Hotels and other hospitality brands are evolving… from providers of services to lifestyle enablers. They’re doing it by leveraging their guests’ mobile devices to connect transactions, interactions and communications in one seamless customer experience. The mobile “channel” is really a connector for many different channels – website, app, SMS, social media – and by taking a mobile-first approach in this omnichannel environment, hotels are able to streamline transactions, get more brand value out of guest interactions, and engage customers more effectively on-premise to generate more revenue beyond room revenue.
Mobile Campaigns for Hotels in an Omnichannel Environment
Today’s Millennial travelers increasingly expect their hotel apps to connect them to other hospitality services such as restaurants and nightlife, even if those services are off-premise. Business travelers, on the other hand, may value a more traditional “home away from home” experience so they don’t have to leave the hotel property. In both cases, hotel guests are relying on their mobile devices to function as a digital concierge that provides information, makes personalized suggestions, delivers special offers and keeps them in communication with the hotel brand.
If a guest wants spa services, for example, they should be able to schedule a spa appointment conveniently from their mobile devices while on their way back from a business meeting or conference. Guests may also prefer to pay for their spa service outside of the traditional folio/room charge structure… and hotels should make it easy to do that. The hotel should also be able to run targeted mobile campaigns to promote their spas and other on-property services and events. The key is doing this in context and not, for example, texting guests about dinner when they’re looking for a place to eat breakfast.
With the right digital tools to manage mobile campaigns, hotels can be more targeted in their communications and engage their guests with relevant offers at more touchpoints throughout their stay. This will be crucial as hotels invest more in events and other sources of ancillary revenue that guests expect in today’s travel sector.
Digital and Mobile Tools for Hotel Revenue
What are some of the tools and tactics that hotels can use to manage campaigns and engage their guests more effectively in the mobile channel?
- Geofenced offers – Hotels can use geofencing (targeting a mobile user with an offer based on their physical location) to create hyper-contextual ancillary offers. For example, delivering a special offer for an event or restaurant as guests walk by the actual location. Retailers have leveraged this technology for years to engage pedestrians and passersby and it will become more important for hotel revenue as brands seek to engage guests and non-guests who may be interested in spas and other on-property services.
- Configurable offerings – Travel technology platforms such as Vantage by CellPoint Mobile are enabling hotels to configure mobile promotions and communications from an online dashboard and more conveniently publish them to customers’ mobile devices. This is a critical business case in the hotel sector where operators are generally working across multiple IT systems that do different things (booking, CRM, loyalty, payments), but without the tools to manage and orchestrate them all into a single omnichannel, mobile-first experience for the customer.
- Advanced reporting and metrics – Tools to analyze campaign performance are critical for hotels to understand their customers better and integrate mobile offers more effectively into the guest experience. If guests aren’t responding to certain offers or there is a variation in responses across different customer segments, hotels should be able to learn from those results and optimize future offers. It could be as simple as setting a new business rule in the dashboard or making it easier to respond to a mobile offer and pay with a mobile wallet or other alternative payment method (APM).
Hotel Technology Solutions to Engage Customers and Drive Revenue
These are just a few of the tools and tactics that hotels are using to engage customers in the mobile channel and drive more revenue with every transaction, interaction and communication. The hotel sector is going through a digital transformation and hotels need technology solutions that can comprehensively – but in a flexible and scalable way – address their end-to-end digital needs, from booking and payments to mobile marketing and campaign management.
Learn how CellPoint Mobile’s suite of digital commerce solutions, including Vantage (campaign management), Voyage (mobile and internet booking engine), Velocity (industry-leading payment platform) and View (back-end reporting and management dashboard), can help your hotel drive more value and revenue on every mobile transaction, interaction and communication with guests and today’s ‘connected’ travelers.