The Open Talk “From CX to Gamification” was held at SOJO Hotel Hanoi Train Station in the morning of May 24th. At the event, guest speakers shared interesting insights into the gamification trend and its application in designing customer experience for the hospitality industry.
With the Covid cases ebbing, many people are looking for fun travel experiences to lift their spirits and change their perspective in life. Accordingly, the expectations of post-Covid tourists are changing. What they want is not just a convenient stopover but also a more enjoyable stay.
“People are visiting hotel not only to eat and sleep: they are going there to have fun,” emphasized Mr. Le Quoc Vinh – one of Vietnam’s leading marketing and communication experts at the “From CX to gamification” talk. The program was organized by the refreshing smart hotel chain SOJO Hotels and the Vietnam Sales and Marketing Directors Club (CSMO Vietnam) in the morning of May 24th at SOJO Hotel Hanoi Train Station. From his experience, Mr. Vinh reckoned that if hotels want to create the fun factor, they need to focus on improving the customer experience in a creative and personalized way.
Concurring with Mr. Vinh, Ms. Dang Thuy Ha – Customer Manager of NielsenIQ Vietnam – shared a survey result showing the top three factors that customers care about when traveling: personalized experience (82%), high safety standards (81%), and privacy (58%). The race to improve customer experience in the hospitality industry has thus become more intense, but also more exciting.
The opportunity created through gamification
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, refreshing smart hotel chain SOJO Hotels had been working with leading consulting firms in Vietnam to conduct surveys that would unearth their customers’ hidden desires.
“By doing a lot of surveys, we realized that our customers desire a destination that is always ready to welcome them, that always matches their needs, that is neither lacking in amenities nor having an excess of underused widgets. They also want to feel connected in a profound and holistic way with the space, the people, and the emotions. For global citizens, they want to experience new things and to have “touches” that feel both familiar and different. And they expect a lodging place in style,” shared Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, Head of Style Shaping Department, SOJO Hotels.
Based on those studies, SOJO Hotels has built a brand new, refreshing smart hotel concept in Vietnam. With a customer-centric strategy, SOJO Hotels chain focuses on discovering experiences that make it “the right hotel and the right taste” for its customers. To make their guests “love at first stay”, SOJO Hotel has gamified the customer experience and is known as the first hotel in Vietnam to follow this trend.
The playful spirit
Gamification is the use of game mechanics and experience design in any activity to digitally engage and motivate the target audience, thus changing their perceptions and encouraging them to actively participate in similar activities in the future.
At SOJO Hotels, the game element appears throughout the customer’s stay. The first game is “playing with moods.” As soon as they set foot in the room, JOs (nickname for the guests of SOJO Hotels) can use the SOJO Hotels app on their phone to flick “the mood” through the pre-installed modes. Each JO “mood” is a carefully selected combination of bathroom lighting color, music, and room temperature. Watching the automatic curtains slowly opening, the guests can fully enjoy their moment of relaxation.
Every detail at SOJO Holtels is designed as a cue for a certain game, which sometimes can become a “game of mind” with oneself. Behind all those games is SOJO Hotels’ understanding that each journey has many experiences in one and its wish that the customers can focus on their own feelings and emotions during the journey. Moreover, the hotel chain wants to send a message about the ‘playful’ spirit and about the boundless creativity of each individual that can stem from very small and mundane things.
The game element of SOJO Hotels is best showcased in the JO247 Lounge area. Designed for the hidden expectations of the customers, JO247 Lounge offers emotional “wow” moments with a variety of games – from the Vietnamese traditional games such as O an quan (mandarin capturing board) and nhay lo co (hopscotch), to Western games such as billiards, darts, and wood drawing.
To celebrate the 31st SEA Games this summer, SOJO Hotels have also launched the campaign “Staying is loving, summer for gamers” with a series of popular games. The campaign features a string of “game days” at the hotels, along with mini games on the SOJO Hotels fanpage. Soon, the hotel will also deploy many fun games on its application.
“We want to ensure that our customers can play, relax, have fun, and draw more inspiration for their life from every touchpoint with SOJO Hotels,” said SOJO Hotels representative.