Evolving and enhancing the guest experience

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Leading Hotel Chain

As hospitality guests have become more digitally mature, an expectation of a more personalized, contextual and relevant mobile experience has materialized. A combination of actionable, useful utility, unique added value and a seamless brand connection have become the foundation from which all digital hospitality experiences must build upon.  



Our client is an American multi-national hospitality company that manages and franchises luxury and business hotels, resorts and vacation properties. Their portfolio consists of more than 900 properties across more than 20 brands in 60 countries around the world.  

The Challenge

Our client was falling behind…things like online chat and mobile booking were becoming table stakes and online travel agencies like Airbnb and VRBO were encroaching on the already competitive marketplace. They needed to innovate or be lost in an ever-evolving marketplace. Despite knowing that there was a need to transform, there were many underlying internal challenges that were stunting their growth as a company. Challenges such as misalignment of culture, breakdown of internal processes and lack of education of internal teams were plaguing the organization. They needed a partner with a strong product focus and a cross-functional team to propel their mobile transformation.  

Our Approach

Bottle Rocket formed a dedicated team that was driven by our successful product management practice to get into the core of what both the business and the customer needed. We worked together to do feature definition, supplemental development, roadmap evolution and ultimately a UX redesign. In addition, franchises wanted more local content that would be relevant to their guests, causing them to return to the app more than once. At the core of their issues, our client just wanted more engagement.  

Users were unable to find key features within the app, although there were many helpful functions already built in, they were hidden deep inside and hard to find for the user. We needed to surface all the benefits of the app sooner to highlight more inherent value for the guests. Working with the company’s internal user research team, we conducted usability research and tested the placement of features on pages.  

The new and improved app launched earlier this year with great success. Early results are showing that the app has been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback. Prior to COVID-19, bookings and revenue were trending up week over week, with a 30% increase in new member enrollments via the app.  

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