The hospitality industry has always embraced technology, and the modern guest expects no less. Guests want simpler ways to interact with services and want to be informed and communicated within better ways and in any language. 

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Hotel room service has always been a tough sell. It’s expensive both to order and to operate, looks extravagant on a business traveler’s expense report, and for most people, goes against the very point of travel: to get out and explore new sights and cuisines. Room service revenue industrywide is down more than 25 percent since before the recession, according to CBRE, a commercial real estate firm.

Although 80 percent of guests expect hotels to have an on-site restaurant, only 72 percent will use it, and only for breakfast. And even though many hotels offer a room service menu (many 24 hours a day), 81 percent of hotel guests say they would never use it. In the future, room service deliveries from external companies are predicted to rise by 83 percent.

Hotels, then, have a problem. They either need to fight back, banning food deliveries and making room service more appealing and affordable, or embrace the lifestyle shift and encourage and collaborate.

Several hotels already have a mobile application to streamline their services, to be able to check-in and check-out through the telephone, request room service, communicate with the hotel staff, as well as find local information and order food. 

An interesting fact is, on average, a hotel spends 2 dlls per day on printed paper per day: menu, hotel information etc.  Switch to a digital format has the facility to update information directly, reduces printing costs, time and improves its service.

The best way to fight back to the food delivery industry is with the right omnichannel strategy within the hotel. Each channel available at the hotel leads and facilitates the guest to improve their service and increase preference, revenue, and loyalty.

Kiosks and display screens showing the special of the day will surely encourage guests to reserve a table at the hotel’s restaurant or ask to something at room service. 

All available consumer channels from Mobile, digital signages and kiosks around the hotel have the facility to communicate and update at the moment, giving the guest the ease of ordering, booking and enjoying in the comfort of the hotel without having to resort to a food delivery app.

As well, well organization need to look at how digital food ordering can decrease costs, and increase point of sale purchase.   Providing guests with pictures and upsell opportunities as well as prescheduling ordering.    

Are you planning to grow your Omnichannel ordering capabilities? Send us an email and we’ll be more than happy to share with you what we have done and how we can help you accomplish your guest experience goals. [email protected].  For special revenue calculator simple send us an email we will help you show management the potential of digital ordering.

Progressive Web Apps are re-inventing communication and customer behavior evolving the approach to the client in a personal way directly through links, websites, and social media.  Adoption of hospitality apps has consistently been low, however with new browser-based technology you can promote and download apps, that are lite, easy to use and don’t require users to go to app stores. 

With this advancement and the connection of the Omnichannel, you can now connect guests through any channel and desire. Mobile food ordering, check-in, mobile key, and more help drive the consistency of their experience through their personal device while allowing you to promote one service at a tie.

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Bottom line, mobile helps you service your guest better, allows you to learn more about them and provides new ways to generate revenue.   Uber and other digital offerings are going to continue to impact your bottom line, it’s your time to realize you can compete and drive better tools for better loyalty and return visits.  Here is a shortlist of items to consider as you look to mobile and the Omnichannel.

User profile integration
Most of the applications for booking are personalized, that is, they employ a user profile to provide authorization and personal data storage. This ensures better UX and, thereby, increases user loyalty to the app. Moreover, this creates opportunities to store previous routes, payment card details, as well as hotel loyalty system points.

Hotel directory. Wayfinding
The catalog is perhaps the most important function of your future application. Here you must provide your users with the utmost information: directions, and how to get around.  Easily displayed options for special offers and events are great during this point.

Room service ordering.
Increase room service and on-property ordering by up to 30%, learn more about your guests and provide them the tools they want to use.   A well-designed digital menu option integrated to your PoS will reduce costs, errors and typically pay for itself with the first 12 months.  Not to mention real-time price updates, specials, promotions, and seasonal menus.

Push notifications.
Push notifications are a great way to inform your current about offers (for example, linked to the user’s current location), regardless of whether the app is currently active on the user’s smartphone or not.

Social media integration/ User Generated Content
Ensure the fastest way to engage and learn more about your guests, provide them options to share and engage and learn more about your destination and hotel. 

Mobile Check-In, Mobile room key.
Easily allow guests to get right to their room and start experiencing your hotel and destination.  1 of the top 3 features as a must-have selected by Oracle study of over 3000 guests. This combined with Mobile key options allows you to engage with next generation and provide desired tools for the business traveler.  

Artificial intelligence chatbots.
Chatbots will help you provide instant interaction with users, reducing the time to reach the hotel operator. Solutions based on artificial intelligence are considered the most advanced – they are capable of replacing living operators in 9 out of 10 cases, and guests are becoming more acclimated to voice activation tools like Alexa and more.

Definitely, the range of opportunities and functions offered by a progressive web app continues to grow and will continue to offer more solutions for the hotel market. If you would like to more information or want to create your custom Progressive Web App, contact us today. [email protected]

In order to provide the best visitor experience solution and increase your advertising revenue, one must know the key points to customer satisfaction. And in order to provide customer satisfaction, you must know the best marketing approach to drive deeper awareness and engagement. Interactive kiosks, digital signages, and mobile apps make up the Omnichannel solution. But do you know that every screen in the Omnichannel can produce enough revenue to pay for itself and even more?

So what are the most popular ways to drive revenue across these different screens? See below as we break out the fundamentals and then drive into real-world numbers and finally how you can get started.

Digital Signage

Do you have a high traffic area, store or lobby?  Then digital signage is a proven medium for awareness and driving revenue in many ways

  • Merchandising: This type of digital signage is meant to merchandise the end user’s goods and services, increase sales and build brand awareness. An example would be the clothing company American Eagle is featuring branded videos with music, text, and interviews in each of their retail locations and increased revenues by 10% within the first 30days.
  • Advertising: This type of digital signage advertises content for multiple brands and is aimed solely at increasing advertising revenue. In many cases, this content is both informational and entertaining. For example, travelers waiting at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport view digital signage that features diverse advertising supplied from a network operator. Generating millions of dollars a year in ad revenue for the airport.
  • Informational: This type of digital signage is purely for informational and entertainment purposes. Its goal is to enhance the customer experience, expose the viewer to unknown places, things to do and sometimes to decrease perceived wait time. An example would be digital signage in hotel lobbies, bringing you local information, things to do, and getting you excited about what awaits you both on property and in destination.  Done properly hotels use this to drive revenue for ticketing, spa and restaurant reservations. Seeing increases in initial bookings while checking in.

Interactive Kiosks

Providing new engagement points for your customers and guests, driving easy sharing and navigation to new points of engagement.

  • Interactive Advertising-  Image a screen big enough to advertise and push content and video.  Then image the ability for users to click, navigate learn and transact.  You have a powerful tool to not only drive consistent Ad revenue but also provide real analytics and transaction options.   Sanibel Captiva Chamber generates over $300k per year selling advertising on its kiosks and displays
  • Ticketing and Booking-  Advertising comes to life as you provide options to engage in real-time pricing and availability.   Drive more points of revenue by ticketing to local attractions, or to hotel events and more. Partner with Ticketmaster and Trip advisor to truly extend the interactive experience from Kiosk to mobile.   Hilton Minneapolis generates over $30k per year in ticket sales through its partnership with Trip Advisor Viator ticketing
  • Reservations-  Utilizing direct systems and OpenTable guests and users can easily book reservations to their favorite restaurants and local amenities such as spa and pool services.  Offer travelers notifications on offers and share information with their groups and travel companions right from the Kiosk directly to their phone. Organizations that implement these tools see deeper guest engagement and increased revenue by convenience and relationships.

Mobile

  • Advertising Personalized – Mobile offers you the same functionality as Kiosk to generate revenue through advertising banner ads, pop ups and more.  However within most apps you can allow one to one connection of ad and ticketing revenue. By providing your customers and travelers options to engage with ad instantly through your mobile interface or social connections you provide multiple points of ad engagement.  
  • Transactions through mobile – easy and convenient and you can personalize your messaging.   With users logged in you can learn more about your customers and customize the messaging. Marriot reward members get personalized messages sent to them about events and ways to use their points for upgrades and more.   They see 5x spend increase with members using their BonVoy app

Data

What ad, ticketing or booking program would be complete without key data to help with retargeting and truly showing return on investment for your advertisers

  • Behavioral data –  Easily track how many eyeballs see their ads through people count and demographic recognition, monitor how people use the Kiosk and Mobile app, and show real-time data when people click on an ad or business
  • Profiles and information-  Connect the dots on the customer journey while getting a deeper knowledge of what your customers and travelers want.   Compile data on what is clicked by user, sharing this data with your advertisers. Couple this with demographic information and you have a powerful advertising sales tool and ways to help your business be more effective

How to pull this off:  Using the Omnichannel to drive revenue and learn more about your customers and travelers.

  1. Find an Omnichannel provider that can extend your existing systems through Kiosk, Digital Signage, and Mobile
  2. Ensure the system has an effective advertising module that will allow you to sell your own advertising or connect directly with Google DFP or third parties that will sell advertising for you
  3. Ensure the providers has experience with building integrations between existing ticketing systems or key providers to extend services without a lot of hassle and upfront costs

With proven case studies and solutions purchasing new technology for customer and traveler experiences can pay for itself within the first year.   When done right, you will have happier stakeholders, advertising partners, and customers. If you want to learn more about creating a revenue plan for your organization and how you can extend new experiences to drive engagement.   Reach out we will be happy to show you how our solution works and help you build a plan that works for your organization or business. Contact us: [email protected]

After all, the world of marketing has changed dramatically in the past two decades. The evolution of customer experience has changed the whole paradigm. The impetus has shifted towards customer-centric approach and keeping the customer in focus. The advent of social media, self-service technologies, and various other digital advancements has changed the shopper’s behavior. Digital and analytics have emerged as key enablers for marketing professionals and organizations are trying to harness the benefits of these advancements. The role of the customer has evolved quite significantly as an enabler in the overall success of a product/brand. The managers now require new tools to measure and understand the performance of organization in totality.

Taco Bell – Transformation of Customer Experience

An inside look at Taco Bell’s digital transformation to deliver an enhanced customer experience
“Tech and digital is in everything we do,”
What Taco Bell does best is tacos, but it’s also been deploying interactive customer experiences as well especially during the past few years. “It didn’t happen overnight but it also didn’t happen that long ago. All those industries [airlines, taxis, hotels, retail] have been disrupted and have had to innovate to survive and meet the changing customer expectation,”
“You need to think digital, not think of it as an afterthought. It should be at forefront of everything you’re doing as a company.”

Destination Alberta Model –   The evolution of the Visitor Experience

The vision for this model in Alberta is to inform, inspire and influence visitors to maximize their travel experiences and to help grow the tourism economy in all regions of Alberta. The new visitor services model supports the principles of convenient, relevant and innovative multi-channel access for visitors; maximization of economic benefits; use of the right tools and resources; and collaboration amongst stakeholders. 

In particular, the model recognizes that technology and changes in consumer behavior have altered how people access information and make travel decisions. The model builds on the need for visitor service providers to be proactive in reaching out to engage with their visitors. 

KPMG Global Customer Experience Excellence report 

This study demonstrates that the leading companies are the ones that have already found the economic value of where expectations and experience align. They are the ones that are now working to connect their enterprise in a way that removes silos and eliminates friction in the customer journey. And they are enjoying success as a result. 

The very best brands for customer experience excellence are now starting to think of their customers as assets that should be protected, nurtured and invested in. They view their customers’ loyalty as a form of equity in the company. And they are thinking about how they might start to move their customers onto their balance sheets vs a simple transactional relationship that appears periodically on the income statement as a revenue item. 

Amazon Go–  Frictionless Engagement & Experience

Amazon Go disrupts, re-invents, elevates the customer experience; this article explains how amazon is re-inventing the retail market and taking customer experience to another level. 

“By launching their reimagined grocery store, Amazon is using their test-and-learn philosophy to gauge how open customers are to this concept and refine the service based on shopper feedback and preferences,” 

Amazon has invested a great amount of time and research to perfect the experience based on consumer behavior but exposing it to the general clientele over a consistent period of time is the only way to fully understand how customers will behave. Amazon will have to iterate accordingly as small behavioral nuances shake out in store and on the app,”

YotelAir –   Next Generation of Hotel Engagement

This Hotel Review shows how Yotel elevates their guest experience; inspired by first-class airline travel, Yotel opened its first properties in London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports in 2007. An instant success with transiting passengers, the concept centers around cabin-like guestrooms, taking the essential elements of luxury hotels and compressing them into smaller, smarter spaces. Four years later, the brand opened its first city-center property in New York: a 669-key hotel with guestrooms readapted to suit the city guest. “When we launched New York, the concept underwent a revolution,” says Hubert R. Viriot, CEO, Yotel. “We had a different target audience and had to adjust the product. The property still has the same DNA – technology-driven with smart layouts and retractable beds – but with increased space and consideration. We then used what we have learned since the launch in New York for our recent openings.” 

In conclusion:

The marketing focus has shifted towards the customer-centric approach, analytics has become a crucial part of every marketer’s arsenal and has offered a  more nuanced understanding of the activities/processes. The evolution of omnichannel has deeply jolted the status quo and made marketers to rethink their strategies.  We would love to have deeper discussions on your visions and direction of your organization, how we can help you drive revenue, experience, and engagement. Call us today to learn about how you can increase your customer and guest experience and engagement. [email protected]

As Omnichannel and media have taken off, so have the companies that first embraced this idea of creating content and becoming kings of their social and marketing channels. As a company, we connect directly with the concept of how these brands push content across new channels while In-Destination and On-Property. However, we also become very aware of the tools that Marriott and others have had to build or invest in order to get them to this level. Most brands don’t have the ability to scale and connect like Marriott so how do you compete? How can you connect these systems and channels? How do you build a brand that will last and transition to the next generation of traveler?

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Marriott such a successful brand also in the media industry is the three Cs. “Scaling content, then building a community around that content, and driving commerce,” Beebe said. He believes that this combination is the key to reaching millennials who are increasingly seeking more intimate connections and experiences when they travel. “We have a very intimate relationship with our customers. They sleep with us, after all. It’s sort of a joke, but it’s true,” he said.

Here are a few ideas and options you may want to consider and remember: We are not the companies that create great content, it has been our experience that many hotels and brands actually do very well getting content put together. We agree on a good yearly strategy across each social and media channel, as this is core as with any brand strategy. What we know is that there are ways to take your existing investments to drive engagement and revenue that can connect amenities and marketing channels to help establish the brand.

What we are saying is use what you have and then expand on it, not that rebranding or new letter head sometimes isn’t a good idea but many times the next generation of traveler just wants to know you get them, coupled with consistency on your channels you can drive your brand to the top of the list.  After all its about experience now, and the company that can drive this consistent way of experience will win. If you would like to see some of our studies on maturity models and technology adoption to help paint the picture for management, please reach out.

So let’s start with what guests want and ensure you have the technology to support it, while your working on your media marketing channels it has to be a dual effort.

  1. Use what you have, and set a strategy with real content.Utilizing Social Media UGC products is a great start. Once a week pushing new images and connecting to the destination to drive experience
  2. Mobile, Touch and Digital Signage.  You may have some of these channels but its time to give them an upgrade and start connecting brand and solutions through device your guest use and on-property
  3. Connect your systems and turn on the data, by implementing solutions like Check In/Checkout, Mobile Key, Mobile Food Ordering, Reservations and Ticketing you will open your guest channels
  4. Connect to your destination.  Don’t worry about losing revenue when guests go off property if you follow the items above and ensure a consistent product and easy touchpoints they will align the great experiences, hiking, shopping etc. directly with your hotel
  5. Integrate the staff, teach and engage the staff to use new tools for communication and directing younger travelers to technology options they feel most comfortable allowing them to use the device and option of their choice

In short, these like all of the changes in hospitality are the next horizon of guest experience but don’t take our word for it look at every major brand in the world, especially Hilton, Marriott, and IHG. They are already years ahead but account for their size and you have maybe another 2 years before the adoption of the technology is connected to the brand and you start to lose bookings. It’s a simple history lesson starting with Wi-Fi and many lessons learned in technology across any industry the shift is happening, are you prepared for it?

Douglas Ralston Profile 

Douglas Ralston

Technology Company and Hotel Owner

Sources: 

https://contently.com/2015/11/05/were-a-media-company-now-inside-marriotts-incredible-money-making-content-studio/?source=post_page—–d3569a886b35———————-

https://medium.com/entrepreneurial-journalism/marriott-international-becoming-a-media-company-d3569a886b35