There is no denying that mobile is transforming the way we travel and explore the world. Expedia’s “The Future of Travel” study recently reported 32 percent of millennial business travelers book accommodations via smartphone, and according to TripAdvisor, nine out of 10 end users worldwide stay connected to mobile technology while traveling. This type of always-on engagement has caused a ripple effect among travel and hospitality brands, compelling them to intensify their mobile presences.
Hoteliers are quickly responding to consumers’ increasing mobile demands, as TripAdvisor also reported that nearly half of U.K. hoteliers offer mobile booking with 40 percent of those same hoteliers utilizing mobile-friendly websites. And while mobile websites and apps are on the forefront of many travel and hospitality executives’ minds, there are other ways for brands to interact with their customers.
Mobile allows travel and hospitality brands to connect with the traveler lifecycle in the most personal of ways. Hoteliers, airlines and restaurants can engage instantly by sending immediate reservation confirmations via SMS before a customer’s visit, with follow-up surveys or with limited-time offers for continued engagement. A text message can also direct guests to download the brand’s mobile app to enhance their experience further, thus integrating multiple mobile platforms.
In addition, mobile can ensure a guest’s every need is addressed as quickly and efficiently as possible. Imagine, a guest hosting a conference in the grand ballroom texts to an operations system to turn down the air conditioning and bring more ice-water pitchers. The system then uses geolocation to determine which technician and hospitality coordinator are closest to address the concerns, and it then sends a text message to their mobile devices, alerting them of their new task. Within minutes, the guest’s issues are resolved, and the hotel’s reputation for stellar service remains intact.
Looking beyond today’s implications, mobile also could one day eliminate the frustrations of a lost room key. Similar to the applications currently in use among airlines, Apple’s Passbook integration can be used to share a guest’s room number and key, streamlining the check-in process for late-arriving travelers who would rather crawl into a warm bed than wait for assistance at the guest services counter.
The ways in which mobile will continue to revolutionize the way we travel and explore are limitless. We’re in the cutting-edge era of mobile, and those businesses and brands that equate themselves with innovation will embrace these solutions to enhance relationships with their customers and differentiate themselves from their competitors.