In a recent discussion with a hotel executive, we talked about how to get front line staff to use the applications better and to their fullest extent. At the time, I didn’t have a rock solid suggestion especially given the international staff that they managed.
I then had a totally different conversation talking about gaining and keeping users coming back to play a mobile game application. Turns out, the answer to both is similar.
Their application discussion was around a subject of “how to manufacture desire” which is a term used to describe “How do we get users to learn and want to use our application to where it becomes a habit”. A good article on it is on TechCrunch here. http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/04/how-to-manufacture-desire/
How do you connect with a user. How do you make a candy crush like application where people not only come back to play as soon as they get another life but will spend real money on a free game over and over again because of the desire to solve a level and move on. Make it addictive and habitual. In a good way!
Most business applications require training and experience to run properly. If they were written in such as way that this was intuitive and we tracked and provided incentives for the staff member to use all the information presented to service the customer, we might have a win/win/win. The hotel gains more productivity from the staff member. The staff member gets some type of reward or recognition for proficiency. And most important, the guest gets served to the best of the hotels ability.
The ultimate goal would be that the staff member would pay money to use the application. But we won’t go overboard with that yet.
How do we do this? We need to design the applications as much for the user as the property. Most property applications are function but not easy or enjoyable to use. We also need per user metrics to be incorporated in the applications. And these metrics need to include a connection to post service guest satisfaction input to ensure the metrics are working and the desired results are there.
Is this possible. Yes. I’ll be talking to several industry vendors about this in the coming weeks and post again about what I find.