03 Jul Enhance Guest Experiences with beacons in a Hotel
The Hotel industry is very competitive and faces a lot of eroding forces like falling costs of travel, new accommodation possibilities (AirBnB). Beacons may play a key role in differentiation and help to leverage technology to make a stay more comfortable and improve management.
In this article, I’m going to present you how beacons (low-cost pieces of hardware) in connection with the dedicated mobile app can change the whole digital infrastructure of a hotel.
The worst way to greet your client is to require them to wait in the queue. Beacons can make check-in process smooth and easy even without any contact with the hotel stuff.
When your guest arrives and the lobby the app gets a signal from the beacon and sends a notification to check-in digitally and confirmed the stay. The app updates your CRM so that your stuff will know exactly who’s just arrived.
Guest can use the app to prolong their stay as well. On the last day of the visit, the application can give them a choice either to check-out digitally or stay for one more night. It’s all hassle-free and automatic.
Normally guests have to look for the lift to get to their floor and then patiently check the number on the doors to get to their apartment. Fortunately, beacons are much more accurate than GPS and enable the app to direct guests not only to their rooms but also to the gym, the restaurant or the pool. Smooth and easy with all the necessary details on specific parts of the properties such as renovations, opening hours or activities due that day.
Isn’t it irritating when after a great night at the bar you’re coming to your hotel room and card stops working? You have to go downstairs, wait at the counter and go back upstairs. Wouldn’t it be easier to have your key always with you on you smartphone?
The beacon near the door could help you to automatically open the door when approaching to the room. Moreover, while relaxing in the bed guest would be able to manage all the necessary properties via his or her phone, like air-condition, lights and TV channels. All of the room service facilities would be in the range of the thumb.
Another and very useful functionality is connecting to the internet which very often is done in an old manner – with a code on a paper leaf that you have to type in the browser. The app could automatically unlock the connection to one or all of the devices owned by the guest.
Location-based mobile marketing is the key to boosting bottom line. With easy to use notification center you can set different automated messages according to the context of the situation, like previous relation with the customer, location or the time of the day.
One of the example may be early evening when you can offer a special discounts for guests nearby the restaurant: “10 percent discount for 5 o’clock tea”! Another may be: “Try our new set of massages”.
The same mechanism can be used with upgrades and upsells, to catch the guests attention when they’re the most likely to want to buy something extra. Imagine guest enters the room and feels that another view from the window would be better or prefers the bathtub instead of a shower. The app knows about the location of a current room and can intelligently offer a switch.
It works at the restaurant as well, when you can offer a special dish of the day to the visitors that are wondering what to order for a long time. Another idea is to send the notification about the “happy hours” at the bar to spread the traffic equally during the evening.
Loyal guests are like golden dust for every company and should be treated accordingly.
Networking & socializing
Very often spacious hotel venues are used as a conference facilities where visitors can listen to inspiring talks and network with other professionals. The app backed by beacons can tell them whether there are similar people nearby or inform about sessions that are about to begin or coffee/lunch break.
Many cities around the world are introducing their own fleet of beacons to improve the citizen experience. One of the examples is Warsaw and its project called Virtual Warsaw which aims to provide smart tips about the communication, moving around the city and interesting sport for the inhabitants and tourists as well.
Your hotel app can be integrated not only with all of the systems inside the building but also around the city. Imagine how great would it be if you customer journey consisted of smooth check-in and lunch order before going on a journey around antique buildings in the old town. Everything planned accordingly to the requirements of distance, time and interests.
The icing on the cake would be a ticket discount for hotel guests when going inside the city castle.
Analyze and manage
With beacons management will have always updated analytics that can be used in many different ways to improve the guest experience. You can check the popularity of different spots around your facilities to know where they spend the most time and adjust the arrangements or offerings. These statistics are clearly presented on the heat map.
Moreover, the information about the room availability can be sent directly to the maintenance stuff so that cleaning service won’t disturb anyone in the room. With the information on what is going on in the whole building, you can effectively manage your staff and direct them to the places where they are needed the most.
Staff productivity is another thing that you can measure and reward accordingly to the performance.
After the check-out you can send satisfaction surveys and offer discounts in return for fulfilling the questionnaire. Getting more information about your guests will help you to deliver a more effective experience.
The hotel has never been a safer place than with beacons. They help to recognize hotspots and alert security staff about high-risk areas as well as sent urgent notifications for. ex. about the evacuation to your guests.
Smart infrastructure can also help you with managing parking slots. If a particular vehicle is barricading the road you can easily identify it’s owners.
Drive higher conversion rates with beacons
The opportunities are endless and that’s just the beginning of personalized experiences built on the backbone of beacons. They help businesses gain deep insights into consumer behavior, intelligence, effectiveness, forecasting and staffing needs. Not only the hotel can benefit with smart infrastructure – here is the article about powering zoos with beacons.