Boost your sales and marketing with mobile technology

Technology is constantly changing, but the principles behind good marketing and salesmanship remain the same.

Knowing your customer, meeting your customers where they are, eliminating purchasing friction, encouraging positive interactions, and amplifying positive customer experiences are the cornerstones of any successful sales or marketing strategy.

This is where technology has stepped in, and can also help hotels gain new insights into both guest preferences and behaviour, helping to increase both sales and loyalty through creating a deeper level of engagement.

How technology helps you to know your customer

While the PMS is commonly referred to as the “heart” of the hotel technology ecosystem, it can also be called its “memory” – whereas in the past hotel staff had to work hard to create the personal touch, remembering or noting down individual guest details and preferences. 

A mobile PMS’s guest profile can store information about a guest’s stay data, purchase history, housekeeping or maintenance information, and special preferences or requests, and then push that data out to generate further engagement. By integrating with a CRM system, hoteliers can add more nuanced data such as loyalty status, travel preferences, and propensity to spend, and then make use of this data to deliver highly targeted messaging and offers.

How Covid bridged the gap

During the pandemic, when hotels were open at all, they had to become virtually contactless spaces. Much-thumbed through menus, brochures and guest books became a thing of the past, almost overnight. But the legacy left by Covid, in terms of mobile and contactless technology being used to remove friction from the purchasing process, runs far deeper.

Any purchase typically involves some degree of friction, in terms of the time needed to fill in a form or process a payment. Even a slight amount of friction can disrupt the flow of a customer’s experience – the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is just below 70%, while over half of website visitors will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load.

Rezcontrol has many ways to remove this friction and so encourage purchases, whether through the simplicity of the booking engine, or via our mobile-enabled options for online check-in and check-out. Equally, Rezcontrol’s POS integration has enabled QR code reservations and ordering from the comfort of your guest’s room or table.

Here are our top five ways in which mobile technology can boost your bottom line

1.  Be visible at the point your customers start planning their trip

When people are dreaming and planning their travel, it is crucial to meet your guest where they are – especially at the point of booking! Rezcontrol integrates with SiteMinder to put your hotel in front of 450 online travel agents, while our own Rate Matrix provides up to the minute optimisation and dynamic pricing. Meanwhile we also integrate with Room Price Genie to give you complete control and full information to create your pricing strategy for maximum bookings and conversions.

Critically, both your booking engine and your own website should be optimized for mobile. Mobile commerce has grown exponentially over the past five years, accounting for around 40% of online travel sales, while over 58% of website traffic comes from mobile devices.

2.  Pre-arrival guest engagement to increase revenue

Rezcontrol’s marketing automation is designed to not only reduce friction, but also encourage upsells and extras. Fully branded to your hotel and in-house style, you can use our pre-arrival emails to not only confirm bookings, but offer extras such as champagne or flowers, encourage take-up of an advance table reservation, or remind guests about other bookable activities they can enjoy at your property.

3.  Drive conversions by removing friction from check-in onwards

The traditional hotel check-in process takes significantly longer than a few seconds. Forcing guests to wait in line creates a degree of friction that can negatively impact their entire stay. This can all be avoided with contactless advance check-in- and then mobile technology can assist with numerous purchasing points during the stay.

Mobile apps, which are now accessible to independent hotels, can enable a seamless pre-arrival and arrival experience for guests, avoiding queues at the front desk.

4.  Cashless payments for everyone’s ease and security

It’s fair to say that pretty much nobody carries cash any more – but mobile technology for cashless payments goes well beyond placing F+B orders via a QR code scan. 

Rezcontrol has recently launched numerous features which help safeguard both hotels and their guests, enabling secure ‘cardholder not present’ payments, pre-authorising guest payment cards using Chip and Pin, auto-scheduling multi-stage payments, setting individual rules for different rates, as well as of course self-check out and PDQ integration.

All of these serve to eliminate chargebacks, while making the payment process easier, safer and completely painless, contributing to a positive guest experience.

5.   Create ‘micro-moments’ of positive human interaction – by taking advantage of technology 

“Micro-moments” are small instances of positive interactions with others, especially strangers or acquaintances, and are the building blocks of guest satisfaction and loyalty. Micro-moments occur when staff is actively engaged in their interactions with guests and proactively take steps to improve their stay – which may, at first sight, seem incompatible with contactless mobile-driven service.

In fact, however, legacy on-site PMS platforms make it harder for staff to promote micro-moments. Legacy platforms require staff to wait behind an imposing front desk, placing a physical barrier between them and their guests. Mobile PMS platforms, meanwhile, are designed to empower staff and promote greater engagement. Because a mobile PMS runs on a tablet, it frees staff to roam the lobby and meet guests in their own space, rather than forcing them to queue at a desk – and this is where memorable, loyalty-enhancing moments are made. 

As an added bonus, people are often keen to share positive holiday experiences on social media, creating a beneficial circle to promote your property further.

Conclusion

Mobile technologies are changing the game in hospitality by enhancing guest communication, increasing revenue, and easing traditional pain points within the guest experience – such as a queue at check-in.

However, technology isn’t a magic wand in itself. Hotels need to make careful choices about how they implement it, in order to offer a solution that works for the longer term.

Therefore, when purchasing or developing any new hospitality technology, hoteliers should consider:

  • Integration and connectivity – can it integrate with other systems or does it work as a closed box?
  • Usability – is it easy for guests to use?
  • Implementation and support – is it constantly being developed and improved?

If the technology meets these requirements – as we believe Rezcontrol always does – then the decision is made!