Far beyond booking rooms, the entire hospitality industry is going mobile. Modern hotel guests appreciate and positively respond to a mobile experience that is engaging on an individual level at every touch point throughout stay. RoamingAround, provider of hospitality industry mobile-engagement solutions, says hoteliers can leverage mobile technology to make the guest experience more engaging, from learning who their guests are at booking to tracking buying behaviors and preferences at each point along the stay and responding to guest requests by the appropriate department in real time to ensuring requests were delivered in a timely manner.
RoamingAround offers the following 5 Tips for making the guest experience more personalized, timely and relevant using mobile technology:
Drive Your Mobile Strategy By Adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Today's travelers are bringing multiple mobile devices with them as they travel. Likewise, multiple guests in one room may bring more than one mobile device, and each may reside on a different operating systems and network. Purchasing iPads for every guestroom is not cost effective, especially since today's hardware will be obsolete tomorrow, and each guest would feel more at home, secure, and convenient using his/her own device(s). Mobile Engagement is best achieved when hoteliers have the tools to send the right SMS/text offers to the right people at the right time on the right device to establish brand differentiation, build loyalty and increase revenues.
Know Your Customer
A high roller at a casino may be offended to receive a discount meal voucher, but elevating his or her status through a room upgrade may impress him/her more and help build loyalty. That same discount meal voucher, however, could mean a great deal (quite literally) to a family of four running in the door with their arms full of luggage and toys. Using Mobile Engagement tools, hotel staff can push to guests' personal mobile devices specific offers that will motivate them to become viral advocates for the hotel or brand. These custom offers are the incentives that spur guests to spend money at the property and the catalyst that motivates them to come back time and again. If you don't know what your guests want, ask them. They will be more than happy to tell you.
Use the Information You Already Have
Mobile Engagement will greatly aid in learning about each customer on a personal level so hoteliers can push luxury incentives, special offers, coupons, promotions or whatever it takes to get that customer to engage with the hotel. The key to Mobile Engagement is getting a guest to opt in. If you want travelers to give you their mobile numbers, you need to give them something of value in return. Create incentives that travelers simply can't refuse. The amount of information a person is willing to part with is dependent on how attractive the offer is. Once the guest has opted in, then, and only then, can Mobile Engagement begin. Knowing if the guest is a member of the hotel's loyalty program . . . what temperature he or she likes the room . . . if a spa reservation has been made in the past . . . or if he or she likes to frequent on-site restaurants is all information that is on hand in the hotel's PMS and POS. Leveraging this information to upsell and drive revenues will help hotel marketers maintain an understanding of their guests going forward, and it will make mobile engagement easier, as guests will be more likely to opt-in to receive hotel information that is tailored to their desires.
Utilize your current marketing strategy to drive mobile
Hotel marketers do not need to get rid of their existing marketing materials, including traditional emails, brochures, mailings etc. Instead, they can use these mediums to get guests to opt-in to the mobile program. Start during the booking process . . . in the confirmation email . . . pre-stay email . . . on digital signage boards throughout the hotel . . . or via the in-room TV. These mediums are great marketing vehicles to get guests to engage with the hotel via their mobile device; plus you are not restricted to in-room use only.
Capitalize on Your Guest's Location
Don't send an offer for a FREE drink at a hotel in Las Vegas to a guest who is in Boston. Hit guests when it is relevant to them; and when they are near the POS to spend more money with the hotel. Geo-location and indoor /outdoor geo-fencing will enable hoteliers to put fences around specific locations within the hotel (spa, bar, indoor pool), or outside the hotel (airport, train station, competitor facilities) that trigger offers and/or incentives based on the preferences of the guest and when it is timely and appreciated.
RoamingAround has developed a Mobile Engagement toolkit that will help hoteliers learn about each customer on a personal level. The company will work with hotels to build an opt-in database for mobile communications, and will set-up an automated marketing engine on the back end to enable the hotel to continually re-engage with guests via new campaigns.