Concept: Delphin Hotels go mobile

July 2016 · Andis Cekuls

I recently came back from my wonderful stay at Delphin Imperial in Antalya, Turkey.

Although their service was great, Delphin clearly lacked the use of current technologies that might not only help the visitors enjoy their stay more but also prove to be a model for earning some additional revenue for the hotel, bonding with the guests and generally making hotel's CRM system more accurate.

Concept: Delphin Hotels go mobile picture

Companies continue to see the benefit of placing their content on the mobile screens of their audience. According to various sources, consumers have spent more time browsing on mobile than desktop since 2015. Consequently, it only makes sense to reach the potential clients on the devices they spend the most time on.

So, what can Delphin deliver their customers on mobile devices?

General amenities

Check-in / check-out. I remember waiting in line. Then having to fill in a form. Then waiting some more. And finally receiving my keycard 15 minutes later.

App would surely be a good fit here. I could both fill in the form and get the room number online. My only interaction with the reception would be a 30-second one to get the keycard. Besides, the repeat guests wouldn't have to do the form at all because the information could be stored on the device or the Delphin's CRM system.

Room unlocking. I might as well use my phone to unlock the room, skipping the interaction with the reception when I arrive at the hotel. Some extra keycards could be waiting in the room for the guests who don't want to carry their mobile phones to the beach.

Notifications as messages. This is something the hotel might find extremely useful. Delphin could send any message to their current guests at any time. Such as..

  • "Our Chef has made something really special tonight. We're looking forward to seeing you this dinner!"
  • "See you at the cocktail party today at 5pm!" Another type of message to remind the guests of must-attend events.
  • "The weather today is going to be 40C. Don't forget the sunblock!"
  • "Please visit the reception some time later today!" Send a notification to one of your guests in case you need to talk to them.
  • "Happy birthday! Visit the cookie bar and ask for your special birthday cocktail!" Wow!

Although these are small things, they make the guests feel more welcome. It goes a long way.

Need help in the room. What if you require an extra pillow or blanket? What if the air conditioner is broken? Or you can't open the water tap?

The hotel might as well have these calls in their app for common issues. Not only would it be easier for the visitor but also the hotel would have a solid database of need-to-do things without any further need for human input that they would if the visitor called them by phone instead.

Spa reservations

Here's for some extra revenue. The app could show the visitors the different Spa types, list their prices and allow them to reserve a session, and perhaps even pay for them as an in-app purchase.

That sounds easy!

Photo purchase / sharing

I was given a CD with pictures from the cocktail party. My Macbook doesn't even have a CD drive. And the new Macbook Pro coming out later this year is rumored to have no USB ports either (to be replaced with USB-C, according to Mac analysts). So storing the photos on the cloud is the safe bet.

Disney is good at this with their app. Their in-park photographers ask Disney's guests for their smartbands, linking the photos taken to their profiles, and therefore to their apps. The visitors can later buy and/or access the photos directly from the app.

Having a photo library within the app is also a good way to encourage the visitors to share the photos on social media, creating more buzz and more online followers for the hotel.

"Share this photo and get a discount or receive it free!" or "Put this on Instagram and get that special cake we have!"

Anyone? I would.

Restaurant reservations

Delphin hotels offer not only the regular all-inclusive dinner but also the opportunity to reserve a table at themed restaurants.

Delphin currently has two computer stands at the hallway which are used to view the available times and make a reservation. The computers are laggy and the confirmation of your reservation is printed on paper, so you have to be careful not to lose it.

However, wouldn't it be so much easier to do this in an app?

Local attractions

Another source of additional revenue for the hotel. Delphin's app could list the local attractions, allowing the guests to purchase and reserve a diving session or a city tour.

The hotel could perhaps make an agreement with the tour guides and receive a percentage of the sales they do through the app.

Listing these attractions would drive the sales for tours and prove to be a useful tool for the hotel chain to gain some leverage over attractions' owners.

Special features: Room reservations & discount notifications
  • Ping! "Check out our new room! As a return guest, we'll give you a 30% discount if you buy this week!"
  • Ping! "Be ready for your next summer vacation, and purchase the family room today!"

Some occasional notifications are great for customer retention.

Special features: Photo framing

Unfortunately, every vacation has to come to an end. However, the hotel could remind visitors of their wonderful stay at Delphin with just one small thing - giving a framed picture of their stay during the check-out.

The hotel doesn't even need to take that picture themselves. Instead, they could let the visitors upload a photo they took during their stay, watermark it, frame it and deliver it to their room or have it handed to them during the check-out.

A gesture like that shows that the hotel deeply cares about their guests and would love to have them come back again. A framed photo also serves as an advertisement when the guests show that photo to others back at home.

That's how much a simple app can change.

And these are just some of the features a smartphone app might have.