Andres Borbon, President & CTO
Hospitality businesses have traditionally relied on in-person service to ensure customer satisfaction and make a name for themselves. Even with industries digitizing at breakneck speed, hospitality establishments like hotels and restaurants had adopted a gingerly pace on the road to digitization. Till a couple of years back, having a digital platform, or even a booking app for customers were seen as indulgences by them – something that they incorporated as a fun add-on if they could afford it. But COVID transformed that luxury into a must-have need, making them seek ways to digitize their services, market themselves on digital channels, and promote touchless experiences while adhering to social distancing norms in order to continue serving their customers. Evidently, the hotel industry now has twofold requirements – advertising their services online and also enabling their customers to get information about their services and ordering and communicating digitally.
Enter OKKAMI. Building digital solutions for the hospitality industry, this Bangkok, Thailand-based technology provider helps hotels market their services to the widest customer base and provides them with comprehensive guest engagement solutions to satisfy customers. “Our goal is to help hospitality establishments push out their offerings to as many channels as possible, and make it easier for their guests to finalise transactions,” says Andres Borbon, president and CTO, OKKAMI. For guests, OKKAMI provides a one-stop platform to access and pre-book services like online restaurant ordering, hotel check-in and check-out, and in-room services through a mobile app, helping hotels create better guest experiences.
Hospitality and Marketing Served Together
To support the marketing strategy of its hospitality clients, OKKAMI has embedded communication and e-commerce product management tools within its digital platform. OKKAMI’s platform has the ability to help hotels send out information about their products and services to multiple social media channels, in addition to SMS and email pathways. OKKAMI’s email direct marketing tool is the latest addition to the platform that helps hotels reduce their operating budget on the marketing side. “The EDM tool allows hotels to import the contacts from the property management system, including all user accounts that download and register for the app, and have them all filtered into one main database, so that they can build customized email filters to target specific audiences,” Borbon explains.
Operating in the price-sensitive Asia Pacific hospitality market, OKKAMI prioritizes building cost-effective, quality solutions for hotels, taking into account their bottom lines. The prevalence of budget cuts due to the pandemic has further pushed the demand for affordable solutions having a wider reach – a demand that OKKAMI fulfills. “We’ve always bundled our services together in order to lower costs for our global customers,” Borbon says.
Our goal is to help hospitality establishments push out their offerings to as many channels as possible, and make it easier for their guests to finalise transactions
To this end, OKKAMI offers discounts to big hotel groups, and practices extremely competitive pricing for standalone hotels, helping them save big bucks without compromising on quality. The expertise in serving big hotel chains, coupled with cost-effective customer engagement solutions, make OKKAMI a formidable force in the hospitality industry.
To better illustrate the efficacy of OKKAMI’s solutions, Borbon mentions food and beverages ordering that has always formed a major chunk of hotels’ revenue and which has been hugely impacted by the trend toward app-based online ordering. To gauge the food and beverages ordering trends for hotels, OKKAMI tracked and analyzed the room service stats for select hotel brands on a month-to-month basis for a year and then incorporated the in-room restaurant ordering data into its platform. Utilizing this data, OKKAMI implemented in-app ordering from a digital menu, replacing traditional paper menus in hotel rooms, resulting in more orders and enhanced profitability. “We were able to help increase the food and beverages revenue for select brands by about 16 percent,” informs Borbon. Apart from this, OKKAMI also built the entire delivery workflow for a Thai hotel based on their direct feedback, along with assessing the impact of the pandemic on its restaurant ordering, which contributed to increasing its revenue.
Futureproofing Hospitality, and Beyond
In Borbon’s opinion, being open to feedback from customers and awareness of market trends is what futureproofs OKKAMI, conferring its platform with the flexibility to adapt to evolving trends in the hospitality industry, as well as serving the customer engagement needs of different industries. Encompassing CRM components for collecting customer data and having the capability to enable omni-channel chats, the versatile, all-in-one platform itself acts as OKKAMI’s biggest differentiator. “We not only provide a technology service, but we also operationally help the brands in rolling out their vision,” remarks Borbon, citing this to be another differentiator for OKKAMI.
Having achieved growth in the Asia Pacific market even during the peak of the pandemic, OKKAMI plans to expand to the US, the Middle East, and Europe. Looking to further diversify, OKKAMI intends to go beyond the hospitality industry to offer its expertise to different verticals. “From the next year, customers will start getting to know us more as a platform for digital product delivery over multiple channels, than as a builder of mobile apps for hotels,” states Borbon. Leveraging the versatility of its platform, OKKAMI plans to branch out to e-commerce, retail, residential, and SME sectors in the coming days, apart from offering its services to standalone restaurants. With a goal to provide the full spectrum of end-to-end functionality – from product development to multi-channel service delivery, through making all information accessible on a single dashboard – OKKAMI will strive to be the one-stop solution for businesses seeking to ramp up their customer engagement game in a rapidly digitizing world.