How Hotels can Use Mobility to Deliver Better Guest experiences
Imagine this. Your guest checks-in independently, with limited assistance by your staff on-ground welcoming the guest, a self check-in. Steps into the room to scan through the amenities. Uses a QR Code to unlock the food shelf for consumption. Your CRM is notified about the consumption of goods. There are no manual controls involved. Your marketing manager sends out a message on the guest’s phone about the new offers at your restaurant, bar and spa. Your guest books a spa appointment and a dinner table using the offer code. The bill is automatically updated via an SMS to the guest. These details are also updated in the invoicing and billing systems.
This is only a start to making guest experience seamless with different technologies that enable mobility.
Your optimal engagement efficiency is proved when your guests keep coming back to use your hotel. The modern guest expects ubiquitous connectivity of their devices and applications all through the property. They want to hear from you with customized content comprising of offers, updates, and other guest services. Mastering mobility is indispensable for any business that thrives on localization, digitization, and personalization.
The findings from the 2017 Customer Engagement Technology Study indicate that in some areas – especially concerning mobile features, hoteliers are lagging customers’ expectations. They say that 46% of guests want to be able to use their smartphones as room keys, but according to the study, only 16% of hotels offer that technology. And, 54% of guests want to use their smartphones to control environmental settings, but only 13% of hotels offer the ability to even control the AC with their mobile phones.
This just indicates the gap between guest expectations and the readiness among hotels to fulfil those desires. But those hotels that have catered to improving mobility for guests have also seen operational efficiencies and better financial health. While mobility becomes a business imperative for hotels, it also becomes a business enhancement factor.
How Your Hotel Can Enable Better Mobility
Some upgrades and changes to your existing infrastructure and processes can enable your hotel with better mobility. Better mobility in hotels can be achieved with the following:
Robust Wifi and Allied Infrastructure
The most basic aspect to begin and enhance mobility is the existence of a robust WiFi and data infrastructure. You need to prioritize seamless connectivity across the property. With low-cost data connectivity, communication and guest engagement would be eased out. Majority of the deployment elaborated further, in this blog will be dependent on the prerequisite of agile connectivity. Research proves that 91% of prospective hotel guests actually make booking decisions based on if the hotel provides free WiFi. To begin with, in our partnership, we perform an all-rounded WiFi infrastructure audit, a health check in other words.
Leverage Guest Use of Smartphones
The most effective piece of hardware that is as fragmented as the consumer groups is the mobile phone. Your engagement and communication systems should be designed to tap the proliferative existence of smartphones. These can be deployed for engagement, process completion such as check-in, device substitution such as the smart key, transactions, engagement, and loyalty programs.
Mobility can also help in creating a money-making machine. By transforming every point-of-sale into mobile payments, mobility can be brought in. Create POS event after check-in. These could range from invoicing for room stay, extension of stay, in-room services, use of other hotel amenities, any other additional VAS or premiere services that you have created for the guest. Guests prefer individualistic communication especially in the form of offers and discounts.
Geo-relevance/ location-based intelligence
Hotels are location-based businesses that thrive on geo-specific exclusivity. Guests who choose a hotel either for a business or personal reason need location-based information, customized to their needs. Sharing such information through smartphones and integrating their preferences at the hotel with their travel itinerary can provide highly customized and personalized services to the guest. Platforms such as SAMMY provide such capabilities to the hotelier.
As hotel management, you can empower your guests with self check-in, personalized menu specific to cuisine, purchase of services and control of appliances that is managed by the guest. These not only reduce ground staff and other resources employed as an expense but also bring in more efficient systems into the hotel management cycle.
Benefits to the Hotel
Hotels must implement a robust infrastructure, ensure data connectivity, create opportunities for guests to interact with the hotel using their mobile phones, and highlight the geo-specific exclusivity. Upon this investment in technology, hotels see benefits in enhanced financial health, better brand recognition, client engagement, and operational excellence. In this segment, we want to draw your attention on to the benefits enjoyed with mobility, by the hotel and hotelier.
Life-long Connectivity with Customer
Integrating the CRM, PMS, and other information systems into a smartphone interface allows you to include the entire guest lifecycle into the experience cycle. This helps in building highly customized and personalized services and solutions for guests which further helps retain the customers. It also helps in course correction, so that the guests are offered better solution for higher retention. It is not just during the lifecycle of a single guest, but also an increase in the life-time value of a customer for the hotel.
Increase revenue per available room (RevPAR)
Enhanced guest experience directly correlates to an increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR). Point-interest and interaction-relevant services and information, guest empowerment, geo-relevance, and mobile guest analytics can together improve guest experience. This is how a hotelier can optimize the revenue from an existing guest.
Enhance guest satisfaction index (GSI) and Loyalty
“Smart” ancillary offers intended to enhance GSI and loyalty can be achieved while providing personalized, location-based promotions on property for the guest or non-guest. Mobility allows to track what was redeemed, by whom, when and where. This further helps the marketer in incentivizing intelligently based on loyalty preferences and prior usage history, to drive non-room revenue. It also creates real-time digital marketplace which helps in discovering new avenues for promotions and offers.
Increased Average Revenue
Mobility can activate all currency touchpoints driven by impulsive purchases. Mobility not only provides seamless mobile payments, but also helps in informing the guest about the exclusive offers designed and tailor-made for each guest. Such exclusivity increases conversion at the point-of-sale. Some of the ways in which mobility allows this are: digital payment and other offer redemption seamlessly as near-field communication (NFC)/mobile payment goes mainstream, remove paper couponing, and payments and conversion of offers.
Inclusion of mobility into the hotel business is not just a matter of technological intervention, but majorly enhancement of guest experience. Mobility solutions help hospitality properties build stronger customer connections, implement new business models, increase revenue opportunities and improve brand awareness. Platforms like SAMMY are designed to plug in mobility among hospitality players. While it supports hoteliers with analytics and insights from simple interactions, and engagement during a guest’s stay, it also integrates with other hotel solutions seamlessly.
Feel free to get in touch with one of our experts to learn more and schedule a free demo.