Here at Benbria, we believe that mobile guest engagement should be a core part of any hospitality operation. Mobile guest engagement is about more than simply sending offers to guests via their devices; it’s about benefiting businesses and guests in equal measure. It’s about staying in touch with the guest before, during, and after their visit. It’s about nurturing relationships between the guest and the brand, while also encouraging repeat visits and brand advocacy.
Here are a few things it can do for guests.
It helps guests connect with brands on their own terms
Research by Hotels.com found that 76 percent of individuals would rather bring their mobile phone with them on vacation than their camera or a loved one. That’s an enormous segment of the travelling population. For travellers, mobile is the preferred method for research and communication, so ensuring they can easily interact with the hotel via mobile at any time is a must.
It gives guests a direct line to staff for anything they need
Too often, apathy and fear of confrontation prevent dissatisfied guests from speaking their minds to management; in fact, studies in a Huffington Post article have shown that only one in 26 unhappy customers bothers to bring their issues to the attention of staff. In other cases, guests may not want to go down to the reception desk or wait for a manager to come see them. Mobile guest engagement gives guests a hassle-free avenue to make their feelings known.
It’s convenient and accessible
Through a mobile engagement solution, guests can connect with the hotel via email and SMS even while they’re off the property. Whether they’re at the airport just after their arrival, or touring the sights in the city, they can connect immediately with hotel staff if they need something to be ready for them when they arrive or return to the property.
It creates opportunities to make the guest feel special
Imagine this: a guest has come to your property on vacation and intends to propose to his girlfriend. Since they’re together most of the time, it’s difficult for him to find time to arrange surprises — such as champagne and roses in the room — with staff. With mobile guest engagement, he can do it easily and conveniently without having to leave her side. It makes the experience special for the guest and gives them an emotional connection to the brand.
It allows guests and properties to recognize staff who do good work
Hospitality and restaurant employees work hard, and a little bit of recognition from guests and management goes a long way in keeping them engaged. Deloitte research found that “in organizations where recognition occurs, employee engagement, productivity and customer service are about 14 percent better than in those where recognition does not occur.” On the flip side, guests often like to praise staff members who go above and beyond for them. It makes guests feel invested in the brand and helps them build stronger connections with staff.
And that’s just the guest side of mobile engagement. Brands also have much to gain from it.
It can be used to push offers to guests
And not just any old offers; promotions can be personalized so that they are more relevant to guests’ interests. It shows guests that brands know and care about their preferences, resulting in a stronger relationship between both parties.
It can assist in revenue and finance management. particularly when it comes to labour costs and productivity
Through use of a central inbox, mobile guest engagement makes it easier to not only manage guest requests and concerns, but also delegate resolution of issues. It means fewer staff are needed to handle guest communications, so issues and requests can be dealt with more efficiently and in less time.
It can turn guests into brand advocates
Let’s refer back to the example of the man planning a surprise proposal for his girlfriend. When staff assist in pulling off such an elaborate plan without a hitch, it shows guests the hotel truly cares about their them beyond filling rooms. Huffington post found that 72 percent of consumers will share a positive experience with six or more people — yes, you read that right! Many guests who are impressed with service will become brand advocates. Why wouldn’t you want to encourage that kind of exposure?
It can help businesses pinpoint where they’re experiencing operational difficulties
Hotels and restaurants need to know what they can do to improve, else they might lose existing customers and struggle to find new ones. As studies have shown, 91 percent of customers that don’t bring their concerns to management simply never come back. Mobile guest engagement gives more guests the opportunity to come forward with their concerns — and chances are, the ones who do say something will share some of the same issues as the ones who don’t.