Blog

Role of Hospitality Apps in Boosting Customer Loyalty

Discover the role of hospitality apps in boosting customer loyalty in this increasingly competitive sector as we dive into some great mobile app examples.

The Role of Hospitality Apps in Boosting Customer Loyalty

In the experience-driven hospitality industry, positive feelings towards a brand will directly translate into repeat business and word-of-mouth recommendations down the line.

Unlike a one-time retail purchase, a single negative hospitality experience lingers in a guest's mind and influences their future buying decisions.

A recent survey by Zonal highlights this concern, revealing that nearly half of hospitality customers will abandon their loyalty to a brand after just a few negative experiences. Moreover, the survey showed that 47% of consumers actively seek out customer loyalty programmes to help them save money.

These findings highlight the vital need for hospitality brands to prioritise guest satisfaction, and deliver tangible value, by using every tool at their disposal.

Mobile apps offer the perfect solution — creating an engaging ecosystem where guests can streamline essential services like ordering, checking in and accessing support within a user-friendly app. What's more, hospitality apps can leverage guest data to provide personalised recommendations and targeted offers; making every customer feel special.

This article explores the role of mobile apps in boosting hospitality customer loyalty across various business types. We'll explore digital strategies for elevating the customer experience and showcase examples of brands that have successfully fostered trust and loyalty through their customer-facing apps.

How Mobile Hospitality Apps Solve Customer Loyalty Challenges

Competition in the hospitality sector is intensifying as the rising costs of living squeeze consumer spending, and a growing number of new entrants are offering unique experiences at discounted prices.

According to recent customer loyalty research from Deloitte, consumers won’t advocate for just any brand on a whim. They now increasingly demand personalised experiences and exceptional services in exchange for their loyalty.

With that in mind, let’s explore how mobile apps can help hospitality brands differentiate and deliver more value to individual customers:

Restaurants and Cafes: Drive Repeat Business Through Convenience and Discounts

The rise of last-mile food delivery services has made standing out in a crowded marketplace a top priority for cafes and restaurant brands. Developing a hospitality app that makes browsing menus, placing orders, and choosing delivery and payment options fast and convenient is vital to winning customer loyalty.

For example, Dominoes approached Future Platforms to create an app that could provide tailored discounts and transform the pizza chain into a digital-first leader. We made a user-friendly mobile app that streamlined access to personalised discounts, ordering and paying for food. The hospitality app features a real-time 'Pizza Tracker' that lets customers see when their order is ready.

Understanding customers' desire for speed, convenience and value for money resulted in Dominoes' transformed app generating a 66.1% increase in online orders, a 102.3% boost in revenue, and attracting over 44 million app downloads.

Hotels and Vacation Rentals: Streamline Services and Offer Local Insights

Hotel comparison sites and home-sharing platforms are rapidly replacing travel agents, upping the ante for hotels and vacation rental brands. After a long journey, guests expect a frictionless experience, from booking to checking out. Moreover, they also crave insider knowledge of the area to plan the most enjoyable stay.

Developing a hospitality app can help guests create the vacation of their dreams, from accessing their accommodation with a digital key to planning their meals and creating personalised itineraries with just a few taps.

Take the Hilton Honors app, for example. With over 180 million users, this mobile platform empowers guests with mobile check-ins, room service requests, and access to curated local recommendations. Additionally, the app allows guests to earn and redeem loyalty points for amazing perks These include free overnight stays and exclusive one-in-a-lifetime experiences, which enhance guest experiences and foster lifelong customer loyalty.

Live Venues and Events: Engage Fans with VIP Access

As ticket prices climb, live event fans want to make sure they're soaking in every moment and getting the same experience as those who splashed out for VIP passes. Mobile apps promise to deliver a seamless sofa-to-seat experience, helping ticket holders with everything from navigating the stadium, to watching live replays of blink-and-you'll-miss-it highlights and sharing the clips with friends.

Here at Future Platforms, we’ve already helped Wembley Stadium transform the fan experience through an easy-to-use mobile app. The app allows customers to purchase tickets, plan their journeys with an integrated map, and preview their seat view before the event itself.

It also provides live news push notifications to give fans the inside scoop, plus EE's advanced network-powered event-specific streaming service immerses fans in the atmosphere. This digital-first approach creates a lasting connection with customers and keeps them returning for future events.

Leisure and Tourist Attractions: Personalise Itineraries and Educate Visitors

Personalised recommendations are a massive hit with e-commerce shoppers. A Medallia Research survey found that 61% of hospitality customers are willing to pay more for the same type of concierge service from hospitality venues.

Mobile apps offer hospitality owners the ideal opportunity to engage with customers one-on-one. For instance, they can incorporate quizzes to help customers choose what activities they most want to engage in, and build a personalised visitor itinerary. Alternatively, packing an app with educational resources can help visitors immerse themselves in a venue's history or cultural significance.

Apps like Virgin Active, for example, help venue owners collect data about customer preferences and develop tailored offers and fitness plans to win their visitors' loyalty. This valuable first-party data helped Virgin Active increase customer retention by over 40% in its first week after launch and boosted the average number of weekly member visits by 19%.

Future Platforms: Revolutionising Customer Loyalty, One Hospitality App at a Time

The future of hospitality should literally be in your customers' hands. Immersive hospitality apps can transform your customer loyalty initiatives and keep your visitors returning to your doors and raving about your services for years to come.

Here at Future Platforms, we work with you to understand your business and customer retention challenges and develop and test bespoke digital solutions that help you stand out from the crowd.

If you would like to start building lifelong connections with your customers, get in touch with us now.