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Mobile key to boosting guest experiences say hoteliers

Despite high self-ratings for mobile utilization prowess, 50 percent of respondents expressed fear that their organization would be disrupted by more mobile-friendly competitors.

Redwood Shores, Calif. – A whopping 91 percent of hotel executives surveyed said mobile technologies are critical to improving guest experience and cultivating loyalty. But only 69 percent were confident in their organization’s ability to adopt and deliver those mobile experiences.

It’s clear that hotels need to provide mobile innovations to meet the requirements of today’s savvy consumers, yet some haven’t started their mobile journey. Customers want to be able to engage with brands wherever they are – booking a room from their child’s soccer game to ordering drinks while sitting poolside at the hotel. The properties that can’t deliver these kinds of mobile experiences will quickly lose to those that can make the engagement simple and seamless for their customers,” said Greg Webb, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Hospitality.

The 2019 Hospitality Benchmark – Mobile Maturity Analysis study, which was conducted by Oracle, focused on three key areas of mobility:

  • The ability to offer WIFI to guests throughout the property
  • Guest-facing apps to enhance the customer experience; and
  • Staff-facing mobile to improve the hotel team’s daily operational workflow

Despite high self-ratings for mobile utilization prowess, 50 percent of respondents expressed fear that their organization would be disrupted by more mobile-friendly competitors. So it was not surprising that 90 percent of the hotel executives surveyed agreed that mobile was critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. Ninety percent also added that guest experience could be improved by the ability to use smartphone to manage basic services such as booking a room and managing the check-in and check-out processes. And 91 percent said their guest-facing mobile app is the preferred way they’d like guests to request service from hotel staff. 

In addition to enhancing guest experience, 66 percent of respondents said reducing operational costs was another major driver for embracing mobility.

Even with the high ratings for mobile adoption, there is room for improvement in elevating the guest experience and providing personalized services via mobile – starting with awareness. Twenty-three percent of respondents agreed that they struggle to promote their guest-facing mobile app technology. The survey underscores the importance of offering guests incentives – such as free perks, drinks or discounted room service – to download and use hotel apps. In the absence of such mobile initiatives, it is essential for hoteliers to provide guests with other communication channels, such as texting, to quickly respond to their needs.

The majority of hotel executives believe that mobile technologies are critical to guest experiences and Oracle believes that there are three areas they can focus on to make that happen including empowering guests to take advantage of self-service tools, allowing guests to communicate with the hotel through their preferred channel, and continuing to invest in mobile technologies to reduce friction.

199 executive leaders in the hospitality industry were surveyed regarding the current use of mobile technology within their organizations. Seventy seven percent of respondents were director level or higher, with 53% from companies whose annual revenue is greater than $500M.

See the full report here.

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