The rise of mobile devices may appear threatening to an industry where face-to-face interactions and human connections are its defining characteristics. Even most movies and books recognize this, with characters meeting and developing relationships with each other on planes, trains, in taxis, and in hotel lobbies. Human interaction is integral to the travel experience.
However, technology is equally important in maintaining guest satisfaction through increased efficiency and personalized service. As a result, time is freed up for hotel staff and guests to participate in other services and activities that enhance the hospitality experience. The following mobile hospitality technology trends decrease the amount of time spent waiting in line at the front desk and elevate the guest experience to the next level.
Mobile Device as Door Key
People are more prone to make sure they have their mobile devices rather than their room key, so combining the two into one ensures that guests don’t need to spend their limited holiday time waiting to receive their door keys or replacements for their lost keys.
When mobile key solutions and smart technology systems are integrated with the property management system (PMS), guests can enjoy seamless access to their room by using their mobile phone as their door key. Integration with the PMS automates mobile key delivery upon check-in and deactivation of the mobile key upon check-out.
Integrating mobile key platforms with the PMS allows for a completely mobile self-check-in process for guests wanting to skip the front desk entirely.
Broaden your Bandwidth
Door keys and checking-in/out are not the only purposes for which guests wish to use their mobile devices while travelling. Being able to stream shows and movies, browse the internet, and access emails and apps quickly and for free are just as important to guests during their stay, so make sure that your bandwidth is adequate enough to accommodate this.
Make your rooms mobile-friendly by including amenities like casting devices or smart TVs and integrating internet systems with the PMS to allow your guests to cast and stream their favorite content on the room TV from their mobile devices.
Paperless Check-In and Check-Out
Paperless check-in allows for a mobile front-desk check-in experience, allowing guests to sign check-in receipts or registration cards on an electronic signature capture device such as a tablet or smartphone. This paperless feature not only frees up your guests’ time and your staff’s time, but it saves on paper and printing costs and reduces your property’s environmental footprint too.
Mobile Guest Engagement
Respond to and solve your guests’ needs and issues while they are staying with you, not after they leave. Engaging your guests through SMS messaging allows for a proactive response rather than a reactive response and creates a deeply individualized style of service and memorable experiences for your guests. Plus, resolving potential issues before your guests leave avoids negative online reviews (and guest experiences). These interactions also aid in getting to know your guests and further build loyalty since you can record their preferences, special requests, and needs in their guest profiles for future stays.
Mobile Housekeeping / Maintenance Reports
Improve not only staff productivity but also guest service by using the PMS housekeeping report on the go. Fully integrated with the PMS, mobile housekeeping reports allow housekeepers to view live room and occupancy status, and to update room status and add notes and maintenance requests in real time as they work, streamlining internal communication and ensuring timely resolution of maintenance issues (e.g. chipping paint, ragged bedding, discolored carpet, etc.).
While technology can distract from the human connection and interactions that are essential to the true travel and hospitality experience, using it in these productive, efficient ways allows for elevated, personalized service. Investing in these trends means investing in customer satisfaction and building loyalty to the travel experience you offer.