Using Mobile Apps for Retention
By Tom O'Rourke President & CEO, O'Rourke Hospitality | March 29, 2015
This article discusses how hotel mobile apps can help create guest loyalty and retention by creating unique experiences and providing great utility that makes the property stand out from the competition. Ultimately, the idea is that a hotel app can be used as a competitive advantage and convince the guest to book at that property the next time they need accommodations.
Much time and effort is spent on convincing guests to stay at a particular property, whether it's a resort or a city hotel, and it's what seems to dominate the conversation when it comes to marketing. But equally, if not more, important is guest retention. There's something to be said about guests that return time and time again. Not only does it help keep the flow of revenue coming through, but also it encourages great online reviews, which of course only helps bring in new guests.
But guest loyalty or retention is difficult; you have to convince them that you're the best option for accommodations and essentially persuade them to not look anywhere else the next time they're planning on a vacation or on a business trip. Ensuring that guests have a flawless experience on property is a great starting point, but they expect that and so loyalty is a little bit more difficult to come by.
In order for a property to gain loyalty, they really have to go above and beyond the guest expectation. They have to create or provide something that's unique and valuable; something that will set the property and the experience at the property above anything else. A mobile app can be an integral part of that solution.
A hotel mobile app can help create guest loyalty in a numbers of ways; let's start with check-in. A hotel mobile app can allow guests to check in remotely; remote check-in is nothing new, but giving them the option to download an app and check in shortly before arriving on property is sure to leave an impression. A great guest experience is not only about providing a great overall experience, but also making that experience easier and ultimately making their life easier.
You could take remote check-in one step further and send a message to guests as they get closer to the property. A hotel app allows the property to sending a push notification when the guest is a certain distance away from the property; something to the effect of "Mr. Smith, would you like us to check you in?". It serves as a friendly reminder and sets the tone for the level of service a guest can expect.
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