People use their mobile devices for nearly everything, from talking with friends, family or colleagues to paying bills and even booking travel plans. In the hospitality and hotels industry especially, mobile is becoming a major touchpoint for customers. A recent study found that 60 percent of consumers are more likely to choose a hotel that allows guests to check-in and access other amenities with their smartphone.
This rapid growth in mobile has put pressure on hotels to adapt and begin implementing technology – externally and internally – to redefine their customer and employee experience.
Although the list is consistently growing, Anurag Lal, president & CEO of Infinite Convergence, offers some ways that mobile is refining the way hotels operate.
The internal impact
With staff that is always on-the-go, it is crucial to have a proficient and secure mobile communication solution. With messaging apps, managers are able to communicate in a timely and secure way, so they don’t jeopardize confidential guest information. Beyond providing a secure method for employees to quickly communicate with each other, mobile messaging can also boost productivity and broadcast important alerts among staff.
Hotel staff may not necessarily be in front of a computer or sitting at their desk. An internal mobile messaging solution allows managers to relay information to staff, such as housekeeping or concierge, to let them know about late checkouts or special requests, in real-time. This is not only more effective than email, but also encourages two-way communication between staff and managers on a more regular basis.
This is also especially beneficial during an unexpected crisis that staff needs to be made aware of. Using a mobile messaging solution, managers can send alerts via SMS to all staff to keep everyone up-to-date without the hassle of gathering everyone in one place.
Overall, mobile messaging is a cost-effective communication channel that managers can easily install, implement and manage.
The external impact
Mobile has made it possible to enhance customer experience. Hotels can be more engaging and personalized with guests by using features such as mobile bookings, self check-ins and push notifications to regularly communicate.
Another study has found that one in two respondents would make or confirm travel plans via mobile message, while one in four would purchase a flight or book a hotel via mobile message. Consumers are growing much more accustomed to using their mobile phones during the travel process and while airlines have adjusted well, many hotels are still lagging behind.
Hotels can use mobile to completely eliminate the use of phones in hotel rooms. For example, a guest can send a mobile message asking when the pool closes and receive an immediate, automated response. It’s also an effective way for hotel staff to engage with their guests, which also keeps the brand name top of mind during the stay. For example, they can send a push notification to their mobile such as, “Breakfast is open from 7 a.m. -10 a.m., make sure to stop by for fresh waffles!” These push notifications can also be used with loyalty programs to offer guests special perks or discounts during their stay.
As the evolution of mobile continues to grow, hotels and the hospitality industry are under more pressure than ever before to adapt. With the adoption of mobile, hotels are not only effectively increasing communication amongst staff members and guests, but they’re also providing an enhanced experience to set themselves above their competitors.