Hotel Mobile Apps Play Concierge to Millennial Travelers
As a generation bitten by the travel bug, Millennials are an attractive target market for the hospitality industry. But as a fully digital and mobile generation, they’re also something of a challenge. Besides having high expectations for seamless, personalized service, Millennials orchestrate every aspect of their lives through their smartphones.
To create the kind of experience that builds their loyalty and earns high ratings on travel web sites, hotels must deliver sophisticated digital and mobile concierge services throughout a Millennial traveler’s stay—and especially pay attention to “the little things.” At the heart of this idea is a mobile app that’s fully integrated with your communications technology and property management system.
Consider, for example, the numerous touchpoints – and the revenue-generating opportunities – of the typical Millennial’s visit. While still en route to your hotel, they use your app to check in – and accept your offer of a room upgrade. Because your communications system is fully integrated with the app, the front desk is alerted via SMS not only that the guest is on their way and has accepted the upgrade—but also would like some extra pillows.
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The manager messages housekeeping, which prioritizes the upgraded room to ensure it’s ready by the time the guest arrives. When the television won’t turn on, housekeeping sends a message to maintenance. Later the traveler, after checking in, can use the mobile app to set a wake-up call and learn about offers tailored to their interests and needs, from happy hours to shuttle schedules.
Such seamless experiences through the mobile app enables you to make every moment count in the guest experience. With every successful interaction, you increase your ability to influence your online review ratings.
This is no accident, but you need the right mix of technology to make it happen: your communications platform, API integration, a mobile app and your property management system. Unified communications allows hotels to be more proactive in resolving guest and maintenance issues, while also improving staff productivity. From research through check out, the travel experience is improved because it integrates every aspect of the customer journey. Most important, a cloud-based system allows hotels to maximize the mobile experience.
Here are a few of the technologies built into the right hospitality communications system to make that happen.
By far the most critical technical requirement for serving the Millennial traveler is the ability to integrate smartphones and tablets with the hotel communications system. Within the mobile app, visitors can use one-touch dialing to reach the front desk, restaurant or housekeeping with ease.
As guests move freely around the hotel property – from hotel room to conference room to pool – they should be able to receive messages and connect easily using their own devices. With integration and the mobile app, their device becomes an extension of the hotel’s voice system.
With API integration, hotels can take advantage of applications that enable them to deliver a highly personalized customer experience. When the CRM is integrated with the mobile app, for example, the front desk staff can greet guests by name and also accommodate their preferences. With location-based services, hotels can offer “in the moment” information about guest services and local attractions in real-time.
Property management system
Dozens of property management systems are available for hotels of all sizes, with the largest using the market-standard Micros Fidelio interface. A key requirement for developing a hotel mobile app is having communications technology that offers API integration with your PMS.
A mobile app is also an excellent opportunity to reinforce branding and build loyalty. By embedding high-resolution hotel logos and images into the app, the brand can remain top of mind because it’s an integral part of the guest’s device.
Millennials are more eager to share their experiences than previous generations of travelers. But both good and bad reviews are opportunities. With an integrated contact center, agents can monitor for comments and respond immediately. Not only does this resolve issues immediately, it demonstrates that the hotel staff cares about each traveler visiting its properties.
Personalized traveler experiences translate into tangible results. According to research by Cornell University, each one-star improvement on a five-point scale in review scores means an 11.2 percent increase in average daily room rates (ADR). For hotels, that means delivering a stellar customer experience through a mobile app to Millennials will have a meaningful effect on revenues.