Everybody knows that the online user experience changes from screen to screen. What the user expects from the desktop experience is not that same as what they hope to find on their smart phone. First off, the size of the screen is key for obtaining maximum graphic resolution and experience. Moreover the user’s needs on mobile are about service and on site execution while on desktop research is key, and navigation time is significantly longer.
That’s the reason why within the tourism and hospitality industry, the user experience has it’s own communication objectives on each channel.
When users are on desktop, either at work, in a bar or at home they are researching, this medium allows for greater detail and more time to go back and forth between different sections of the site. Mobile generally is about a real-time, live and on-site interaction, for example in a shopping mall, traveling, or on the street; the search aims to find a place, locate a neighborhood, see available shows, museums, entertainment in the area, and of course find promotions. As we can see, the types of inquiries on each channel are different and the experience as well.
DESKTOP = research = refers to the future
MOBILE = execution = refers to the present
We have already discussed the Four Seasons Hotel case, and how the virtual service emulates the real check-in experience without the need of a desk clerk or even being in the reception. Everything you would expect from the hotel customer care service is there: from self-check-in, suites upgrade, restaurant booking, room service, airport transfers and shuttles, spa and fitness services reservation, and comfort details such as type of pillows, blankets, sheets, mattress size, to what you can do in the area. It’s all on the guest’s mobile phone.
The challenge here is the integration of customer service areas and their respective technology layers: from reservations, operations, room service, restaurants and spa. The industry is continually striving to improve the experience via mobile devices to provide better service. As such, brands interact directly with the client, creating a neat experience and positive impact in real life.
On the other hand for desktop experiences, the timing, impact and objectives are completely different. What they have in common is trying to bring real experiences to the virtual world. The spirit of the place, the story told adds value to the online desktop experience. The goal in this case is that each user empathizes with what he is looking for: a student looking for a B&B will relate to a communication and experience that is totally different from an executive on a business trip or a couple looking for social or new cultural experiences.
The Mark Hotel understands this concept and caters to a sophisticated user who enjoys the activities offered by the place, not only inside the hotel but also within its surroundings. Their philosophies relating to design, art and glamour, are brought out through the images and content provided by outside influencers aligned with their proposition.
Edition Hotels took an experiential path, by showing #24HoursAtTheBeach, a film inspired on an ideal weekend in Miami. Each movie shows the essence of a day: sunrise, noon, sunset and night from various hotel locations.
Or for example Jumeirah, in collaboration with Google exhibits a 360 tour, which gives us a very clear idea of the place and experience.
In short, there are many digital examples that the hospitality industry is providing to make guests feel at home when they’re away, and, conversely, let them try what it feels like to be there before they’ve even decided to leave.