Beyond the Concierge: Mobile Tech That Extends Hospitality Off-Property

21-12-2015    By John Ortner  

The digital customer is not being fully served by the hotel industry and the opportunity for a hotel to fully leverage mobile to capture this customer has now arrived. Segments such as Gen X, Gen Y and, even more so, the Millennial all have increased wallet share, and are under maximised revenue opportunities for hotels. However, their interaction habits are starkly different to what the hotel industry is accustomed to. The digital customer is also known as the silent customer because of their frequent preference for using technology to communicate rather than face-to-face engagement. While they may be “silent” when it comes to face-to-face communication, they are undoubtedly vocal on online platforms like Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor and other review sites. In order for hotels to capitalise fully on this opportunity hotels need to become more “au fait” with the digital ecosystem, in particular mobile, which is this segment’s preferred channel.In order to capture digital customers, a hotel’s mobile solutions must be engaging and provide value to the customer. The mobile offering must “delight” the end user. Delighting the customer is not just about a nicely designed user interface, it requires understanding the wants and needs of the target segment. Obviously, the offering can be mutually beneficial and generate ancillary revenue for the hotel, but that should not be the predominant focus. Mobile engagement has been shown to lead to increased mobile usage, loyalty and advocacy, which in turn lead to increased revenue and a much higher Net Promoter Score. In Q1 of 2014 search volumes were, for the first time in history, greater on mobile than desktop, and with mobile revenues increasing year on year it is now more than just a nice to have but a truly strategic channel. Mobile is strategically very different to the traditional desktop approach. Mobile app users are identifiable which presents a new data opp

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