How much personal information will guests disclose in hotel apps?
Hotel apps have opened up a world of new possibilities for hoteliers. They can be used to upsell and make special offers, deliver coupons, customize guest experiences, enable new kinds of services, enable automated processes and much more.
There’s one possibility that has many hoteliers salivating—the chance to collect guests’ personal information using hotel apps. There’s just one problem. Guests aren’t always big on sharing their personal information with companies, especially on apps.
So how do you balance guests’ desire to keep their personal information private while still adding value to your hospitality business?
Dr. Cristian Morosan and Dr. Agnes DeFranco of the Conrad N. Hilton College of the University of Houston conducted a survey to find out. They summarized their findings in the infographic, first published on HFTP.
What personal information guests are most and least willing to share
As you can see, the risks associated with disclosing information to hotel apps is one of the biggest factors in how willing guests are to share their personal information. In fact, there appears to be a relatively inverse relationship between how willing guests are to share specific types of personal information and how sensitive they feel that specific piece of information is.
For example, guests were most willing to share room preference and room amenity preferences with hotel apps, while they perceived that information to be some of the least sensitive information they could disclose. Likewise, guests were least likely to want to share credit card information, which they perceived to be their most sensitive piece of information.
How to apply the risk vs benefit of disclosure principle to your hotel app
What that means is that hoteliers have to be careful about which types of information they ask for, and which types they require. Setting certain types of information as optional may be a good way to collect as much as you can without upsetting certain guests. It also means that if you are going to ask for, or require, very sensitive information, the guest had better get significant benefits by disclosing that information. Perceived benefit of disclosure was another major factor of guest preferences about disclosing their personal information to apps, and is probably one of the few things that can tip the sensitivity–disclosure balance.