Smart phones occupy our attention all day long. They have changed the nature of our interaction with the world around us, including the way we conduct business.
When it comes to travel and hospitality spaces, mobile phones have completely changed the function, which is also favored by consumers. And, as expectations for mobile interactivity continue to increase, consumers have increasingly higher requirements for the types of services they can reach.
Here are some statistics that can help you grasp the extent to which mobile technology has penetrated the industry:
TripAdvisor is the most popular mobile application in the travel industry, with more than 230 million downloads and 150 million monthly active users.
Between 2011 and 2015, mobile bookings during travel increased by 1700%, from 1% of online revenue to 18%.
In 2017, 40% of travel sales came from mobile devices, and it is expected to reach 50% by 2021.
If your leisure travelers cannot meet their needs, 88% of leisure travelers will switch to other apps or websites
When planning a trip, more than 50% of travelers do not set a destination -60% of travelers will search for their next trip via mobile
By 2019, one-third of boarding passes will be provided via mobile phones
66% of users prefer restaurants with reward programs, and if discounts are offered, 78% of users will use mobile apps.
Most importantly, mobile devices will continue to exist. In fact, it will only occupy a more important position in consumers’ daily lives, so your hotel business must be fine-tuned to make it fit most mobile devices.
The hotel industry has invested heavily in online marketing (approximately $6 billion in 2016, which can give you an idea) and use it to attract customers and drive conversions. However, online interaction using only paid advertising quickly lost its appeal.
More and more companies are rethinking their strategies and trying to incorporate the mobile experience at every stage of the travel experience-from research to sharing feedback about the journey and their hotel stay.
The role of mobile phones in the research phase
Before, your travel research did not necessarily involve surfing the Internet. After a short online search, you will call the travel agency and trust him to offer you a discount on the entire “package”.
Today, travelers are proud of their “research skills” and ability to plan outstanding experiences, while also getting the best prices for themselves. Many of their research took them to social sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, as well as user review platforms such as TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet.
This means you must incentivize existing customers to share their journey online. Signing in, commenting, sharing photos, using custom hashtags, and writing blogs are popular strategies for inviting contributions.
However, don’t just leave all this to the guests. Hotels should also actively participate in the creation and distribution of high-quality content. Focus on the value-driven things and make your potential consumers think”These guys seem to know what they are talking about while traveling, so I will help them check it out!“And don’t forget to optimize the content to read on your smartphone, because finding it on a PC is an outdated method. Also, please work with experts, experts and influencers to enrich your content and increase its credibility.
Now that you are creating valuable content, make sure you can find it on Google. Develop a reliable SEO strategy to gain the upper hand in search results. In addition, get the Google business information of your hotel, and maintain NAP (name, address and phone number) consistency among platforms such as Yelp, Yahoo, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor.
The virtual concierge service is even better. Guests can access this service on their mobile phones, allowing them to view hotel facilities, view local attractions, and even view upgrade opportunities. You should also take advantage of video for online tours.
From booking to arrival
There is always a time gap between the time a guest makes a reservation and the time they arrive at the hotel. This period is rarely used by companies, but after some thinking, you can contact your customers and provide value-added services.
Communicate with your visitors on their mobile phones, but not by sending spam. Provide them with useful information about the area, introduce them to sightseeing spots, and inform them of events happening around the hotel. And, if they need something, ask them to book a seat using their smartphone.
You can even eliminate check-in lines and other processes with the help of mobile apps. Guests can choose their own room, choose additional components, and can easily check in to better control their stay. Not only will this free up your employees to work on other aspects of the business, but you will also earn Brownie points for being proactive.
Hotel lobby and accommodation
People will ignore your lobby because there is nothing there to attract their interest, except for the ridiculous seating arrangements and the creepy silence. You can change it and use this space to actually interact with guests through your phone.
SoftBank’s humanoid robot Pepper is one of those innovations that really caught my attention. This robot is a great way to guide customers to use all the mobile services you may have, while also paving the way for membership services and procedures.
Pepper can be programmed to chat with customers, answer questions and give instructions-its functions are similar to Amazon’s Alexa. However, with Pepper, there is a robot in front of the customer, which can dance, look around, play music, light up, blush, and even take selfies with passersby.
Pepper can even capture email addresses and phone numbers, and can be programmed to send messages to customers, as well as point to your mobile applications, membership plans and other information before and after your hotel stay. With Pepper, you can capture the data you need to create a truly personalized experience for your guests. This is of Most hotels now prefer mobile devices.
Finally, your application
Maybe you are thinking when we can solve this problem, because we cover almost everything else. We will not try to convince you why you need an app, but know that having a mobile website is not enough. The application itself can increase your customer engagement to a new level, and in industry competition, you should take advantage of mobile as much as possible.
The ideal application should have the following characteristics:
Ergonomic design, intuitive user interface
Choose basic functions carefully
Cross-platform compatibility (iOS, Android, etc.)
Convenient way to book
News-local and industry related
Photo Gallery/Virtual Tour
Membership program integration
Flight information, weather updates, dynamic
Social network sharing tips
As technology becomes more personalized and mobile, your involvement in the hotel sector should not lag behind. Although these suggestions are extensive, please consider implementing some (if not all) of them to see how your engagement can improve-personal experience is the best teacher.
Having said everything, mobile interaction truly enables you to interact with guests in a personalized and more proactive way, which really brings miracles to your brand image. In addition, it allows you to surpass the chaos of competition, which seems to me to be a win-win!