Give Your Hotel Guests a Universal Remote by Seamlessly Syncing Their Preferences
Way back in the old days … like, 10 years ago … technology was much more complicated than it is today. Many people had a television, DVD player and a stereo system in the living room, with a separate remote control for each one.
Just for a moment, remember what it was like having three, maybe four, different remotes.You almost needed a Ph.D. to program everything, and very few of the remote controls would actually play nicely together – because the technology wasn't designed to be very compatible. It just wasn't intuitive or convenient, and having so many different systems made for a frustrating user experience.
Today, a single universal remote provides the ability to control several different systems with very little fuss. Likewise, most technology companies now build their products with the ability to easily integrate and share information between them – including user profile data, device location, contacts and more. This is how companies like Apple, Garmin and Sony create brand loyalty: they provide a seamless, delightful user experience.
Hotel guests expect the same type of experience during their booking journey. Today's connected guests use many devices through each step of their travel planning, shopping and booking journeys. And they expect to move seamlessly from one device to another during the shopping and booking process. Customers also expect hotels to remember their preferences so they can receive personal, customized content. In order to provide that level of personalized guest experience, hotel brands must have the right systems and technology in place. The goal is to have a technology platform that works like a universal remote, integrating and syncing data from different systems - guest's preferences, profiles and devices – to ensure a seamless customer experience.
Consider the following recommendations to improve the user experience in a cross-platform environment:
- Omni-channel experience - from mobile devices to the desktop, to an in-property visit, we live an omni-channel world and guests expect an omni-channel user experience. Hotels must catch up to today's savvy, connected guests and provide a seamless experience regardless of the device or channel they may use to engage with us.
- Brand consistency - keep a consistent design and user experience across all the pieces your guests interact with your brand through their journey.
- Offer choices - don't impose and let your guests decide how they want to interact with you.
- Spread the wealth - be careful not to promote one channel over another, and ensure you are present at all stages of the customer's journey.
- Act on data - today's guests understand that their personal information is valuable. They expect something meaningful in return for sharing their information or opting in to marketing.
- Personalize the experience - once guests share their information, display relevant content and personalize their experience with your brand – for example, next time they shop on your website display their preferred room type based on their purchase history.
- Get to know your customers better - entice registration and reward guests when they register with your brand/hotel. This will allow you to provide your guests a seamless experience across devices during the booking process, or when they return on their next visit.
- Display custom content - a login doesn't always have to be required. You can display custom content based on your website visitor's regional location, shopping preferences or referring source. Use the behavior of the hotel website to prioritize product display or placement.
Just as we all hated keeping track of three or four remotes, your hotel guests don't want to start the booking process from scratch, just because they moved from one device to another. Nor do they want to be served with a different experience each time they visit your site. Do your guests a favor: provide them with a universal experience that engages them, no matter how they reach your property. They'll be happy you did.
Find out more about syncing preferences and other retailing trends by downloading a copy of our report, Future of Hotel Booking: A Guide to Hotel Retailing, or contact your Account Manager.