Nowadays, people are always on their smart phones and connected to the network, which creates opportunities for customer engagement. Mobile devices, such as smart phones, have created a new phenomenon; Value Fusion. It’s defined as value that can be achieved for the entire network of consumers and firms simultaneously, just by being on the mobile network. Value Fusion can be produced by an individual consumer or by a group of consumers. It can also be produced by a firm or by a group of firms. Contributions to Value Fusion can be active, passive, interactive, or aggregated. Since there is virtually no time delay, all benefits can be experienced at the same time, just-in-time, and in real-time (Larivière, 2013).
Value fusion create value for both guests and hotels.
Benefits for guests
First of all, guests are able to search and find information that is relevant in making consumption decisions. For example online reviews, navigation apps, and company websites (information value). Secondly, consumers of mobile devices are able to express personality, status and image in a public context via apps such as Facebook and Twitter (identity value). Moreover, they can also join clubs via these apps, which also projects identity. Furthermore, mobile devices and social media facilitate social interactions, but can also be used to gain social approval and enhance self-image among other individuals (social value). Consumers can also be entertained via mobile devices by listening to music, watching videos, playing games, etc. Also by just browsing through web pages people kill time while waiting for a bus for example (entertainment value). Another benefit mobile devices offer consumers is emotional value, most mobile users enjoy using the technology or they are able to avoid negative feelings and solve problems anywhere and anytime. Lastly, mobile devices provide consumers with two extra benefits which are convenience value and monetary value. Convenience value is obtained by achieving tasks easily, fast, and effectively. Furthermore mobile devices provide consumers with multitasking convenience, transactional convenience, and mobile commerce. Monetary value is achieved by the opportunity to compare and choose between competing offers (Larivière, 2013).
Benefits for hotels
Also hotels benefit from mobile devices. Firstly, they can deepen their relationships with guests and create more revenue. Geo-location enables hotels to create relevant, customized promotions. Moreover, via social login hotels can access rich demographic and psychographic data based on the users social media accounts. Therefore, hotels can develop a better view of potential guests and optimize customized offerings (market insight and customer knowledge). Furthermore hotels have the opportunity to receive information about the current status of their guests’ mobile app activities and also enables them to react just in time on consumer activities. Mobile apps also offer hotels more connection points and service delivery episodes with the guest, which can be used to build a strong relationship and create brand loyalty. Secondly, hotels can reduce marketing costs, since text messages and e-mails are cheaper than other media. Furthermore, hotels can reduce costs on serving customers. An example is the Accor hotels chain. Guests can book their stay through the app or on the website. Two days before arrival they get an e-mail to complete their online booking, which can be done even faster with the Le Club Accorhotels card, which already has your personal information. On the day of arrival guests receive an SMS with practical information related to their mode of transport. Upon arrival your key will be ready and there is no need to check-in at the reception again. Guests are also able to check-out faster, they only have to return their key at reception and will receive their invoice by e-mail (Accorhotels, 2016). Furthermore, mobile devices create customer co-creation and customer influence. Guests can posts reviews of their stay and influence each other. They are in this way contributing to the promotion of the hotel and to the meaning of the brand. Mobile apps enable hotels to integrate the guest into central elements of service delivery process, such as the mobile self-check-in (Larivière, 2013).
Accor hotels (2016). Le Club. Retrieved from: http://www.accorhotels.com/gb/leclub/program/online-check-in-fast-check-out.shtml
Larivière, H. Joosten, E.C. Malthouse, M. van Birgelen, P.A. Werner, M. Huang (2013) Value fusion: The blending of consumer and firm value in the dinstinct context of mobile technologies and social media. Journal of Service Management, Volume 24, Issue 3.