For as long as we have known, efficiency and efficacy have guided the direction of most industries, ours included. Hotels are constantly looking for new ways to remain competitive, save long-term costs, as well as improve guest satisfaction, and one successful way has been with technology. Over the past several decades we have seen the hospitality sector use this to enhance online bookings, create a reputable operation via review sites, simplify the guest experience – both before and after the guest arrives – and, of course, streamline their own internal procedures. Now, we have gotten even closer to establishing a direct connection with our guests, through the use of mobile devices.
It is no surprise that mobile devices caused a mini-revolution; smartphones are now considered to be a necessity by many and as their usability continues to develop, so does their ability to make the tourism industry more innovative and accessible. They are also a blessing for employees – many mobile platforms keep the staff in mind and have simplified the technological implementation. Considering the staggering number of people in the world that use a mobile device, think of the opportunity to capture insights and data to further improve the service. As we progress into 2020, and the post-COVID world becomes contactless, the new normal will be based on speed, responsiveness and immediate feedback, all of which a smartphone can provide.
Here are a few examples that prove the future of the hotel industry is now mobile:
Automation of Front Office Services
Major hotel brands have always pioneered the automation movement, for example, Marriott has its own mobile app, which serves multiple purposes such as booking reservations, checking in, as well as using it to enter the room. Mobile registration and check-in will soon become the norm as hotels look for ways to reduce the amount of time a guest spends at the front desk. Other services that can be automated could be guest requests both before and after arrival, such as room needs, linen, and even in-room dining.
Incorporating Mobile Payment
Many people already use their phones to make payments, whether it is through a site or via Apple/Google Pay. Either way, it has gone to show that we can integrate the same technology and compliance into the industry, making hotel registration seamless and allowing for contactless compensation for all outlets.
Imagine being able to use your phone to control different functions in your room, such as temperature, lighting, curtains, and “Do Not Disturb”. Although this level of functionality is not mainstream, it is already in play at some luxury properties with a tablet in the guest room. Based on the guest’s patterns, a hotel could create a truly personalized experience.
Gone are the days of lining up to speak to the concierge to book excursions, get sports tickets, or obtain a dinner reservation. A fully integrated and interfaced mobile app could provide all those services and more, including directions from the hotel, local history, and current events.
If the above examples are not compelling enough to support the use of mobile, consider the statistics: Approximately 85% of all international tourists travel with a smartphone, many of whom consider their device to be an essential item. Over 70% of all last-minute bookings are made via mobile, and a staggering number of people support the implementation of a hotel app that would have all the above-mentioned capabilities.
Yes, technology certainly gives a lot more power to the guest, but instead of stepping away from this, hotels should strive to match the guest expectations. In return, the industry would obtain tangible information to measure success and improve engagement. It would also reduce staff overhead and allow your personnel to do what they do best: provide exceptional guest service.
Staying on trend and supporting the needs of a post-COVID hotel industry, RoomKeyPMS now provides Mobile Check-In! Click here to learn more about how this feature may benefit you.
Image Credit: Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash