Brief: Motivate people to use a purpose built app that could incidentally yield an increase in bookings for the Four Seasons within the brand’s channels. The app should appeal to a more tech savvy demographic.
Time line: Two weeks
Group: Jonathan Clegg, Nitzan Hallel and Guy Ligertwood
Process: Interviews, Competitor Analysis, Survey, Desk Research, Persona Creation, Task Analysis, Sitemap, Sketching, User Flows, Prototyping, User Testing & Iterating.
The Four Seasons Hotel is renowned for being innovators in luxury. They are synonymous with the term "first class customer experience", ensuring needs are not only met but exceeded at all times.
We became aware that many of the Four Seasons Hotel guests have been booking through external third party booking sites rather than the brand’s channels. Rather than the unrealistic proposition of Four Seasons Hotel engaging in a price war, we decided to capatalise on the luxury experience on offer to drive engagement and further enhance the travel experience.
User journeys were documented when staying at the hotel, a process that examined point of arrival, being inside the hotels facilities and taking in tourist sights. This allowed us to identify opportunities where improvements could occur, which we mapped in more detail on post-it notes that identified the layers of experience and elements of service.
We talked informally to a small group of target users to gauge an idea of what would be their expectations from a luxury hotel app and to check if our proposed tools of engagement were accurate for the niche target group.
We reached out to potential users to gain further insights around user needs and pain points that were acknowledged when tech travelers stayed at luxury accommodation.
An audit was performed of competing websites and apps to document the marketplace. Competing luxury hotels were assessed to determine if any gaps could be capatilised, and whether industry norms existed.
When has customer service exceeded your expectations?
"Friendly staff is rare, but really makes a difference."
|InterContinental||Ritz Carlton||Hilton Hotels||St. Regis E.Butler||W Hotels||SLS Hotels|
|Stand Out Feature||Video Tours||Rewards||Select Amenities||Real Time Chat||Message Concierge||Cocktail Recipes|
|In Hotel Booking|||||||||
Due to a delayed flight, Isabella's was running late for a business meeting. Her user flow facilitated the need to check in to the hotel using the app from her taxi and be greeted with room keys upon arrival, skipping the usual timely check in.
Whilst relaxing and watching a movie, Ben felt peckish and didn't feel compelled to call room service knowing that he could complete the same task on his phone. He could even customise his order by sending the concierge a message. How neat.
Jonah needed some assistance with a day trip and wanted to experience one of the Four Seasons luxury experience packages. He discovered these through the app and requested the concierge to book the experience on his behalf.
The group conducted three detailed testing sessions to validate our assumptions, user flows and design decisions, and to ensure user needs were met. We observed, tweaked & re-tested the prototype accordingly through a series of three rounds of iterative improvements.
This app would offer luxury travelers a more complete and personalised experience. It would help facilitate higher customer engagement and efficiency whilst maintaining the Four Seasons as the leading innovator in the hotel industry, keeping them at the forefront of customer experience. Furthermore, it would provide a highly valuable extension to the Four Seasons existing website carrying similar messaging and travel experience opportunities. User feedback was glowing, with many positive moments expressed in the app's potential.
Offering service to an individual based on proximity to a physical beacon would allow the hotel to provide service passively to customers and further exceed their expectations. For example, if the hotel knew that Jonah had spent a few hours at the pool it could send a message to him asking if he would like a bottle of water or make another type of offer to which the luxury traveler will positively respond.