Why Leading Hotels Are Investing in Mobile Guest Journey Technology

Av: Magnus Friberg, VD, Zaplox

Attention to the mobile experience is no longer up for debate — in fact, it’s become a pivotal focus across industries for many years now. With guest expectations leading the charge, hotel companies everywhere are making the leap to invest in best-in-class, innovative mobile technology.  The implementation of guest-centric technology to curate a more positive and attentive guest experience from start to finish. This translates to a greater demand for quality and consistent service across every touch-point, from pre-arrival to after each guest leaves the property.

With a mobile device representing the most important travel accessory to modern travelers, guests expect to remain connected wherever they are. What does this mean? Your hotel needs to offer the following:

  • Mobile check-in/check-out
  • Mobile concierge
  • Keyless entry
  • Self-service kiosks
  • Folio review/payment
  • Mobile bookings
  • Text to staff requests
Guest Satisfaction

In the on-going battle between OTAs and hotels, what has often tipped the scales in the favor of OTAs? The ease-of-use associated with their booking platforms, which allows prospective travelers to book from their smartphones. Quite simply, if hotels hope to inspire more direct bookings and earn long-term guest loyalty and satisfaction, they need to utilize user-friendly, mobile solutions.

  • 93% of guests who used digital check-in were satisfied or extremely satisfied
  • 64% of customers prefer texting over making voice calls to address customer service needs
  • guests using a digital key rate a hotel seven points higher than keycard guests
  • 2/3 guests want to use their smart phone as their room key

This comes as no surprise, as the implementation of mobile technology (apps, self-service kiosks, keyless entry etc.) taps into the continued guest demand for a frictionless experience. Further to that, the same study noted that when guests use the hotels’ native mobile apps, however, they reported higher guest satisfaction and were more loyal. With more satisfied guests, comes more positive reviews — and in an age where social reputation can make or break your hotel, embracing opportunities for social clout is paramount.

Cost Reductions

While mobile platforms require an initial investment, their implementation allows for long-term cost reduction within a hotel’s operational model. From reduced waste and costs associated with plastic key cards to digitized administrative processes which reduce staff demand, hoteliers can establish a leaner, more cost-effective service model with ease.

Not only do mobile-centric platforms help to cut down on costs, they also help to cut down on wasted time and resources. By utilizing a more effective front desk system to streamline the check-in, check-out process (in combination with self-service options such as kiosks and keyless entry features) hotels can eliminate front desk lines entirely. Further, with insight-driven features and user-friendly navigation, staff can leverage mobile technology to enhance their daily productivity.

An Improved Guest Service Model

The modern guest craves complete control over their experience — in other words, they want the power to choose the service model which best suits their desired travel experience. Those individual preferences change from guest to guest (and depending on type of travel or various other factors), so those hotels which offer both high-touch and low-touch service options with mobile functionality are sure to please the masses.

  • 94% of business travelers and 80% of leisure travelers expressed interest in using mobile guess apps or smartphones to request services and message hotel staff
  • 61% of guests want to pay their bill via mobile
  • 80% of guests prefer a self-service model to get information

Those guests which crave a more efficient and expedited experience can utilize the self-service options, while those guests who appreciate a more traditional, high-touch service model benefit from increased attention from staff. This makes for an improved guest service model that empowers a more personalized experience for guests and keeps everyone happy.

Revenue Opportunities

Guests typically spend 20% more when ordering via mobile and more points of contact equals more opportunities for profit. In the case of the mobile guest journey, hoteliers have access to an influx of new guest touch-points that represent an opportunity for increased guest connection and new revenue streams. From pre-stay to post-stay, mobile apps can employ push notifications and data-driven offers, discounts and upgrades to not only provide a more personalized and connected experience, but also generate revenue.

For example, sending a timely and relevant mobile offer such as “15% off at the spa today!” will likely result in a positive response if the guest has previously inquired about the spa, engaged with related online content or booked an appointment during a previous stay.

Further, by presenting purchase opportunities within a guest’s mobile device, they are empowered with a more comfortable (pressure-free) purchase environment.

Is your hotel ready to invest in the mobile experience? We can help get you started. Click here for more information.

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