How Mobile Apps Improve Guest Experiences and Onsite Events

By Joe Schwinger Chief Executive Officer, MeetingPlay | January 21, 2018

Technology impacts every facet of our lives. From smart devices to mobile apps, we rely on innovative products to provide convenient and valuable services each day. Not surprisingly, the application of technology has made its way into the hotel industry. Technological integration has become an expectation of hotel guests and an opportunity for hotel managers to improve their bottom line. Well-known technological applications such as mobile check-in, smart TVs, enhanced Wi-Fi and mobile room keys are already present in many hotels. However, there are other ways to use technology in hotel settings that are less well known.

There are several cutting-edge technological applications that have the power to elevate a hotel guest's experience. Hotel owners and managers can also us these applications to attract more guests, generate repeat bookings, enhance existing services, and generate new revenue streams.

Proximity Marketing and iBeacon Technology

Ever since Apple released iBeacon, marketers in every industry have been clamoring to capitalize on its applications. The technology itself involves Bluetooth signals sent from a remote beacon or wearable technology in a retail store, conference room, restaurant, or yes, even a hotel. When a connected mobile device with the appropriate app is within range, the beacon sends a push notification featuring a message related to a discount, sale, or service opportunity.

It's targeted marketing on steroids. The recipient is close enough to take immediate action and has already demonstrated an interest in the product or service. The result is a higher return on the marketer's advertising dollar.

Within the hotel industry, the marketing opportunity is even more personal. Hotel event planners are already taking advantage of proximity marketing mobile apps to enhance attendee experiences. Guests of an event receive notifications when they arrive. These alerts can welcome them to the general session, notify them of presentations, and inform them of exhibitor promotions. Event attendees can also receive notifications for networking opportunities when they're near another person who has similar interests, skills, or job title.

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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.