In Hospitality

Ever leave your smartphone behind? First there’s that moment of sheer panic. (“Do I remember WHERE I left my phone?”) Then the hopelessness kicks in. (“I have no idea what time that meeting begins!” or “I’m going to get crushed in Trivia Crack today!”)

There’s no doubt the general population has become fantastically dependent on their personal devices, loaded with apps that make everyday living easier and just plain more enjoyable. And smart hoteliers are leveraging this reliance on technology to advance their CRM programs. Here are a few examples:

Whisper Down the Lane | Kimpton Hotels uses Twitter to communicate a “secret password” that changes by season. Guests who quietly murmur this password at check-in receive an extra amenity or bonus discount during their stay. These vary from property to property and have included free valet parking, food & beverage credits, complimentary upgrades to a suite and even popcorn and a movie. Want to get in on the action? The current password is “Warm Woolen Mittens.”

Get Your Entertainment On | Marriott International is launching a test program in eight of its hotels that would allow guests to access their Netflix, Hulu and Pandora content through the room’s video system. And at 17 of its properties throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, guests can test-drive GoPro’s HERO4 cameras to capture and share their own vacation movies.

Join the Club | Ritz-Carlton Reward Members can tap into an app that has been highly ranked in both UX and function. Guests can “unlock experiences” that elevate their stay, from virtual check-in/check-out functionality to a means to easily submit service requests to a fun feature that allows them to transform their trip pictures into sharable vintage-inspired travel posters.

Go Keyless (and Cardless!) | Remember when cards replaced keys? Now smartphones are beginning to replace cards at two major hospitality chains. Starwood is unrolling SPG Keyless, a Bluetooth-enabled app that will allow Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members to use a keyless entry to their guest rooms. Hilton will be taking the technology one step further through its HHonors mobile app with guests soon being able to access both their room and various additional areas of the property that require a room key, such as the fitness center.

Of course, these are just a handful of examples of tech-forward thinking in the travel industry. To take your CRM to the next level through mobile apps, social media and other creative campaign elements, contact Lynn Kaniper today at 609.466.9187 ext. 117 or

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