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    Digital Concierge: How It Will Help Vacation Rentals Stay Ahead of Hotels

    Sponsored by: Lynx Automation
    By Resha Shroff

    The importance of digital mobile concierge and upselling has increased over recent years due in large part to the changing methods of booking rooms. Increasing revenue without increasing inventory under management is imperative. A well-managed concierge and upselling program can benefit all parties involved if done correctly.

    Upselling is a great business opportunity to increase the average revenue hospitality business makes from a guest. ​​It is key to increasing profitability and guest satisfaction. A national consumer survey commissioned by Fusion and conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs research found that 61 percent of consumers would be open to spending more if an additional service complements or enhances their purchase.

    A good concierge gives a level of personalized service that becomes one of the leading reasons guests decide to revisit the property. The global concierge services market size is expected to reach US$773.3 million by 2025, according to a new report by Grand View Research Inc. It is projected to register a CAGR of 5.3 percent during the forecast period. By adding concierge functionality within your vacation rental’s mobile app, guests can easily access that service in a way they’re all too familiar: with their mobile devices.

    Future of Hospitality Industry: Digital Mobile Concierge

    A Google and PhocusWright survey found 70 percent of travelers “always” use their mobile devices when traveling. In the same survey, travelers also said they frequently use mobile devices to play the concierge on their own, researching activities and attractions and locating their destination’s restaurants and shopping areas.

    Vacation rental managers can develop their virtual concierge with a white label app. For example, Lynx Automation offers a white-label guest app, upsell automation, and virtual concierge that allows guests to be in charge of their own experience from the time they book. They can use contactless check-in and out of the property online, request guest services, manage smart devices, and send direct messages, allowing guests to contact you during their stay, among many other automation services.

    Wow your customers by providing a fully automated digital concierge mobile app that looks after your customers wherever they are in the life cycle. It may seem hard to replace the personalized service of an in-person concierge. On the other hand, a digital concierge makes the guest experience more seamless. Instead of worrying about whether there will be someone to check them in if they arrive late, guests can check in on their own with the guest portal. If the guest plans to check in early or check out late, guests can put in a special request with the swipe of a finger.

    Virtual concierge is also used to boost revenue with upselling, drive bookings, and restaurant reservations within the vacation rental or to promote on-site amenities and guest resources. Allowing guests to book these services more easily takes away the barrier to booking.

    Guests also benefit from the speed and convenience of the mobile concierge as it optimizes hospitality operations.

    How Does Lynx Digital Concierge Work, and How Will It Take Vacation Rentals Ahead of Hotels?

    Our new product launch adds revenue without increasing the properties under management. Our new upsell automation helps you digitize guest concierge services. You can set up in-house services, third-party services, and destination packages. So, this includes everything from early check-in or late checkout, bike or kayak rentals, concert tickets, a bachelorette party package for six, or a simple wine and chocolate anniversary package. Now you can upsell to your guests even before they start their vacation. Guests request services, and you get to earn more of their vacation budget. And it’s still not over: Lynx will collect all the guest email IDs and phone numbers at the party, building your guest database for direct marketing.

    You can customize pricing based on the seasonality of your business. You can customize pricing based on the number of hours of early check-in requests. If it’s an hour early, it’s $50 but if it’s six hours early, it’s 50 percent of the nightly rate. The offers will be presented to your guests via email, text, and a guest portal with your branding. When a guest requests a service, Lynx will first check your auto-approval rules. Is there a gap between the stays? Is this property already cleaned, inspected, and ready? Let the money roll in! Next, we will check auto-denial rules. And, finally, send it to you for manual approval.

    All approved requests will be automatically charged. You have all the guest credit cards, and we never touch your money either. If the approved request was, for example, early check-in, Lynx will automatically change the time stamp on the access code and digital key. Lynx will adjust the thermostat to ensure the welcome temperature settings are met. You do nothing.

    Benefits of Using a Digital Concierge in Vacation Rentals

    Boost Your Revenue

    One of the key benefits of a virtual concierge is the ability to offer guest services, upsell, and cross-sell without being too obvious. With a traditional concierge, your staff may suggest other services upon check-in, and they can easily forget it, but with a virtual concierge, you can promote services directly to the guests. With Lynx digital concierge services, you can offer free and paid guest services within the white label guest app.

    Furthermore, you can drive future bookings by offering guests a discount if they book a future reservation while staying at a vacation rental with the virtual concierge. In summary, it’s a great way to upsell, drive bookings, and promote onsite amenities.

    Save Cost on Operation

    With a digital concierge, guests have all information available at their fingertips. The white label guest app helps guests educate themselves to help themselves rather than rely on staff to help them. In addition, guests can get instantaneous information such as directions, smart devices, amenities available, etc.

    Your staff can focus on giving an optimal service and helping guests with matters that need human interactions. With a virtual tool like a digital concierge, you can even save on having a full-time concierge, and assign their tasks to the front desk because you will essentially have a virtual staff member.

    Lynx digital concierge enhances your staff capabilities by not only making them more efficient but feeding them the right information at the right time to make sure they can always serve your guests to the best of their abilities.

    Fantastic Customer Experience

    Nothing is more disgruntling to a guest than having to wait in a long line to ask a simple question. This is where a digital concierge comes in. All questions can be answered with just a click or via instant messages sent to their mobile application. Being able to resolve things quickly helps with guest satisfaction because they feel like they are being helped and having a personalized experience.

    In addition, a virtual concierge increases customer satisfaction in terms of late check-ins or early checkouts, taking away the stress on your staff. With a virtual assistant, guests can check in while they’re en route to the property, so if they arrive tired from a long trip, instead of waiting to be attended to, they can go directly to their room upon arrival.

    Whether your guests are booking a taxi, finding places to get more towels, finding what time breakfast is, or finding the way to their room, we make it quick and simple for your guests, offering friendly and intuitive ways to work. And because we have fully integrated workflow, guests are always in the loop.

    Ensuring Brand Loyalty

    With the rise of the digital mobile era and the rise of tech-savviness, guests will increasingly expect digital interaction during their stay. Millennial guests continue to acquire more spending power, and creating a fantastic digital guest experience for them can help facilitate a seamless, convenient stay. Virtual concierges provide the ability to help guests more efficiently, increase customer satisfaction, promote services, and save on human resources. Digital concierges have a variety of benefits, but the key reason to use one is to ensure brand loyalty, which leads to repeat bookings. Guests take the experience into their own hands, ensuring that they get what they want on time at the vacation rental and become loyal repeat guests.

     Resha Shroff is the CEO and co-founder of Lynx Automation.

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