Maximizing App Power for Hotels



Two of the biggest hurdles to overcome with hotel apps are adoption and retention. In January, Angie shared ideas for getting guests to download and use your branded app. This month, we hear from Ken Marold on maximizing the power of your hotel app.

Hotel smartphone apps have a unique burden in that they own a lot of power over the guest experience and subsequent loyalty. They have to intelligently address every aspect of each guest through their entire journey. Right now, you may have the OTAs or a booking app, but there’s a much bigger picture. If your app has reached its full potential, your guests will not need to leave it for their travel needs.

On the business side, approaching an app as an end-to-end experience opens up incremental revenue opportunities along the entire guest journey. Just think for a second, what services could you promote through mobile if you could combine it with a personalized guest profile?

For instance:

  •  Signature moments: Can you think of new signature moments that would be exclusive to your mobile app, something that you could use as a differentiator?
  •  Local expertise:  Individual insight means custom tailored experiences unique to each person. The one size fits all mentality is the big, dead dinosaur in the room.
  •  Elevating service levels with communication: Don’t forget about the power of a conversation, using mobile to facilitate those two-way communications opens up new streams of actionable data and a historical lens to anticipate each guests next expectation.

No single one of these is enough, but as a comprehensive strategy it is a very powerful approach. Maximizing app power is about reaching the entire guest journey. It’s about maximizing the number of connections between guests, staff, the local area and their travel beyond.

Booking is just a sliver of the guest journey; you should own the experience throughout the entire journey. Any time you break the flow of this journey in an app, you’re giving your guests an exit point, a reason to close your app, delete it, and move on to other services.

 5 Core philosophies for delivering an immersive guest experience:

  1. Curating local recommendations and local activities, attach the great stuff around you to your brand
  2. Tying in to your social media outlets and offering new ways for guests to outwardly promote your property
  3. Integrating with your current hotel systems is critical in building the kind of rich insight you need to know about each guest
  4. Embracing new layers of mobile engagement and communication between guests and staff
  5. And, of course, embedding booking and reservation services so once that guest has done everything above, they are ready to book to do it all over again.

To boil it down, maximizing app power is about creating great customer experiences through a broad range of services, targeted and tailored to each individual guest – making it familiar, comfortable, and consistent; in short, a virtual extension of hospitality itself.