January 08, 2015
By Cvent Guest

One of the latest trends to impact hotel marketing and the guest experience is the iBeacon, which sends a Bluetooth push notification to guests' mobile devices when they come within close proximity of the iBeacon. This presents an opportunity for on-the-spot guest marketing. Beacon technology is the key to improving guests' experiences. It can help you streamline check-in and check-out, guide guests around the property, and notify them about targeted offers at your restaurant, bar, or spa. Here are ways that hotels and resorts are already using iBeacons to boost their guest experiences and create more upsell opportunities.

Analytics

Beacons are a super effective source for gathering customer insights. By measuring things such as dwell times, how much time guests spend at certain areas in the hotel, and which areas of the hotel are the most popular during specific hours of the day, hotels can plan reward offers accordingly.

Beacons also are useful in measuring and enhancing staff productivity. For instance, beacons can alert housekeeping staff to service a room when the guest is out or to not disturb a guest when she is in the room. No more door hangers!

Upgrades & Upsells

By leveraging beacons, hotels can catch guests at the exact time and place where they’ll most likely pay for an upgrade. Beacons can help by upselling food in the restaurant or bar, mini treatments at the spa, or items from the guest gift shop. By tracking where guests choose to spend their time and what areas grab their attention, you can send timely offers that pique their interest.

Check-In

Save your guests from waiting in check-in lines, especially after a long travel day. If your hotel is equipped with beacons, guests can simply walk into your hotel lobby where they'll receive ‘check-in’ push notifications on the hotel app. The push notification shows the reservation and asks for confirmation. Guests can confirm their reservation with a quick swipe of their finger--the result is a hassle-free guest experience that begins as soon as they enter your hotel.

Also, imagine that your guests indicate specific a room temperature in their reservations. Once checked-in via Blutooth, the room will start adjusting the temperature to meet their needs.

Keyless Room Entry

Once a guest has checked-in, a digital room key can be activated on his or her smartphone via the hotel app. A beacon then picks up the guest’s phone when in close proximity to the room, and unlocks the room door. It serves as a digital doorman. No tipping required.

Finding a Room or Other Location Within the Hotel

Through a series of beacons around a geo-fenced property, guests can be directed to their rooms or other indoor locations in the hotel, such as restaurants, shops, meeting rooms, spas, etc. These can also be used to build an interactive tour of the hotel, directing guests and providing info about specific amenities or features.

In-Room Controls

By sensing that guest is in his or her room and signaling the user’s proximity to Bluetooth enabled devices that control lighting, temperature, TV, etc, the beacon could trigger a message to the app which lets users control these settings from their own smartphones or tablets.

Room Service

A beacon hotel app can keep track of the guest’s food preferences. When the en-suite beacon registers that the guest is in the room, it can trigger the app to pull up the room service menu on the guest’s device. The guest can then watch a video of how certain dishes are prepared or find a story about where the ingredients come from, and order room service right from his or her smartphone or tablet.

Offers & Loyalty Programs

By providing the right offer, at the right place, and the right time, location-based mobile marketing can yield exceptionally high conversion rates with precise ad targeting. To achieve this, hotels can use beacons to present ‘location-specific offers’ to their guests.

For instance, by defining targeted ‘micro-locations,’ beacons can trigger an alert, an offer or a special discount for a beverage to a guest who is already at the bar. It’s easy to customize promotions to specific locations on the hotel premise and send context-specific offers right to a user’s smartphone. In the case of loyalty customers, predictive analytics of data compiled from previous stays allows highly personalized marketing.

Check-Out

Hotels can send guests a push notification at the end of their stay to either check out digitally or extend their stay. The guests will be sent a receipt, and after they have confirmed the amount, they can check out hassle free. What results is a modern, efficient, and seamless alternative to waiting in line for a front-desk agent to complete the check-out formalities.

Written by Junvi Ola.

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