How Mobile Strategies Are Slowing Down Hospitality
By Marcus Robinson Chief Experience Officer, Monscierge | January 2015
I recently overheard my team prioritize "mobile" hospitality over every other guest communication method. I realized that through our association to a physical phone, we had limited our reach and would eventually become irrelevant in the industry. Using the term "mobile" is comparable to using the word "laptop" when attributing benefits of wireless capabilities. The real value lies in what "mobile" can do - the empowerment and choices the technology behind the device offers. Hotels should whole-heartedly actualize mobile technology, but stop picturing the concept as simply investing in a mobile application. What you should be thinking about is, "How do I truly communicate and connect with my guest?"
About three years ago, after the initial smartphone craze exploded into a world of "there's-now-an-app-for-that-app", hoteliers realized that demands for industry-wide mobile solutions were not going away. Understand that since then there are hundreds of apps with the latest user-friendly elements, expectations for superior design and functionality are high - and you rarely get many shots to connect and stay with your guests. After spending 5 years and millions of dollars in the research and development of technology architecture, my advice to anyone in hospitality looking for the right strategy would be to have a solution that considers these elements:
1. Cross-Device Services
First ask yourself, "How do guests want to communicate with my hotel? Is it through e-mail or SMS messaging? Do they prefer in-app messaging using iOS or Android? Or are web and mobile-web their real desired methods?" The answer probably won't surprise you... it's all of the above.
Google's Travel 2013 Report found that few travel activities are limited to a single screen-travelers are frequently starting their planning process on one device and completing it on another. Often, the first entry point for guests connecting with a hotel's brand is through the web, but then their engagement might evolve to include other platforms, such as SMS and mobile applications via iOS and Android.