Smartphones have revolutionized the ways we interact with each other and the ways we do business. The hospitality industry is no exception. Mobile technology has forced hoteliers to reinvent the way they connect with customers and how they manage day-to-day operations. Here are some of the top ways smartphones are changing the hotel business:
When it is time to book a hotel room, travelers are increasingly turning to their smartphones. The ease-of-use and convenience your smartphone offers creates a seamless way to connect to multiple hotels and view multiple properties at once. To increase market-share, hotels need to have online distribution that is equally effective on desktop computers and hand-held smart devices. Mobile-ready hotel Property Management System (PMS) platforms such as SkyTouch Technology can provide two-way channel management via XML connections with OTAs and the Global Distribution System (GDS). Utilizing this software can help bookings on all types of smartphone devices. Plus, a cloud-based hotel PMS such as SkyTouch allows for inventory pooling, so all rooms are seen on all distribution channels simultaneously.
Mobile technology not only helps with an increase in room bookings, but it can also help increase incremental revenue for your hotel. Some of the most cutting-edge technologies like Guestfolio, Intelity and Whistle enable hoteliers to send SMS text messages or push notifications to guests before, during and after their stay. This messaging can be tailored towards booking a reservation at the hotel restaurant or spa, or even just notifying the guest of when happy hour in the lobby starts. Personalized messaging can help bring in revenue in other departments within your hotel, therefore positively impacting your bottom line.
When it comes to mobile check-in and mobile hotel keys, some hoteliers find value in the hands-off service, while others question whether it limits their ability to deliver a positive guest experience and overall security at the hotel. Regardless of how hoteliers view this capability, it’s not a one-size-fits-all guest solution. With many different guest personalities and preferences, some guests will love mobile check-in and mobile keys while others would prefer that personal connection with the hotel’s front desk staff.
However, with a vast majority of hotel guests falling in the Millennial generation who like to communicate via their smartphones, a growing number of guests are choosing to check-in through their mobile devices, then use their smartphones as their room keys. For example, Michael Osgood, Preferred Hotels and Resorts’ Vice President of Alliance Partnerships believes mobile check-in is good for guest satisfaction. Osgood told Skift this trend allows hoteliers to focus resources back to the guests. “Guests appreciate that we have invested a lot to make the check-in experience seamless so that we can focus on enhancing the personalized guest experience elsewhere,” said Osgood.
Once only found in luxury hotels, room automation is increasingly available in other lodging industry segments. One reason: mobile technology is making it easier for hotel brands to meet customer needs. Geraldine Calpin, then Chief Marketing Officer for Hilton, told The Independent, “We believe that everyone wants to control their life from the palm of their hand. We will enable you to personalize the in-room experience, things like television and temperature, all from your smartphone.” Enabling those systems is now easier than ever when you integrate guest experience platforms, such as Intelity, with a robust Property Management System, such as the SkyTouch hotel PMS. The system features interfaces that connect to energy management systems, room locks, in-room movies and more, all seamlessly and in the guests’ control.
For hotel support staff, the smartphone is revolutionizing multiple hotel departments, including housekeeping. Notifications can be sent directly to staff via their smartphones, saving time and paperwork. A mobile-ready PMS alerts staff to which rooms are occupied, which ones must be cleaned immediately, and which rooms can be put back into service. That saves time that housekeeping personnel are on the clock, increasing staff productivity while speeding up customer service. A cloud-based hotel PMS allows you to take control of your hotel so you can efficiently grow your business.
Our relationship with smartphones and mobile technology in the hospitality industry is still in the formative stages. Though we cannot quite grasp where this incredible technology is leading, we do know it is crucial to stay focused on the new opportunities they create.
Ready to see how a partner like SkyTouch can impact your operations and your revenue? Contact us today and book a demo of the SkyTouch Hotel Operations Platform.