Welcome to ‘The Age of the Guest’

Today’s generation is, without a doubt, a hyper-connected group of notoriously digital-savvy consumers. Utilizing technological innovation to make broad strides towards a futuristic view of industries, we are constantly demanding more from brands to satisfy our evolving needs as consumers who crave a truly modern, personalized experience. There is no shortage of buzzwords cultivated to capture this change in consumer culture — ‘The Age of the Customer,’ ‘The Experience Economy’ or even ‘The Mobile Generation.’

Essentially, we’ve created a landscape in which the consumer expects a continuously unique and heightened experience with uninterrupted digital connection and convenience. It’s not just a matter of making a purchase based on the perceived ‘best deal’ for goods or services — rather, we expect brands to earn our business with shared values, instant gratification, and individualized utility. As a brand, you have to ask yourself: are you listening to your target consumer? What problem(s) of theirs are you able to readily solve? What value are you offering? More importantly, are you engaging with your consumers online, where they spend the bulk of their time? Do you offer a seamless, mobile experience?  After all, this is a newly understood economy in which, as Harvard Business Review states, “a company intentionally uses services as the stage, and goods as props, to engage individual customers in a way that creates a memorable event.”

This becomes especially apparent within the hospitality industry, as we witness the increasing demand for a mobile guest journey and an experience rife with instant gratification and convenience across all touch-points. Guests today expect their travel experience(s) to be free from the stress and inconveniences of the past, instead catered to their every need and expectation. If their hospitality experience can’t be defined with key identifiers such as ‘memorable’ or ‘seamless,’ it’s likely not one which they would recommend or revisit.

Engaging with guests while they are on the property is only one segment of a hotel’s responsibility to each traveler. The effort to curate a truly memorable guest experience should begin before the guest ever steps foot on the property and extends far beyond the end of their stay. Luckily, tapping into the mobile experience allows hotels to forge a deeper connection with each guest wherever they are, 24/7.

In fact, over 70% of U.S. travelers agree that they “always” use their smartphones when traveling. With this in mind, hotels should invest in technology that allows them to offer pre-arrival messages and push notifications, mobile check-in/check-out, keyless entry, mobile concierge and post-stay surveys and offers (just to name a few). Utilizing a mobile guest journey platform to provide this complete experience, hotels ensure guests are spending their time on the right things and expect a smooth and comfortable stay — from start to finish.

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