3 Things To Consider Before Getting An App For Your Hotel
Did you know that in 2012 three out of every four active travelers used a mobile device? What’s even more amazing is that two out of those three active travelers will use their mobile devices to explore, shop and book activities while they are traveling. That is half of all active travelers! source: mydesitnation.com
With so much noise about mobile apps, once you decide you want one, it’s hard to know where to start. This article will help hoteliers cut through the noise and discover what you need to know before you create an app for your property.
1) What are your goals for the app?
A favorite quote of ours by Laurence Peter is, “If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else.” It is crucial that you decide what your goals will be and how you want your guests to use the app.
This will not be too difficult, you surly have already set goals for your hotel and what you want guests to do, ensure all of these things are included in your app.
Here are a couple of ideas to help you get started.
- Explore surrounding area
- Increase average capacity
- Fill event space
- Room-serivce/catering menus
- Sell partner venue tickets
- Convenient transportation
- Business services
- Keep guests in your resort
- Increase number of repeat guests
- Encourage them to use your hotel’s day spa
- Showcase all of your amenities
- Where the best nightlife can be found
- Places for fitness & health
2) What do your guests want?
Do your guests tend to stay around the hotel? Then you’ll want to include hotel amenities, menus, quick access to staff and calls to action to encourage them to explore the hotel.
Maybe your guests are always out exploring the area around your property. You’ll want to include directions, hours and contacts for local attractions, dinning and shopping. Possibly even create various itineraries for different types of guests. Check out the graph below provided by Travelport on what travelers want.
- High-end dining & reservations
- Where they can rent temporary event/office space
- Places to fax or get papers copied
- Limo/town car rentals & drivers
- Places for language translation
- Where they can find office supplies
- Shopping & places to relax
- Local beaches, lakes, etc.
- Social networking
- Places to rent recreations equipment
- Discount vouchers or coupons
Family Friendly Hotels
- Easy access to local attraction tickets
- Family friendly restaurants
- Access to convenient transportation
- Where to find grocery stores
- Tour guides or tour businesses
It’s important to define these personas to ensure your content resonates with guests. Maybe your property has a combination of these guests? A great example of a hotel ensuring they cover every type of traveler is Courtyard Marriott Pasadena.
3) How will your app reach your guests?
Now that you have a better idea of what you want, before you launch your new app it is important to decide how you will market this to your guests.
Just because you built it doesn’t mean they will come! That is why the first two steps are just as crucial as this one, you not only need great content tailored for your guests, you need to be sure they are actually downloading your app.
The answer is probably a combination of a few things.
- A banner on your website homepage
- Regular Facebook, Twitter posts with the link
- An email blast
- Your email signature
- Guest confirmation/welcome emails
- Room keycard insert
- In-room tent card
- Lobby poster
- Have your staff recommend the app when guests check-in