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Radisson pilots mobile on-site services to enhance guest experience

The program in will begin rolling out this month and continue appearing in new locations through the spring and summer. The program is designed to enhance the guest experience by establishing a new mobile and online check-in option and launching an on-property concierge smartphone application.

“Customer loyalty in finding out specials, reward points, location details and quick, easy booking make mobile a critical element in hotels such as Radisson,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta.

“On-site mobile use can be beneficial for allowing hotels to engage with their customers with nearest attractions, concierge, and in-hotel vendor promotion to name a few,” she said.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with Radisson and spoke based on her experience in mobile.

Radisson was not able to comment by the press deadline.

Driving customer loyalty
In total, the pilot program will launch in four U.S. hotels: La Crosse, WI.,Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Seattle.

Other guest enhancements featured in the program include an in-hotel charity program.

The program is part of Radisson’s parent company Carlson Residor Hotel Group’s strategy to enhance the Radisson brand presence in North America with an eye toward positioning Radisson as a globally consistent, first-class tiered brand.

The pilot project will explore opportunities to improve the guest experience and brand perception using mobile technology. It will also explore opportunities to leverage property product improvements as well as to increase the experience levels of employees.

The goal is to deliver a positive impact on revenue and drive loyalty.

Since 2010, 50 percent of Radisson hotels in the U.S. and Canada have been updated.

Mobile transformation
Mobile is transforming the travel experience, with users able to find last-minutes deals using apps such at Hotel Tonight, book a flight or hotel and reserve a rental car via numerous branded and third-party apps.

The hotel industry has embraced mobile as a strategy to drive online bookings and enhance customer engagement via mobile apps and mobile optimized Web sites.

Increasingly, hotels are also looking to mobile to improve the on-site guest experience.

For example, The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, recenlty incorporated new mobile technologies and applications into property amenities. In January, the hotel staff began using the Room Expeditor system for immediate updates on guest requests and room statuses on iPods (see story).

Last spring Courtyard by Marriott rolled out QR code-enabled virtual concierge displays at 500 locations to make it easy for guests to access information about local attractions (see story).

Additionally, in late 2011, Aloft Hotel began testing a holographic concierge with QR codes to give guests easy access to information and offers from local businesses (see story).

“As mobile is used more and is proven by the cutting edge hotels, others will begin to follow suite, realizing that the majority of their customers are walking around at all times with their mobile will also push extended use,” Ms. Troutman said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York