Today’s post is written by our VP EMEA, Eric Lunt. Eric spent his early years living and working in France in the hospitality industry and has spent the last 15 years in various areas of technology, most recently with Monscierge working with international hotel brands and developing
For a few of us at Monscierge, this is not our first attempt at building a global software company.
Some of us will remember the frustration of trying to make software designed in America work in Europe. Something innocuous like an unfamiliar date format could bring it to a grinding halt. A truly multinational platform benefits from being designed that way from the beginning and we just need to take a peek at what’s available in the market to know how challenging this must be.
The decision to grow Monscierge simultaneously in multiple geographies and to build a platform that was both unphased by and, highly aware of, the location of its user is now revealing its full worth.
I recall a trip to sub Saharan Africa where, for once, speaking English could not get me by. It was an uncomfortable and frustrating experience for all involved and I certainly would not deliberately put myself in that situation again.
Within the developed travel market there has long been a tacit acceptance between hoteliers and their guests that as long as you speak a bit of English and we speak a bit of English then we can get by.
While this state of affairs suits we English speakers very nicely thank you, it’s not meeting the needs of the burgeoning tourism markets from China, Russia, South America and India. Neither is it providing good service to the many guests for whom English is not their first language.
Amid the array of “sexy” functionality we have built into our mobile application framework, I believe that our strength in languages might be our most valuable single capability. Any hotel mobile application should at least be able to inform and communicate with the guest in their language, until it can do this, all other attempts at improving service through that medium are superfluous. It isn’t just about translation, its about showing the guest that they’ve been considered and that they’re welcome.
The 13 languages we’ve released so far cover more than 3 billion potential travellers around the world and there are more to come. More information about the value of a multilingual product set can be found on our video case study with Novotel here: http://www.monscierge.com/