Mobile technology is influencing our holidays in many ways and any establishment that wants to truly connect with their consumer base – be they a hotel, leisure facility, airline or any other business within the tourism sector – needs to understand this potential and the positive effect that personalisation and quick direct communications can have on brand loyalty and customer relationships.
Use of mobile technology on holiday is growing.
People often joke that the modern age has us glued to our phones but when surveys suggest that 1/3 business travellers use mobile technology to book their hotels and research from TripAdvisor shows that 9/10 participants are never away from their devices on holiday, our true reliance on them is revealed. Use of mobile technology is increasing because of better applications and greater access to perks like booking forms and check-ins; mobile check-ins are becoming quite common with airlines but they are also popping up in hotels as chains compete to offer the best service, the Marriott chain having recently initiated their own version. This growth really is beneficial to travellers in a number of ways but companies should also remember that there are plenty of potential benefits to them too.
Personalisation and direct communication can lead to greater connections and improved relationships.
Building a relationship between a company and a customer is important for repeat business and recommendations and embracing mobile technology can help with this. There are many tools in the mobile arsenal, such as personalised, one-on-one interactions and push notifications, and they can make the user feel appreciated, thanks to the speed and special tailoring of the message. The fact that guests always seem to have their devices on them helps businesses enormously too because it means the chance for continual contact, from the initial booking until the end of the holiday, and this can reinforce relationships greatly, particularly if a travel agency or hotel sends a little thank-you note after the holiday or can instant respond to queries via quick direct messaging. Finally, there is the improved competition between hotel chains, agencies and other fierce competitors, as is seen with the Marriott situation; if mobile technology is the future, these establishments want to be sure they are providing a better, faster and friendlier service than their nearest rival.
This lean towards mobile applications and better relationships is a win-win situation.
Clearly this is the way forward for interactions in the tourism sector and it seems that everyone can benefit from this situation: customers receive more personalised, up-to-date information at great speed in the palm of their hand and companies increase the chance of adding a loyal return visitor to their books.