Technology

Engage Guests Pre, During and Post Stay with an App

- People literally camped out for a week, lines miles long, minimum waiting times of three hours - all just to own the newest addition to the iPhone wonder family. There is no question that advances in smart phones and mobile in general has changed the way we live, shop, compute and communicate and it doesn’t look like the hunger for more will subside anytime soon.

For the hospitality industry this change in behavior offers a wide range of engagement and revenue opportunities that still boil down to location, location, location! The new twist on this old adage? It isn’t about how close you are to the main attractions on the map, although that still has its obvious advantages. Today’s game is how close can you get to where guests are making buying decisions.

According to a January 2010 PhoCusWright study mobile travel bookings are projected to grow 700% in two years. That type of astronomical growth isn’t something hoteliers can afford to ignore. Increased mobile web browsing and social media app usage has a lot to do with this phenomenon but if you look at the Fastest-Growing mobile apps that eMarketer has pulled together you’ll also see that weather, finances, shopping and photo or video sharing rank highly as well. Sound like services travelers use? We think so.

How do you tap into this audience? Mobile apps take advantage of the critical senses that travelers use to make buying and planning decisions - sight, touch, speech and sound. Add to that the ability to act on those senses immediately and you’ve got an incredible tool to increase bookings, ancillary revenue and deliver customer service.

Pre Stay

Inspire and capture more guests with enticing offers delivered directly to their phone and provide irresistible photography. Consumers now expect booking functionality to be easy and seamless so a few tips here are to take advantage of the touch to call functionality and make sure offers fit with the shorter booking window of this audience. You might also consider a trackable number used from the app so you can identify the impact it is having on your bottom line.

 

During Stay

Once you have your guest on property, make things easy for them. Helping them save time and offering them tools to enhance their experience can be a big win. The SmartStay maps and locations tab is a great place to start, and by offering them the ability to navigate easily and find fun nearby you’ll be delivering an added value most hotels can only hope to achieve at the concierge desk. Another tip is to think about how you can save your guest money at your F&B outlets through your app.

 

Post Stay

They may be back at home already entrenched in their daily routines but they’ll still have your app on their mobile reminding them of their trip! Since you control the content with your SmartStay app, take the opportunity to follow up with a special return offer. Closing the engagement loop is easy to do with an app so don’t forget the finale, follow up.

If you would like to learn more about the Smartstay iPhone App for hotels please call the mobile division of O’Rourke Hospitality at 888-965-5966 or send an email to info@smartstayapp.com. You can also visit the website at www.smartstayapp.com

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