Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Motel Txt2Check

I see that Jasons Travel will be launching a new innovative product on October 1 that will connect potential guests with participating advertisers' online room inventory via text messaging.

The Txt2Check™ service can be accessed by potential guests texting an accommodation property's unique 6-digit code to 244 and Jasons will send an instant reply text with the total number of rooms available and tariff for that evening.

The receiver will then have the option to book online (if web capable) or ring the accommodation provider direct.

The unique 6-digit property codes will be included in participating accommodation providers' listing details in this season's Jasons accommodation directories. It will be up to the accommodation provider to determine how they may advertise the Txt2Check™ service for their property in other advertising mediums.

What I like about the service is that it is a unique point of difference and comes out of left-field using established technology. While all the industry buzz is all about customers connecting to accommodation options via web-based apps on portable smart devices, it has to be remembered that the majority of Kiwis are armed with numerous mobile phones and are prolific users of old-school text messaging. Most Kiwis still perceive that the costs of mobile phone calls and mobile web browsing to be prohibitive and are comfortable using text messaging to communicate.

Trying to predict customer behavior is a daunting task and it is fascinating to contemplate if potential guests will be prompted to use the Txt2Check™ service. If the service can be waved in front of customers often enough, I reckon that the novelty and instant gratification of information delivered via text will appeal.

To complement the roll-out of innovative suite of mobile and online solutions, Jasons will also be launching an iPhone/iPad app that will allow users to browse accommodation and activities and book accommodation - more about this later...

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