In the “5 questions to …” column, Hotelcore employees, customers, partners and industry experts answer questions in short interviews. For this article, we talked to Maxi Aschenbrenner, Marketing & Sales Coordinator at StrandResort Markgrafenheide, about digitalisation, especially digital communication and the use of the Hotelcore products.
You have been using the Digital Guest Directory by Hotelcore since 2018. Last year, you decided to upgrade and have been using your own “StrandResort” app ever since. Why this step?
With our own app, we strengthen our brand and build trust with our guests. This increases the willingness to download and use the app. We improve the guests’ holiday experience and meet their expectations of a modern accommodation. We are very grateful for this technical opportunity and the smooth support by Hotelcore.
Digital communication with guests runs at StrandResort Markgrafenheide via their own app.
© Gastfreund GmbH
In which areas does your app particularly support you?
The app is essential for our “logbook”. Before, we used to spend a lot of time editing daily changing print products, now we digitally edit our activity programme, opening hours and highlights once a week quite simply. For sales promotions, we use push notifications. Whether last-minute wellness deals, free massage appointments or changes in the programme – guests receive the information promptly and effortlessly directly in the app. Elaborately designed posters that not every guest sees are a thing of the past.
From the guest’s point of view, the chat feature is the particularly attractive. Our reception team answers enquiries and requests directly, regardless of whether the guest is already in the hotel or still at home packing his or her suitcase.
Your usage figures are high, digital communication obviously works very well for you. How and when do you inform your guests about the app?
The first hint about the app is integrated in the reservation confirmation. Our guests really come into contact with the app when they receive the pre-stay letter. In this letter, we refer to the digital registration form that is stored in the app. The guests fill it out before arrival and send it to us. This saves a lot of time at check-in. We also point out that the number of guests using the sauna and pool is limited and that you can conveniently register your personal wellness time in the app 48 hours before your trip. At the check-in itself, we verbally point out the app and give the guests a check-in flyer with a QR code that leads to the download. Because the app experience is very important to us, after departure we ask in our feedback email what the guests liked about the app, what could be optimised or why it was not used. Many new ideas were born from this and many processes improved.
You not only communicate and inform via your app, you also advertise events and additional services, such as bread roll service, pool and sauna use. How does this digital marketing affect guest demand?
Since we already take care of our guests digitally before their holiday at the StrandResort, they are already occupied with their time away with us – anticipation sets in and guest loyalty is strengthened. Consequently, the demand for additional services increases and so does the turnover. Our guests stay in the app for an average of three minutes. They not only makes intensive use of the bread service and the like, but also wish for even more online booking options. They are grateful that they can communicate their wishes at any time and book additional services. Thanks to the app, this is also possible from the beach or the couch, without them having to call or come to the reception in person. Our credo: We want to make it as comfortable as possible for our guests. The app fulfils this 100%.
The StrandResort Markgrafenheide has had its Digital Guest Directory since 2018 and thus also looks after its guests digitally around the clock.
© StrandResort Markgrafenheide
What do you think everyday life at the resort will look like in five years?
Existing processes must be constantly questioned and redesigned. Digitalisation as an omnipresent support will continue to surprise us, but also present us with challenges. What is the ideal vision of the future today may already be outdated tomorrow. Therefore, we have to be open to new technologies and weigh up what will move us forward as a company and give holiday guests an even better stay. What will remain: Real hosts working for real holidaymakers. We are happy to have Hotelcore at our side.
Maxi Aschenbrenner in conversation with Stefanie Näbrig, Gastfreund GmbH
This text has been translated automatically.