5 Effective Ways To Use Technology To Increase Hotel Revenue
12th February 2020
Technology is ever-evolving and so are guest expectations, which are often shaped by the new tech available. Operating in a very competitive market, luxury hotels and serviced apartments, which aim to stand out from the crowd, adopt new technology that enables them to assist their guests better than others.
As well as enabling better guest engagement, technology also enables new forms of communication like push notifications, messaging and ordering platforms that are helping hotels increase total revenue per available guest (TRevPAG). This is because communication channels like push notifications and in-app messaging can target and assist guests with personalised, tailored, location-relevant and up-to-the-minute special offers, upsells and experiences.
Here are 5 effective ways to implement the latest technology to help hoteliers improve communication with their guests and thus enhance their overall revenue.
1. Create your own hotel app to give guests easy access to all your services
Hotels can surprise and delight their guests by giving them everything they need on their own phone. Their own guest app can include all the features needed to ensure guests will have a great stay: from maps, directions and WiFi information to recommendations on the best places to visit, how-to videos, restaurant menu, opening hours, spa treatments and other services available at the property.
If their favourite hotel was to have its own app, 80% of guests overwhelmingly stated they would use this digital channel
The concierge app also helps hoteliers earn more from every booking by promoting all services, offers, amenities and event through it. The app can easily list services or add-ons that guests can book or request directly through the app. Push-notifications, in-app messaging and ordering help you streamline your communication with guests and increase your revenue. Room service orders increase by 18% when made via mobile.
2. Use location-based push notifications to reach guests with the right message for them
Because of the timely and relevant way push notifications are sent, hotels can use them to target specific guests with last-minute offers. For example, if there is a late cancellation at the restaurant or spa, the space can quickly be offered to someone else.
Customers who received contextually relevant messages via geolocation technology were 59% more likely to make a purchase
They can also be used to promote special events or tours or notify residents living nearby about special offers at the property, thus increasing customer retention and local interaction. Indeed, having the hotel used as a local hub for businesses, events and experiences is a revenue stream that many hotels are beginning to explore. A direct and effective means of communicating this activity to locals and previous guests is essential to capitalise on this source of revenue. Opening up such a plethora of new revenue streams could lead to revenue growth of 20%-30% per annum.
3. Enable guests to easily chat with concierge
In-app messaging is also effective at optimising revenue. It is much more effective at catching their attention and engaging with them because it can target guests through their preferred communication channel. Since it can be used to respond to guests’ immediate needs, it is a timely and relevant way of upselling services.
74% of guests appreciate hotels/resorts that customise messaging and offers
Customers who have downloaded the hotel’s app can communicate directly with staff using their preferred channel of communication whether this is SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, or a number of other platforms, with all messages landing in one single inbox. This makes it easy for hoteliers to deal with enquiries coming from many different channels, while enables guests to choose the communication channel they feel most comfortable with.
In-app messages can be used to make a complaint or request a late check-out or room clean. They can act as a digital concierge to book a taxi or table at a local restaurant as well as in-hotel services, such as spa and restaurant bookings and in-room food and beverage orders. Messages can be forwarded immediately to the team or staff member who is best able to help and they provide a great means of upselling services and facilities by direct engagement with the customer’s immediate needs.
4. Offer an in-room ordering platform to increase in-stay guest spend
In-room ordering also generates additional revenue by encouraging food and beverage orders. In fact in-room ordering via a mobile app can increase food and beverage revenue by 18% according to industry statistics.
In-app booking systems promote upgrades and upselling. By having all the hotel information so easily to hand pre-arrival and during stay, it encourages guests to browse through services and experiences offered, providing an excellent opportunity to upsell. And having the booking system in-app encourages guests to re-book through this direct channel, avoiding OTA commissions.
77% would like to request room service and other hotel facilities through the use of their mobile
Using an in-app booking system an average 100-bedroom hotel with a £300 ADR could generate £73,000 per annum through OTA savings and an increase of in-stay spend (based on 80% average occupancy, 40% of guests booking via an OTA, on 15% commission, 1 in 3 guests downloading the app and 20% re-booking via app).
Case study: Virgin Hotels has taken an inventive approach. Its mobile app, Lucy, lets guests view menus and order room service. Lucy is also a chat board where guests and staff can share recommendations. Guests can order extra pillows, laundry pick-ups, a turndown service and a valet acting like the guests' "personal assistant".
5. Offer a loyalty programme to increase more direct and repeat bookings
Loyalty programmes are also migrating to mobile apps, cutting out cumbersome loyalty cards. Loyalty schemes encourage direct bookings by offering discounts and special offers thus avoiding OTA commissions. They promote good feeling and build long-term relationships. They also provide a closed marketing group for upselling onsite services and facilities.
Case study: An example is Hilton Honors’ in-app loyalty programme, which rewards customers with a price match guarantee and additional perks. It delivered growth of 14 million new members in 2018, with programme engagement jumping from 15% to 50% in just five years.
There is a good reason why all the top branded hotels have a mobile app – they are the future of hotel-guest engagement and indispensable to any growing business.
How Criton can help you
Criton is an award-winning technology provider which enables hotels and serviced apartment operators to take the guest experience to the next level with a sophisticated mobile app. Criton helps hotels to streamline the entire guest journey and maximise in-stay revenue. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your business.