According to a recent Priceline survey, most travelers want just one app that would facilitate all of their travel needs. This hypothetical mobile app would cover everything from planning to booking and ticketing across all forms of travel.
As most people have a finite amount of time, and are also dealing with technology fatigue, this approach makes sense – especially considering how fragmented the travel experience can be when dealing with multiple travel apps from hotel brands.
Most hotel brands develop their travel apps with the thinking that guests will automatically want to interact with them through these channels. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case because the apps are not designed with the guest experience in mind.
Much like the enterprise IT world, where security is now being built into any new innovation from the start, hoteliers may want to consider “guest experience design” first. In other words, think of the guest first and the experience they potentially want – then from there it’s a matter of agile development.
For example, some hotel brands are offering songs and music as an extension of their rewards programs. While on the surface, this seems like a creative idea, it may actually dilute the brand because it’s not travel related. In addition, it may not be worth developing any kind of program that does not extend the value of the stay.
By focusing on the guest first, it is possible to have more meaningful interactions with travelers through hotel mobile apps. This is no small challenge. However, by gaining the right guest data first, and then proceeding with development based on these insights, it is possible to capture guest attention and loyalty in this mobile arena.