Maciej Głowacki is the author of the article published on LinkedIn
In order to sell something, you have to show it – that’s quite obvious, isn’t it? The range of services offered in the hospitality industry is very wide; there are restaurants, spa services (a wide array of services both for women and men), conference rooms, entertainment zones, a range of special massages, modern buildings; however, despite all of these facilities as a hotel guest I feel as if I was peeping at them through a crack in the door. I always feel the same about my stay at the hotel. If I want to make myself familiar with all the facilities that the hotel provides, I have to be there at least two or three times. After all, enjoying all of these attractions means spending money on them! That’s why it is so important to present the hotel’s services in an attractive way and – as a result – enable the hotel’s guest (including myself) to make use of them. There are two types of hotels: the first ones aim at people who spend 1 or 2 days in them, whereas in the second ones an average guest stays a little longer, on average from 7 to 10 days, so we don’t have a lot of time to lure our guest. If any difficulties arise at that time or if the guest finds out about what we offer too late, then he will not spend any money in the hotel. It is fitting to add that there are a number of ways of informing guests about our range of services:
1. Brochures/leaflets – a stack of papers left on the table next to the TV. Simple, but I’ve never used any of them, because I just don’t feel like reading them. Why? Well, there are a few reasons: small font, lengthy descriptions and a lack of clear information about charges and fees. Not to mention the visual layout which leaves a lot to be desired. Ordering a service is ‘difficult’, because it requires calling the reception, being transferred to the appropriate staff member (e.g. SPA reception desk), waiting for an available date and so on and so forth. In the end, I do not order anything.
2. Leaflets in the lift or corridor – they are fine, but after entering their room people usually forget about them. No-one is eager to leave their room only to read them to the end.
3. Reception desk/restaurant – in practice these are impossible to make use of. Holding a discussion with a staff member is often pointless. If I want to have a dessert in my room, I need to open an account, then when I think that everything seems to be all right, it turns out that I have to pay by credit card which I left in my room…
4. Offer on TV – cool, if there are photos. From the guest’s perspective it’s convenient, but it adds nothing new if we simply see texts from the leaflets. Using an inconvenient remote control which leads to an inability to place an order is yet another downside.
What should be done if we want a customer to spend money and be satisfied with the price and quality of the product?
Two obstacles have to be removed: firstly, the offer should be presented as effectively as possible and secondly, placing an order should be a piece of cake. Let’s imagine such a scenario: we check into a hotel and go into our room where we can see a tablet on a stand…
It allows us to browse through the services offered in the hotel, see every dish served by the restaurant and even watch a clip presenting the process of its preparation. We may choose whatever we want from the list of all available products, e.g. desserts, and by means of a single tap on the screen we can order what we want and wait for it in our room. Laundry? Ironing? Massage? Of course! You only need a single tap! The attractions of the hotel are within your reach in all languages!
Extra offers? Why not? Sightseeing in the city with a tour guide, booking a ski-instructor or even arranging a baby-sitter for a child – you are only limited by your enterprise.
The main rule is as follows: we present our offer and wait for our guest’s REQUEST. We do not complicate the process – we collect the REQUESTS and then we carefully comply with them.
What does this mean in practice? As a guest I browse through the offer of massages, I choose one and by means of one tap I order the massage for 15.30 – that’s it. I don’t have to do anything else.
From the hotel’s perspective, if there is a request for a given service, there is also money. The hotel checks the availability of masseurs and checks if there are any available places. And so, the hotel is able to ensure its client can use the chosen service: ‘Hello, you have ordered a massage for 15.30, unfortunately our masseur is available from 16.00. Is that ok for you? We can also arrange a massage for 19.00 or 21.00’.
How much can sales increase?
According to research carried out by the company Espondi which launched the Hotel360 solution, we may observe that for a 100-room hotel, with a 70% average occupancy rate, the monthly sales have increased by over 21 000 PLN. What’s more, 78% of guests browse through special offers. Owing to that, we have also noted an increase in the uptake of additional services by over 50% in comparison to a comparable period in which there was no app on tablets in hotel rooms. Guests’ satisfaction increases, because they know what the hotel offers and, thus, they are able to make use of it. As a hotel guest I’d like to see such a solution everywhere I decide to book a room.
In the second part of my article, I am going to discuss the main problems occurring during the implementation of this app in a hotel. Such a process is like a litmus paper, because it immediately shows the areas which need to be improved to satisfy the client’s desires and provide the hotel with an increase in income.