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Hilton Worldwide always strives to enhance the customer experience it provides for its HHonors loyalty program members.
The latest feature added is the digital key. Joshua Sloser, Vice President of Digital Product Innovation at Hilton Worldwide, talked to Loyalty360 about this latest loyalty program benefit and its impact on the program overall.
How will the introduction of the Digital Key, not only impact the customer experience, but improve and enhance the loyalty program as a whole?
Digital Key is the latest feature we’ve added to our HHonors mobile app, with the goal to make our most frequent guests’ check-in and arrival process seamless and convenient. Now, during the digital check-in process, HHonors members can opt-in to use a Digital Key at select properties and will be able to access their hotel room, fitness center, pool and other hotel areas requiring a key, via their smartphones. Imagine if a HHonors member is arriving late at one of our hotels after a long day of travel, our frequent guests can head straight to their room upon arrival and skip the line at the front desk.
Digital Key, digital check-in, and other features on the app create an experience that is exclusively available to our most loyal customers. To date, we’ve heard very positive feedback from our HHonors members on digital check-in and Digital Key. Knowing this, we’ll continue to build out the app in order to make it easy for HHonors members to connect with us and make their journey more convenient through digital tools.
What makes Hilton’s loyalty program different and unique?
With a 96-year heritage, Hilton has seen tremendous change within the hospitality and loyalty space and we’ve grown up alongside it, leading the charge in many aspects. Our Hilton HHonors loyalty program has been a part of that rich history since 1987, and when you fast-forward to today, we’ve evolved the program alongside the needs of today’s traveler. We are now seeing more and more guests rely on their smartphones as a travel essential which prompted us to enhance the HHonors App.
Since we launched digital check-in with room selection last summer, the HHonors app has been downloaded nearly 2 million times and offers a wide range of features unique to Hilton HHonors. Guests can now make a reservation; check-in; select their exact room and even order extra pillows, snack or drinks all through the app when they book directly through Hilton. We’re providing all our members with a holistic experience, all through the click of a smartphone or tablet.
How would you characterize Hilton’s approach to customer loyalty and customer engagement?
At Hilton, we are focused on establishing personalized relationships with our HHonors members to better understand what they want and need. We want our members to feel valued by giving them access to instant benefits like free Wi-Fi, digital check-in, Digital Key, our Best Rate Guarantee and more. We are actively creating a two-way dialogue to ensure HHonors is always meeting our members’ needs.
Beyond cultivating more meaningful relationships with our guests, we are also bringing customer loyalty and engagement into the future. We are always seeking new ways to give our guests more choice and control, innovating the hotel guest experience with new technology that impacts their stay with us. Digital check-in and Digital Key are two such examples. Today’s travelers have options – like choosing their seat on an airplane or selecting their exact rental car. We wanted to create this same autonomy with our hotels and launched digital check-in and room selection. This feature lets HHonors members choose their ideal room based on personal preferences. Digital Key is a natural extension of this, now allowing our most frequent guests to go straight to their room once they arrive on-property.
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