Hotel Mobile Apps

By Tom O'Rourke President & CEO, O'Rourke Hospitality | June 28, 2015

Mobile apps can offer guests great utility; that is, they make doing something easier. It is one of the reasons why travel apps have become so popular. It makes the process of travel research so much easier for the end user; it is also why over 50% of travelers will do travel research on a smartphone. Another great point to keep in mind is that mobile travel sales are projected to increase by 60% this year, reaching $26.14 billion; the growth is truly tremendous.

As you would expect given these statistics, a lot of popular travel apps are focused on pre-arrival, but there is something to be said about mobile apps that offer guests utility while on-property. The big brands are really starting to capitalize on this, offering mobile apps that unlock rooms and can tell the valet to have your vehicle ready; they understand that guest are as mobile as ever and value the conveniences and mobile device can bring them.

Spas come to mind as a segment that could really benefit from the use of mobile apps while guests are on-property. A hotel mobile app can provide a lot of utility here through various functions, particularly by using push notifications. Push notifications are simply messages that are displayed on a guest's phone, and something the hotel would be able to control and target.

For instance, if the guest books using the hotel app, another great feature available to guests, then we are able to identify certain things about that guest and use it to our advantage. As an example, if we know that a guest is arriving on property for a romantic weekend, then we can send a push notification, or message, to the guest before they arrive and offer discounted spa services.

Best of all, the hotel app would allow the guest to view the spa's schedule and book an appointment directly through the app. The guest could then select to charge the appointment to their room, and they can view their charged appointments and the associated costs in the app's folio. This gives them the option of keeping track of all their charges wherever they go. These functions provide the guest great utility, which is the main goal of the hotel app.

Another scenario might be if the guest booked a spa appointment in advance, this would be a great time to send them a push notification reminding them of their appointment. Even better, it would be a great time to upsell on some other services. For instance, if we know they are coming in for a massage, why not send a push notification asking if they would like to add another 30 minutes to their massage to make it an hour. Maybe their coming in for a pedicure and you offer to add a manicure as well. Again, the guest can book these additional services directly through the hotel app, providing them great utility and convenience while providing additional value for the property.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.


Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Steven Klein
John Poimiroo
Steve Kiesner
Judy Singer
Ken Hutcheson
Jed Heller
Paolo Boni
Al DeNapoli
David Lund
Robert King
Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.