We surveyed travelers around the world to discover how they use technology to enhance their travel experience. Some of the most surprising information came from the queries surrounding mobile use during the stay.
As expected, use of a hotel’s mobile app to decrease standing in line for check in and check out was a top-rated feature, but we also found that the majority of today’s travelers prefer to use SMS text to make requests such as to maintenance, housekeeping, and room service. Text was named as the number one preferred method of communication by travelers. Considering that text also requires less time than a phone or in person conversation and is easily translated into automated task delegation and follow up, using SMS to communicate with guests is a win-win.
What I found most telling was that 94% of people surveyed said they are more likely to choose the same hotel again if technology was used to personalize the stay. This would include location-based offers by means of beacon technology, calling guests by name in communications, and recording and recalling personalization from previous stays such as favorite wine or dining preferences. This recalls to mind a familiar refrain – technology should be used to enhance, not replace, guest interactions via the methods today’s travelers use most.