by July 29th, 2014on
Hilton announced on their web site that they plan to change the game when it comes to the guest experience at their hotels. While the press release doesn’t state the investment, the Wall Street Journal quotes it at $550 million. But what’s really cool is that the smart phone will become:
- Your room key: bypass the line and head straight to your room
- The way to choose your room: choose your room from a map of the hotel
- Special requests: get upgrade, ask for amenities, etc.
At first glance you may wonder why it costs $550M but if you think about it, Hilton had to do quite a bit to make this work. First they had to enable a map. That probably comes from a back end system or two or three or four……… Of course, you have to then do the integration and put a nice wrapper on it because I guarantee that it doesn’t look good to start. When you add in new amenities and want to build an infrastructure that’s more ecommerce like, then you make even more work for yourself. Using NFC or some other standard also ensures a change in every single hotel room lock. That will probably drive the majority of the cost.
But think about what they get out of this investment. First, they get the cache of being first with a key enabling technology. Second, if they architected this right, they setup their application to do everything. If you can get a special amenity ordered up then how hard should it be to order room service? How about adding in concierge requests for tickets to that special event or restaurant? Of course there’s the chance to treat all the elite guests in a special way. They walk through the door and notify them you opened up a set of rooms they can choose for an upgrade. Tell them they just earned faster internet or that they should stop by the mini-store for a treat. The skies the limit as far as what you can do now that the Hilton App became a must use application.
I’m excited about the possibilities here.