A Symbiotic Relationship: Mobile Tech, Guests, and Hotel Operations

United States – February 02, 2015, 11:30 AM

"As more consumers than ever before are equipped with smart phones and tablets to aid in booking travel, hoteliers are finding new ways to interact with guests and build brand awareness via mobile devices," observes Bernard Ellis, VP of Infor Hospitality, in a Hotel Executive guest article headlined "A Symbiotic Relationship: How Mobile Technology Impacts Both Guest Experience and Hotel Operations."

Here are excerpts:

Guest-Facing Technology

Consider this illustration: A woman in her late 20s and her husband are traveling to stay at a large resort for a long weekend. On the drive there, the woman downloads the hotel's mobile application in hopes of making an appointment at the spa. This particular app allows them to check-in while on the move, but unfortunately does not provide direct access to the spa's booking system. The woman then visits the hotel's website, but finds that it is not mobile-enabled and will still require her to call the spa. Instead of calling to book her appointment for the next day, she elects to wait until they arrive at the property. Keeping in mind that this woman represents the next generation of consumers, she views phone calls and emails as more time consuming than new methods of communication.

Upon speaking with the concierge that evening, she is informed that the spa is closed for the day, and she will have to either call or visit the front desk in person the next morning. Frustrated at the length of the process and her inability to achieve direct access to the spa, the woman decides not to book an appointment after all. This means that the hotel missed out on an opportunity for ancillary revenue, simply because of its inability to accommodate the mobile guest.

To prevent scenarios such as this, hospitality organizations should view mobile technology as an opportunity to provide guests with 24/7 access to the hotel and information relevant to their stay.

Employee-Facing Technology

Mobile applications are also affecting how hotel employees communicate with critical business systems. Mobile technology is changing the way internal operations are managed with the ability to tie directly into back-end applications. …

Consider this illustration. A maintenance manager is consistently away from his desk overseeing repairs and upkeep around the property. When equipped with mobile access to the hotel's EAM application, he no longer wastes time walking back and forth to check on updates and outstanding requests through his desktop computer. He now receives automated alerts when service is completed and when an urgent task arises. If an air conditioning unit breaks, he is immediately aware of the situation no matter his location and can address it instantly to minimize the unit's down time. This promotes faster resolution of the issue, helping the manager to complete more work in less time. It also encourages a superior guest experience by ensuring that service is conducted as quickly and efficiently as possible, thereby lessening disruption to guests at the hotel. …

Hospitality organizations should seek to establish basic mobile functionality now in order to position themselves for the 24/7, on-the-go direction that the industry is taking.

Read the complete article.

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