The travel industry has been on the forefront of using mobile technology to enhance the customer experience – impacting how consumers plan and book vacations, track flight itineraries, navigate tourist destinations, and more. In turn, the neighboring hospitality industry is also making changes. Hotels in particular are now offering apps to reach a new level of guest service.
Thanks to mobile apps, customers can benefit from the convenience and luxury of services with the touch of a finger, and businesses can reap rewards from operational efficiency and increased traffic. Here are a few examples of how mobile apps are transforming the guest experience.
Virtual Front Desk Several hotel-specific apps now allow guests to access services the front desk offers, virtually. For example, the Ritz-Carlton app allows customers to check in and out, notifies guests when their rooms are ready, accepts service requests like for fresh towels, and provides access to room charges. It also offers a value-added element allowing users to transform their photos into unique, vintage-inspired, sharable images. Apps like this may reduce the need for extra staff during peak hours, improving hotel management efficiency.
Forget Fumbling with Keys and Tickets Guests have a lot to juggle when it comes to luggage, itineraries and more. A few new apps on the market keep track of extra loose items like valet tickets or room keys. Open Key, for example, provides keyless entry via mobile phone by means of existing room electronic locks (RFID, NFC and Bluetooth-based).
HospitalityNet explains: “Hotels who use the OpenKey technology are able to increase revenue by reducing overhead, improve guest satisfaction by simplifying and build customer loyalty through a sophisticated guest experience.”
Not ready to fully abandon traditional room keys? Give customers the option. Hotel owners are able to launch their own keyless entry system without changing their current infrastructure.
Loyalty and Promotions in Your Pocket Rewards programs have a long history in the hospitality industry, but they’re experiencing a revival through mobile apps. Now, customers can track and redeem points on their tablet or smartphone and hotels, in turn, can share special offers and discounts. Among its many capabilities, the IHG app, for example, sends special rewards club incentives directly to guest’s pockets.
Ultimately, consumers want information faster, and easier access to services at their own convenience. In order to keep up with the demand and industry trends, businesses in the hospitality industry must adapt to their customers’ needs and habits. Offering helpful high-tech services will surely leave your guests with a memorable experience all with a swipe of a finger.