J.D. Power have recently released a new guest satisfaction study of the hotel industry which focuses on seven key factors to determine overall guest satisfaction: reservation; check-in/check-out; rooms; food & beverage; services; facilities; and cost & fees. What is clear from the results is that the hotels that have mobile apps have a higher rate of customer satisfaction.
“Mobile apps are becoming as central to the hotel guest experience as soft pillows, extra towels and a competitive price.”
The research found that in 2017 the percentage of online reservations that were made on mobile apps has risen to 25%, compared to 14% in 2014. With regards to mobile usage within the hospitality industry it highlights two essential aspects.
Firstly, a great emphasis is placed on the need for direct bookings through the hotels. Rick Garlick, practice lead, travel and hospitality at J.D. Power maintains that, “By forging direct relationships, hotels can become guardians of the guest experience, but at the center of these relationships is an establishment’s mobile strategy.”
Secondly, it is of great importance to encourage guests to download and use the hotel’s app. 38% don’t in fact use it, and only 4% of check-ins and 1% of check-outs are carried out on the app. However, when the app is used it is associated with higher customer satisfaction, so it is essential to promote its usage.
On top of this, guests that do download and use the hotel’s app are not only more satisfied but also more loyal; 70% of rewards members have done so compared to just 19% of all guests. What’s more, guests that use mobile apps are also more likely to share their positive experiences online, which is crucial in this day and age where online reviews can more often than not be the deciding factor for potential customers when deciding to book a hotel.
Another alternative to the native mobile app, which is required to be downloaded onto the guest’s phone, is the web app, helping resolve the issue of poor downloads. Thanks to web apps, hotels become even more available to guests. They are accessible on any device, are programmed to run on any operating system, and do not require any downloading or take up room on a device; all they need is a web browser.
Moreover, guests can be automatically redirected to it when they connect to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, so they can benefit from the hotel app’s features instantly.