The client was looking to transform their existing consumer mobile website into a mobile application to provide an enhanced customer experience. The application would offer self-service capabilities and provide a secure and seamless experience to the users. Coforge delivered a new mobile application that integrates with the client’s loyalty program, other third-party systems and offers personalized guest experience across the relevant customer journey touchpoints - delivering a memorable stay and comfortable experience. The mobile application enabled newer and better ways to service customers and induced efficiencies by reducing paperwork. The application developed ensured compliance with regulatory standards.
About the client
The client is the largest owner/operator of company-branded hotels in North America. The client owns and operates approximately 69,400 rooms in the U.S. The company’s core brand serves the customers looking for mid-priced long stays.
The client was aware that almost 20% of their total bookings obtained were from indirect channels, with an almost even split between GDS channels and online partners. They wanted to increase their sales through direct channels viz. their website and mobile application. For this, they needed a new digitally engaging mobile app to provide a rich customer experience, encouraging customers to switch their preferred booking channels from the indirect channels to the direct ones.
Coforge was chosen as the preferred partner to build a new mobile app using a cross-platform approach to:
- Enable further usage of the native functionality of the devices on which these apps reside
- Build a foundation to enhance guest capabilities made available through the application
- Develop the application with the scaffolding to enable future scalability
- Develop the application that makes extensive use of services architecture / APIs, unlike the current version
- Implement a system that offers the guests the ability to self-serve work requests and provide more guest experience capabilities.
- Channel shift to mobile applications
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Improve agility of feature release
The earlier mobile application, which was available on Android and iOS platforms, was essentially a web view/wrapper around the mobile booking site with limited native capabilities and no guest experience capabilities. Coforge implemented NextGen and cross-platform technologies, enabled innovative engagement with the guests across all stages of the journey, and derived a higher percentage of bookings on the new mobile application.
Coforge followed a user-centered design approach to create the right balance between interface usability and human cognition - enabling a positive user experience and successful engagement with end-users. The solution allowed seamless integration with third-party applications like the analytics platform, crash monitoring tool, push notifications, live chat agent for text-based communication, error logging, and third-party application to get tokens. Coforge aimed to digitally transform the customer experience at each of the below touchpoints in the customer’s journey through the application.
The mobile app transformation incorporated the below for the client:
- Home page and search screen - login/signup, biometric authentication, property search
- Hotel list & details – listing, a map view, filter and sort, details, tours, plans, photos, weather, what's nearby, CMS integration
- Booking & reservation - book, modify, cancel, review, payment (cards, direct bill), multiple rooms, single room, additional room booking, save to calendar, scan QR, one-click booking
- User accounts & notifications – profile, reservations, loyalty details, receipts, share, notifications, and FAQ
The mobile application developed followed the key principles of:
- User-centric design with optimized UI flows
- Agile methodology & DevOps principle (continuous delivery)
- Orchestration across fine-grained business APIs comprising microservices
- Meet code quality and architecture standards
- Testing on multiple devices
- Continuous improvement – Using analytics & monitoring
- Frequent demonstration to business
- Flexibility to meet future business needs
- Common business and UI layer
- Platform-specific layer (only when needed)
Some of the salient functionalities of the new mobile application:
- Deep linking: The mobile application supports deep linking and guides users to specific locations/features within the application.
- Support for QR Code: The application allows the users to scan promotional QR codes and generate QR codes for their bookings that can be read by QR readers at front desks for faster check-in.
- Offline Access:The mobile application provides offline access to view reservations and views reservation history. This allows users to access this information even when connectivity is not available.
- Live agents: The mobile application integrates with live agents to assist customers with their queries and will be able to support virtual concierge functionality in the future.
- Personalization: The mobile application supports user enrollment, profile management, managing guest preferences, notification preferences, and stores the payment card information in the profile. The application uses this information to engage with the customers in a contextual and relevant dialogue.
- Notifications: The mobile application uses geofencing and active itinerary monitoring to deliver contextual notifications to the users.
- Future-ready architecture: The functional and technical architecture provides modularity and ease of adding newer functionalities and integrations with other systems as needed
- Security: The mobile application supports security compliance and regulatory requirements, ensuring the safety of guest information and financial transactions through the application.
- Analytics and Reporting:The mobile application supports mobile analytics tagging of various screens
Key Business Benefits
- Cost savings by moving the booking channel from call centers to the direct digital channels.
- User-friendly, easy to use booking and self-service channel
- Enhanced guest experience.
- Flexible, modular, and scalable architecture to meet business and technical needs of future phases
- A high degree of interoperability and work across multiple platforms, including Android and iOS
- Seamlessly handle mobile device native capabilities.