Gaining the brand loyalty of hotel guests is one of the most pressing issues for hoteliers in recent years. With such intense competition between hotel chains as well as online travel agencies all vying for the hotel guest dollar, loyalty is of vital importance. Today’s hotel guest books their stay with high expectations. The conveniences offered by technology in our everyday lives have built up the anticipation that this will carry over when we travel. Travelers now expect and demand a hotel experience customized to their individual needs and tastes.
Mobile technology grants hoteliers an exciting means to meet the expectations of their guests with an unprecedented level of exceptional personalized service. Gaining the brand loyalty of guests requires a commitment on the part of hotels to invest in their customers through the provision of these technologies. Hotel guests are seeking greater control over their hotel guest experience every at step of the way. Hotel provided mobile apps empower them to do so.
With a hotel app downloaded to their smartphone or tablet, customers can chose from among common variables such as, room size and bed type, to customizing the room temperature and even selecting food and drinks for the mini-bar. All of these selections may be made in prior to their arrival, from any mobile device armed with an app from the hotel. Also, these settings may be retained and be waiting for the guest upon their next arrival, either at that location or another property in the case of a chain.
Considering how pervasive mobile devices have become and the resultant expectations of the public, the minimum standard for all hotels should be a website optimized for mobile. Those hotels and chains that choose to go the extra mile for their customers with a user-friendly and free mobile app will reap the rewards of improved brand loyalty, resulting in increased hotel bookings. The traveling public now seems more than willing to dream about, plan the details, and make all the arrangements for their travel via mobile devices. This includes actually paying for and booking the hotel. Giving customers an in-house mobile app that they feel comfortable with seems to make sense for hotel brands with the desire to win over their customer’s loyalty.
In part 3 of this series we will see how the hotel rewards program is experiencing innovative upgrades in the process of earning brand loyalty.
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