If you as a hotel decide to stick with a provider of hotel mobile app instead of developing your own (I discussed some pros and cons in this post), you probably have one huge problem – you miss the functions you definitely want to have! In situations like these, you usually ask your app provider if there is any chance to include this this and that… and it is right!
However, don’t jump mindlessly into this train. It is cool you are so visionary, however, without putting the right approach in place, it might end up as money loss or in the worst case scenario, as a complete disaster. This post outlines several basic steps you shouldn’t skip once you decide to extend the functionality of your hotel application.
Is the new feature demanded by guests or not?
This is really important question to ask in the beginning. If your guests are asking for some particular feature (there is a strong demand), this feature will definitely be of value for your guests. The other situations is when you have the right idea about new functions but guests haven’t think about this shortage/possibility yet. If you are standing in front of both situations, you should definitely prioritize what your guests needs. This features are often marked as must-have. The rest is just nice-to-have until you prove them to be critical.
How to find out if features you invented and not demanded are vital to develop? The answer is obvious – ask your guests (or even better – the users of your application)! Choose a sample of guests, approach them, discuss the function with them and then ask them to rate it . The following questions could be used”
- “On the scale from 1 to 5, how this feature would affect your stay?“
- “On the scale from 1 to 5, how important is this feature for you?“
- “On the scale from 1 to 5, how likely would you use this feature?“
Note: For the simplicity, I didn’t add the description (explanation) of the scale, however, you should let your guests know what the numbers actually mean. Check these Lickert scale examples to get some inspiration. Please note, that instead of numbers, you can use words – extremely unlikely, unlikely, neutral, likely, extremely likely.
Why should you ask your guests if the feature is relevant? There are 2 main reasons:
- You can save a lot of money by not developing features that are not important for your guests.
- You can improve your ideas with feedback given by your guests during the interview.
Next time, if somebody suggest you should ask your guests, answer “definitely yes”!
Is the value-cost ratio acceptable?
Let’s face it – IT is not cheap. You should take into account that every customization that is beyond the contract you signed with your IT provider will cost you somewhat unexpected amount of money. I didn’t mean to scare you, instead of that, I encourage you to think critically.
You should think about the value/benefit/experience (name it as you like) that new functions will bring. Is it major or is it going to be a small improvement only? Now, compare this with the cost you need to spend in order to get the solution done. Is it worth it? Will it bring significant sales/brand/customer satisfaction lift? If your answer is “No“, you should either abondon this idea for now or postpone it until the additional budget is approved.
Remeber, if you put your money into the features that will not be successful, you will probably won’t get approval from your management to build another ones.
Don’t miss out Part 2! Subscribe!
As there are many things to be discussed, and we don’t want to make you feel overwhelmed, I decided to split this idea into more digestable chunks, that will be published in the upcoming weeks. If you don’t want to miss them, I encourage you to subscribe to our blog. You can do so by filling your email on the right (on the desktop) or under the comments (on mobile). I will let you know immediately once the new piece is out!