Progression cannot come without disruption, and there has been no shortage of trends to send pivotal ripple effects throughout the hospitality industry over the last few years. However, when it comes to the adoption of mobile-centric technology, it was less of a ripple and more of a wave. Quite simply, the mobile journey is transforming the way guests navigate their travel experiences, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Modern travelers have shifted away from the traditional, legacy models to demonstrate a decided preference for the convenience and frictionless nature of the mobile experience.
Of course, the effective utilization of mobile technology cannot occur without first understanding the mobile journey at its core. Much like you can’t expect to be great at basketball if you’ve never played the sport, hoteliers cannot expect to provide an exceptional mobile experience if they haven’t taken the time to understand it, first. And if the traditional service journey was relatively linear, the mobile journey is anything but. With new technology, arrives new guest touch-points and, with new touch-points, comes new responsibility to engage effectively.
End to End Mobile Guest Journey Technology
The best way to ensure guests have an incredible experience at your hotel? Make that experience easily accessible, eliminate lines, and personalize offers. Mobile guest journey technology is rooted in demand for increased convenience and efficiency, two factors which modern guests express as key differentiators in their travel experiences.
With the implementation of a mobile guest journey app for your hotel, guests are empowered to use their smartphone as a room key, upgrade their room, check-in in and check out, take advantage of offers, manage their folio, communicate with hotel staff, and book their next stay. All in one easy to use and convenient app that is entirely customized to your property to ensure your hotel’s brand is always represented and communicated effectively. Further, the utilization of a mobile guest journey app (and the additional perks of in-app offers and features) also helps to drive revenue, optimize staff efficiency, eliminate delays and ultimately keeps guests coming back.
The Pre-Arrival Experience
Over the past few years, conversion rates have grown exponentially on mobile travel sites (88% in 2015 alone, in fact). Further, 60% of destination information searches come from mobile devices and two-thirds of watch time for top travel videos on YouTube happens on mobile. What does this all mean? Well, our mobile devices and our pre-stay (or pre-book) experiences are closely tied. Modern travelers spend the bulk of their time researching or planning upcoming trips on their mobile device, which creates a window of opportunity for hotels to better connect with prospective/incoming guests.
Utilizing a hotel guest journey app, hotels can curate more personalized relationships with guests before they even arrive on property. Considering the millennial preference to communicate with customer service agents and brands via text or messaging apps instead of face to face, mobile becomes the optimal channel to establish pre-stay rapport with customized messages, reminders and push notifications.
Mobile Check-In and Keyless Entry
Research states that nearly half of Americans “couldn’t live without” their smartphones and 76% of travelers consider their mobile device to be their number one travel accessory — with twice as many people choosing to travel with it than with their loved ones.
With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that modern guests crave the opportunity to use their mobile device to streamline specific touch-points of the travel experience. By enabling guests to manage their reservations, check-in and room entry all via their handheld device, hoteliers are providing them with (coveted) autonomy over their on-property experience. Checking-in to the hotel becomes hassle-free and convenient, allowing each guest to focus on other (more important) aspects of their stay. With a native app that has check-in and keyless entry features built-in, guests can bypass the age-old frustration of lobby lines and immediately experience the hotel property and their room, entirely on their terms.
On-Property Targeted Communications and Offers
With guest experience and personalization being the key differentiators in the accruing modern guest loyalty, hoteliers have an increased responsibility to map out their guests’ journey(s) in order to curate an effective guest experience model.
According to Forrester, 63% of marketers use customer journey mapping to guide their customer experience strategy. In a recent study of 3,000 consumers in the U.S. and the U.K., more than 70% of people say they expect personalized experiences when they interact with brands. discounts in exchange.
With this in mind, mobile represents a wealth of opportunity for hoteliers to gather data-backed insights on their current and prospective guests. It’s these insights that allow for the curation of specialized offers, inspiring a much higher conversion rate than mass-generated communications that are likely missing the mark for most guests.
Use the information your guests give you to send them personalized offers that resonate. Cross-sell and upsell them with tailored product recommendations, based on their interests and past purchases. Notify them of new product arrivals, hot deals, and seasonal specials. Spark engagement, increase traffic, and boost your revenue the smart way
The Post Stay Experience
All guests want to be valued and remembered, which means the guest experience extends far beyond the time they spend on your property. Close the loop and keep guest loyalty alive with post-stay notifications, messages, and offers, to maintain on-going interest in your property and keep guests coming back for more.
Although it’s not possible to influence everyone, it is important to persistently motivate guests to re-book, get their feedback, and inspire their loyalty.
Hotel can also use this data to better understand their guests and personalize thank-you messages, surveys, and offers; in turn, this creates an emotional connection between the guest and the hotel and increases the chances that they will remain loyal and book with the hotel again in the future.