Chances are you are probably reading this blog on a handheld device. In fact, the probability you are skimming this on a phone or tablet after seeing it in a tweet or LinkedIn post is quite high. An astounding 40 percent of social media users access their accounts on a mobile device and that number is rising. What does this mean for the hotel, airline and travel industries? Everything.
Think about it. A customer can use their phone or tablet to book every aspect of a trip without ever using a laptop or desktop. With apps like Uber, travelers can get to and from a train station or airport with the click of a button. A new app, Flight Tonight, offers travelers the opportunity to purchase same day flights. While Kayak’s popular app allows travelers to easily book flights, hotels and cars ahead of time. As more devices vie for your eye’s attention it is as vital to be everywhere your customers spend time.
Travel and hospitality providers are developing innovative mobile apps for reaching and servicing their customers. For example, in more than 500 Marriott hotels around the country guests are able to check-in and out via their mobile device. The flexibility of mobile offers another level of customer service. Checking in ahead of time, knowing the room is ready and having the ability to open the door with a scan of your phone makes arriving in a hurry easy and breezy.
Mobile apps also open the opportunity to promote ancillary services such as massages, dry-cleaning and other services directly to customers. The possibilities are endless. Hotels can send vouchers or discounts on food and wine to their guests to encourage eating or drinking in the hotel restaurant. Car rental companies can offer amenities like GPS units, insurance and upgrades via push notifications to cell phones. Airlines can offer seat upgrades, dinner options and entertainment to passengers waiting by the gate to board.
Mobile is no longer “the next big thing.” It’s already here. If your company has not already invested a significant amount of resources into improving its mobile accessibility to customers then it needs to quickly invest in this rapidly growing avenue.
The next time you order a car, food or buy a flight on your phone, think to yourself, “will my customers see my product here?” If the answer is “no,” you need to act fast.
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