To be successful in the industry a hotel needs to attract new customers to grow their market share and at the same time preserve their existing customers. To do this hotels need to create certain customer engagement management strategies to improve their customer relationships. Customer Engagement management is the management of the relationship between customer and company. In this day and age almost everyone uses smartphones and mobile app on a daily basis, this could be a tool to improve customer relationships.
In 2015 Marriot launched a mobile app on which their guests could use a request option. With this Request option they could request certain services as extra towels and pillows. There is also an online chat function available between the guests and the host of the hotel. According to Marriot (2015) 75% of the people who travel bring mobile devices and this is even higher amongst young travellers. Apps like this could also be used for room service- and/or housekeeping requests, or wake up calls.
It is important to engage with your customers in the proper way. According to Marketo (2016) customers are the most valuable asset in your company, therefore it is important to use the right techniques when you engage with them. As stated in Marketo’s 5 principles of engagement marketing, you should connect with guests as individuals, based on what they do, continuously over time, directed towards an outcome, and everywhere they are.
With what is mentioned a mobile hotel apps could be a useful platform in which hotels can engage with customers in an effective manner. Since the guests could request services of the hotel there are options for personalization. For returning customers they could use it to modify the app based on that personals previous behaviour. They could implement a feature that would engage the customer long-term by making them engage continuously over time, and since it is on their smartphones they could use it everywhere they are.
In the customer intimacy strategy from the CRM strategy of Treacy and Wiersema (1996) it is stated that the wishes of customers are what counts. To be able to do this you need to know your customers, and know what they want. (Peelen & Beltman, 2013) Through a mobile hotel app you could already easily take your guests requests before they arrive at your hotel, which could result in higher customer satisfaction and an improved relationship with your customer. The mobile app can be an fast and easy tool between customers and their hosts to communicate and improve services in the hotel.
To conclude, a mobile app for hotel requests could be a useful tool to for the customer engagement management in hotels. It could help with CRM strategies and improve customer relationships. Since most of the guests are already using their mobile devices to the hotel’s it is only logical to engage with them through it.
Marketo. (2016). The 5 Principles of Engagement Marketing. Retrieved from Marketo: file:///C:/Users/Gebruiker/Downloads/The-5-Principles-of-Engagement-Marketing-Marketo%20(2).pdf
Marriot. (2015, May 13). Travelers Can Ask Anything, Anytime, Anywhere with the New, Industry-leading Mobile Request Chat Feature from Marriott Hotels – Now Available on the Marriott Mobile App. Retrieved from Marriot: http://news.marriott.com/2015/05/travelers-can-ask-anything-anytime-anywhere-with-the-new-industry-leading-mobile-request-chat-feature-from-marriott-hotels-now-available-on-the-marriott-mobile-app/
Peelen, E., & Beltman, R. (2013). Customer Relationship Management. United Kingdom: Pearon Education Limited.