, requiring the customers to interact and keep their account. A relationship is built on what is built and shared together, make your customers feel special and exclusive, provide them the knowledge and tools to build their experiences with your organisation. Loyal customers are not only the highest spenders but also the most vocal brand advocates, increasing the amount with just a few percent can have a huge impact on the total business revenue. The CET study also indicated that 80% of hotels plan to offer personalized offers and 79% of hotels expect to have a comprehensive mobile experience for their guests in place by 2018, displacing loyalty as the number one priority for customer experience management.
Your customers are already hyper connected, what about your business?
Interested in making mobile an asset for organisational growth? Let’s chat some more!
Talking about convenience, get in touch via your preferred channel. Phone or email us via the number or email address below, browse through this website, or contact me or one of the pirates directly via LinkedIn - Sanne Vreede.