“The Guest Doesnt Want To Look You In The Eye”: Whether To Take Up The Development Of Mobile Apps For Hotels

General Director of JSC “Hotel technology” and developed the system of management for the hospitality industry “1C. Hotel” Pavel Babenko has written for vc.ru a column about the advisability of creating a mobile app for a hotel. Why do your hotel mobile app.

Of course, to earn. We will talk about applications for the internal management of the hotel. View and cancel reservations, control rooms and staff, these tasks PMS. We will focus on a mobile application for guests, which they will download, which will book a room, order room service, leave fotoactiv. Or not?.

Application developers startling figures. For each of them — research Google, Cisco, TNS, Yandex companies, which can not argue. 99% of the Russians choose a hotel in the Internet, 65% of them — from your smartphone. 95% of guests will come to you with a phone, 85% of them will use your Wi-Fi.

People with smartphones more than the car. With app the conversion is higher than with the mobile website. At the end of the speech — an impressive demonstration. 23 seconds to book a Spa evening. 19 seconds dinner for two in the room.

15 seconds — learn about the evening animation. €? And now lets record on the Spa through your front Desk and compare, offers developer. €? All right, thats only Spa we have, says the hotelier. Do not run the trend.

Think about whether the application will be useful for your hotel. Communicating with developer, hotelier imagines the perfect app capable of anything. It is:

Sells targetirovanie. Guest for the evening walk will offer a discount on steak and pave the route to the restaurant. People are searching for in the search engine attractions — sightseeing tour. “Long-livers” — Laundry and dry cleaning. Sells effectively.

Idle masseur, incomplete hall on the evening show, the free space in the restaurant corrected the push notifications. Advertises, informs, directs the guest directory of services, events and interactive map. Turns a one-time customer into a regular guest. Bonuses in the loyalty program, happy birthday and holidays. Carries.

Unlock the door, dim the lights, turn up the air conditioning from your phone — cool. Solves problems. Instantly. The Guest Relation Department in the online chat responds to complaints of guests. Receives feedback.

Polls guests after check out via geolocation controls the attendance of the events. Downloaded every guest. After launching the application, the hotelier is faced with reality.

App not downloading. Download and start. Start but do not order. Order, and after check-out and remove.

The perfect app does not exist. We asked guests at the reception in a few major hotels. 50% of respondents are unable to install the app due to technical issues.

Guests didnt remember the password to iTunes or Google Play, they have not been configured in the account, not enough memory on the phone. Abroad as well. “The French chain Accor, which unites more than 4000 hotels, download app only 3%,” — says Gleb Mikhailov, the developer of electronic assistant for AccorHotels. Guests do not want.

They are not interested and are just too lazy, they dont see the value. Guests are easier to book through Booking, every journey than to download the “the cat in the bag” from another hotel. “The main barrier to the use of mobile applications, experts of the Independent hotel Alliance believes the complexity of downloading, especially in the independent hotel,” says Executive Director of the NGA Andrew michalec. “All “stray” guests simply will not clutter up their devices with unnecessary apps — agrees the owner of the Moscow Local Hostel Michael Fominov. €? Mobile application mainly focused on loyal guests”.

So the app is downloaded, guests need to motivate. Participants in the Hilton loyalty program hhonors can visit the hotel, never communicated with the staff. Through the app, the guest selects a number on the floor plans of the hotel and reserve it.

Registration, opening the door to the room, check-in application. “Our guests choose how, where and when to meet us, — says Director of marketing and digital technologies, Hilton Worldwide, Geraldine Calpin. €? They expect, and we meet”. But even with this service, guests prefer to book rooms through online travel agents (OTA), because I think the prices Agency the lowest on the market.

“In city hotels mobile app a second time, resort is a full — fledged marketing tool with which we can track the activity (animation), to sell additional services to loyalty program, to implement invites and push notifications,” says the Executive Director of the NGA Andrew michalec. Guest downloads the app to navigate the site to know the schedule of events and coming attractions. At check out, will likely remove the app: its value is exhausted.

The hotel “Deauville” no application. Map of large area is published on the website picture. Inconvenient.

The app is the largest Russian hotel “Azimut Sochi” interactive map made on the basis of “Yandex.Cards”. Easy and cheap.

“Deauville” could make the same map without the app, on the mobile version of the site. Interactive map of the hotel “Park hotel Imperial” works great in a mobile browser.

But the links to the mobile website no. Only a very attentive visitor will go from your phone to the full version of the website for maps. The hotel map can be published to Google Indoor Maps. Guest downloads the app to turn off the lights from your phone while relaxing in bed.

To open a door with a smartphone. To keep the baby in the nursery and watch him on the video for a romantic dinner. To pay the bill and order a towel, basking in the bathroom. To deciding to go to the sea or to the pool, look at the cameras, where the more free beds. Instead of the cardboard “do not disturb” one click in the app.

In the image below are examples of the screens of the ordering of services. In the first case presented to the Service of the hotel Barvikha Hotel&SPA in the hotels aggregator HRS. Next — fotoactiv in the Annex of the hotel “Cosmos”. In the application at hub by Premier Inn has a temperature control in the room, and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, guests open the door for hours.

Guests download the app, because remain for a long time. They will not remove the app, knowing that they will return to the hotel.

The Accor chain offers a virtual tour of the hotel brand VR-glasses. To force the guest to download the app — not so bad. Then he must login.

Most applications ask for a username and password, which are created automatically when booking. In the best case — will be sent to your phone or email. At worst they need to ask at the reception. The paradox, but not to communicate with the hotel staff, you need to communicate with the hotel staff. If the guest is the first visit to hotel and book it through the app, encouraging him long registration form.

Some applications of Russian hotels and does not possess the function of reservation, introducing a simple service catalog. So, the application aggregator HRC hotels for authorization, simply enter the six-digit code of the settlement, as the first Hyatt-branded hotel requires a login and password. App hotels “Istra Holiday” after the first run calculates the potential visitor 10 loyalty points. For the second inclusion it does not let you continue until you enter your information, to keep these 10 points.

If they build the form and click on the button “Book a room”, the application will redirect you to the website of the hotel. You want to decide what is worthy of them and what is not. When you first start off geolocation, and push notifications.

Instead of the in-app chat write in Facebook or WhatsApp. Do not respond to surveys and remove apps after check out. This is a standard and logical scenarios. Do not rely on your application and talk with the guest and via mobile website and social networks, and OTA services.

Over the walleye in the restaurant, cancel the animation, the pool has opened, relocated childrens room. If you dont put new data to the app, the guest will never know about it. If the guest hasnt updated the app, he didnt know about it. In fact, you run the risk of deceiving guest. And complain its not in the app, and Guest Relations.

Do not leave to update the app staff. The first months after launch would be cool, then theyll start to forget. Assign responsibility for the support of the application.

To develop an application from scratch is expensive. From 400 thousand rubles for two versions — Apple and Android. There is no ceiling, depending on the time and functionality. “Made the assessment in many companies, the approximate cost of the client side — from 360 thousand rubles, server — from 30 thousand, but in our case, to work the booking form and was normal feedback,” says the owner of a Local Hostel Moscow Michael Fominov. In his application, there is an interactive map, geolocation, control room or virtual reality.

There is another option — app out of the box. Create an application designer can independently and for free or for 50 thousand rubles with the help of the developer-freelancer. Such applications of the same type, different colors, logo and menu, no dragging of the user. Possible problems with the integration with PMS.

The third option is the one application that contains services and information about all the hotels. Guest arrives at the new hotel, choose another hotel from the list of services and orders in the familiar interface. Hypothetically solves the problem of “Neskuchny” applications, raising its value. Suitable for independent hotels. Negative — in fact, you attract guests in someone elses product.

Before you make a decision, think about who your guests are and whether they use the app. That will give app, which cannot be achieved in other ways. “About the mobile application the last two months, conduct a survey of guests are studying whether to introduce it in our case — says the owner of a Local Hostel Moscow Michael Fominov. €? Issues of a series that was convenient..

For example, you want to get notifications about new promotions and discounts. Want to book online and immediately pay to obtain e-receipt. If you need a reminder of the reservation if Yes, for how many days?”. Before you create the application list the cases of its use. If a scheduled function, you can translate without the app, so you dont need it.

Do not force the guest to communicate with hotel via the app is convenient to the hotel. Talking with the guest in a comfortable channels. Facebook, Vkontakte, Instagram, Skype, Telegram, Viber, WhatsApp, SMS.

For convenience, the hotel Manager can use aggregators which all channels are combined into one interface. Adaptive layout or a mobile version. A good mobile website includes a booking engine, a list of facilities, interactive map (easily created on the basis of Google maps or “Yandex”), directions to the hotel, contact the hotel and links to social networks. A mobile site is to inform the guests, helps them navigate, tells us about stock.

But it is impossible to order room service, call the worker or to pay the bill. Clients personal account on the mobile site, where he pays the bills and orders of service. When you check-in for telephone or mail sending a unique personal link. No need to download the app, sign in or on the website.

Just open SMS, click on the link and go directly to the personal account. The mobile site is ineffective without social networks and instant messengers, mobile account without the website and Vice versa. Dont want to develop an application — use together all of the other mobile communication channels.

The guest is motivated to download the application in network hotels, luxury hotels, hotels with well-designed loyalty program, hotels with complex infrastructures and territory, resort hotels, hotels with a large number of centenarians and regular customers. To get your application running, it need to constantly update and maintain. Before you create the application list the cases of its use. If a scheduled function, you can implement without app, embody.

Alternative mobile application — all other mobile communication channels, used in conjunction. Social networks, instant messengers, mobile site and mobile account. Send a private cases, in which you managed to improve (or, conversely, worsen) the performance of the project, [email protected] Interesting experiments are sure to get heading Growth Hacks.

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