Hotel apps – do you even need one? What on earth do your guests need a mobile app for?
Good questions. Actually, there are a number of reasons why…
The Case for Hotel Apps
First, it’s important that you realize mobile apps are not cost centers. Instead, they’re revenue generators.
Mobile apps allow guests to check-in, check-out, and make requests. Plus, because it’s an app, you’re able to send push notifications to their devices.
Here are just a few ways you can use these features to increase revenue.
When guests check-in they’ll be prompted to upgrade their rooms. They’ll see an image of the upgraded room as well as a price per night increase and will be given the option to upgrade. It’s an easy way to grow your RevPAR, as is offering extras in the check-in process (such as a bottle of champagne or breakfast vouchers).
When guests have to leave they’ll have the option to extend their stay by a few hours – so you could charge $25 extra for letting a guest stay for an extra few hours. Again, an easy way to boost RevPAR.
Push notifications are an incredibly powerful tool that let you send marketing messages to guests. You can send notifications about happy hour right before it starts, offer discounts on packages each morning, or anything else you desire.
Enhancing the Guest Experience
Mobile apps also enhance the guest experience. Mobile check-in isn’t just about upselling, it lets busy guests bypass the line and it gets them into your app – and the more they use your app, the more they’ll use the upselling features.
To keep guests coming back, make sure your mobile app is set-up to contain information about your hotel and the surrounding area. This allows your app to serve as the central portal for guests.
Your app could include restaurant recommendations from your executive chef (including your own, of course), packages and information to help guests get the most out of their stay, and helpful resources of things to see and do in the neighboring area. Essentially your hotel has become the travel authority for your guests, through the app.
So…How Do You Get Guests to Install Your App?
Communicate the value of the app to them before guests arrive and during their stay. This can be done in confirmation emails, as a separate email, and / or right as guests are checking-in.
Be sure to let them know that installing the app contains discounts to food or packages, information about the surrounding area, and anything else you load in that would have value.