Getting traveller experience right is more important than ever for hoteliers because it has become easier than ever to find information before booking including reviews and notes from previous hotel guests. Tools such as Tripadvisor are not only offering reviews but also location awareness when used on a smartphone, so services that feature a large number of positive recommendations can end up being actively promoted to new customers through recommendation engines.
Many travellers are now familiar with online tools and use them to research, plan, book holidays and now comment on experiences. They contact hotels before, during, and after booking where many traveller enquiries need to be handled – this can be the difference between travellers booking with you or not. If you can quickly help a guest to fix their problem, then it will leave that guest smiling. At the same time, most of the questions are from prospective customers rather than actual clients. The team that regularly engage with customers are no longer communicating just on the reception desk, by phone, or by email. Much of their work is now conducted on social networks and is open and visible to the online world.
However, this is just a top of the iceberg. Products of mobile drive most of the significant shifts in the hotel industry. People used to consider these types of amenities—access to movie channels, swimming pool, free calls—when booking a hotel.
Nowadays in-room entertainment is not an advantage anymore. Nobody is using a hotel phone anymore; almost everyone has a smartphone. You can order takeaway from a local restaurant instead of ordering room service or use map in your device to find a great gym around the corner. You can find cheaper laundry service and clean your clothes outside the hotel. So all the hotel is left with is a good Wi-Fi, a bed, and a bath. Travellers want the best hotel for their specific needs, at the right price, nothing else. For everything else, they can get it by using apps on a mobile device. This leads me on to my 3 things travellers want….
According to Eurostat research in 2015:
57 % of individuals aged 16 to 74 within the EU-28 connect to the internet away from home or work and using the internet on a portable computer or via mobile or wireless connections. The most common mobile devices for internet connections were mobile or smart phones, laptops, notebooks, netbooks or tablet computers. Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Finland recorded the highest proportion of mobile internet use in 2015, with around three-quarters to four-fifths of individuals aged 16 to 74 using the internet while on the move; the percentage in Norway was even higher, reaching 83 %.
Hoteliers that can keep pace with consumer expectations will have a better chance of being successful.
Travellers want three things:
- They want a connection with a hotel. Right now, mobile is the best way to make that happen. You can connect with somebody in a targeted way, more efficiently than ever before;
- People need a personalised In fact, Accenture research shows 75 % of consumers want personalised services;
- They want convenience. They want to reach their objective with just a few clicks.
From the hotel perspective, there is a complex change taking place that many will struggle to adapt. What do you think about the transformation of hotel industry? Leave a comment here or get in touch via my LinkedIn.
Photo by Mantas Hesthaven licensed under Creative Commons Zero