On the back of Chargifi’s global survey, How Device Charging is Changing Guest Experience report and webinar series, Paul Squires, Global Hospitality Lead at Chargifi comments on the need for convenient access to power to underpin guest experience in hospitality.
With the ever-increasing demand for connectivity among consumers, the provision of Wi-Fi has become standard for companies aiming to improve their guest experience. But with Wi-Fi availability almost ubiquitous now and generous 4G data plans, one way or another connectivity is available almost everywhere. It’s just as well, because now more than ever our daily lives rely on connectivity for both work and play.
Because we’ve made such great strides in the speed and availability of connectivity, today the biggest barrier to being connected is when our phone runs out of battery. We’ve all been there, we’ve felt the ‘battery anxiety’, knowing we need to send that one vital work email, or find directions to the coffee shop we’re meeting a friend at. Sitting at 1% isn’t fun for anyone – it gets in the way of us living our lives exactly as we want to, and as research shows not being able to rectify the problem affects our perception of the venue that we are in. But what if hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants could change all this for the better?
Hope is on the horizon, as wireless charging capability is now available in the majority of smartphones, all that’s left now is for businesses to take advantage of it. By 2020, there will be over one billion wireless charging enabled devices in circulation, and companies are very quickly realising the need to capitalise on this new technology to improve guest experience in reaction to consumer demand. The recent global survey completed by Chargifi showed that 50% of people who own a wireless charging enabled device are more likely to visit venues that provide wireless charging, proving that people are now actively seeking the provision of power when making purchasing decisions. Wireless charging is now a key differentiator between a business and their competition. This opens the door for companies in the hospitality sector to boost guest experience by providing a valuable amenity as a service, with a focus on increasing customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and ultimately revenue.
Crucially, Chargifi’s research also showed nearly 50% of customers are likely to stay for longer and order more if charging is available. Added to the revelation that 17% of customers have spent money at an establishment in the past simply so that they could charge their device, there is a genuine case that the provision of convenient charging boosts revenue. The fact that phone charging is going wireless means that businesses should be jumping on the opportunity early, to mirror the success of the early-adopters of WiFi when it was the go-to emerging technology for boosting guest experience.
Additionally, millennials and Generation Z are treating their phones as much more than devices for communication. Tech developments such as Apple Pay mean that phones are now wallets, and the advent of Google Maps means that we now rely on phones to get from point A to point B. It’s more and more likely that a customer won’t be able to spend money with you without access to power, and with low battery it’s also unlikely that they will choose to go to your venue unless they know they can charge. Aside from our growing reliance on google maps to get where we want to go, especially in big cities, 32% of consumers said that they would stop what they were doing immediately to go home and charge a flat phone battery. If a customer knows that they can charge their phone with you even though they forgot their charger (again), they are so much more likely to stop in for a coffee and a bite to eat. Power snacking is a growing trend among consumers, who are constantly looking to ‘top-up’ their charge as they move from place-to-place. Providing power means there is one more reason for a customer to stop by.
Guests, millennials especially, have also grown accustomed to their lives as consumers mirroring their home lives when it comes to technology. They expect Wi-Fi in cafes and hotels to be at least as strong as it is at home (we’ve all seen the pesky 3* reviews that say everything was great, but the Wi-Fi was slow), and as more and more smart technology is incorporated into our home lives, often with phones being used to control or trigger smart technology, the expectation is that the same capability is translated into daily life everywhere. With Ikea now selling furniture with wireless charging inbuilt, it’s clear that wireless power in the home is now mainstream, and is soon to be expected everywhere.
In my opinion, within 36 months not having wireless charging will become a leading reason not to visit a venue, and we will start to see the provision of wireless charging having a huge impact on reviews. Battery anxiety is real, and as we rely on our phones more and more for every facet of our lives, its growing.
Watch the webinar recording in your region, as we dive deep into the insights gained from our research and how they can be applied practically to your hospitality business.