Large hotel companies have gravitated toward launching their own proprietary platforms and messaging apps. Importantly, these platforms and apps allow hotels to create a more extensive and richer data connection with each individual guest. When a guest uses a hotel’s website or native app, it becomes that much easier for the company to know exactly who that guest is, and to collect and integrate a record of those guest’s messages as part of their profile information.
By being able to tie messaging back to their guest profile, a hotel can know, for example, that a guest has used the spa on each prior visit. It can message the guest to inform him where the spais located and its opening hours and even send a special promotional offer.
While different approaches to interacting with guests have different advantages and disadvantages, all of them have the same goals: to build guest loyalty, increase guest engagement, and enhance the overall guest experience. An additional goal, of course, is to generate as many direct bookings as possible and avoid the onerous OTA commissions that can take a big bite out of hotel profits.
Now Millennium Hotels and Resorts has launched a new digital platform (millenniumhotels.com) designed to give current and prospective guests a frictionless booking experience as well as the ability to interact and transact with the hotel through different phases of the guest journey. The Millennium Hotels and Resorts app is also now available for both iOS and Android mobile devices, and will have several additional features added through the end of the year.
The new interactive platform empowers guests to make guest room upgrades, request amenities, and also explore out-of-hotel experiences from over 10,000 tour providers. They can also get destination tips and manage and spend their My Millennium loyalty program earnings and status.
The functionality of the new platform recognizes that today’s travelers, particularly Millenials, who now account for nearly 75 percent of all hotel guests, expect nothing less than state-of-the-art platforms, applications and interfaces. For stays of more than one night the site blends rates to give the best price per night – whether weekday or weekend – something that, according to a company spokesperson, no other direct booking hotel platform offers in this way. By signing in to the new platform, guests will receive a 5% discount on each room reservation, encouraging direct bookings.
The backbone of Millennium Hotels and Resort’s new digital platform is a custom-built customer relationship management (CRM) system. The CRM connects the databases of each hotel for the first time, enabling greater customer engagement which in turn allows targeted communications, tailored to each guest. Millennium has been working to ensure that every guest touch point, both behind the scenes and guest-facing, work seamlessly together. That meant developing a robust, integrated digital platform and unified database that can serve as the foundation for the evolution of the company’s brands, products and guest services going forward.
The new website was reportedly conceptualized by the company’s London and Singapore-based e-commerce teams and developed in collaboration with Mullen Lowe Profero Singapore, Metasphere Technologies and Sceptre Hospitality Resources. The platform functionality and design is geared to making the hotel booking decision as easy and hassle free as possible. The design and creative content along with website functionality seeks to deliver a user experience that is immersive and compelling and reflects the strong Millennium Hotels and Resorts service ethos.
The investment in building this new digital platform reflects the company’s focus on giving guests an effortless and uncomplicated hotel search and booking experience at their desk or on the go. The functionality provides an commerce experience of the retail sector for hotel guests, with a strong focus on personalization and recommendations. The company plans to upgrade the app on an ongoing basis to enrich the online end-to-end guest experience, from interactive city guides to on-property innovative features.