Mobile phone and device use is continuing to rise at an unprecedented rate, with people across the globe making the most of their technology for business and leisure use alike.One industry that certainly sees plenty of action on mobile devices is hospitality – the dreaming, planning, booking and actual travel stages are all dominated by browsing the internet. Indeed, a TripAdvisor study found that 85 per cent of international travellers have their iPad, tablet or smartphone with them while they’re on the road, showing the importance of communication to the modern hotel guest.
Today, people are showing more preference to engage in transactions from their mobile phones – and that means hotel provisions need to go beyond free Wi-Fi to more advanced options such as self-service check-in and keyless rooms. All major hotels are now focusing on mobile strategy and one aspect of this that could prove fruitful for properties of all sizes is the fully customised branded app. Apps obviously aren’t a new thing, but improved technology hardware and software is making them ever-more functional and resulting in them offering benefits for both guests and staff.
Here are a few of the advantages your hotel could gain from having its own app.Self-service and faster communications Most people are now comfortable with self-service and younger generations in particular may prefer bypassing a front desk in favour of checking themselves in via an app. It means avoiding a long wait in a queue to access rooms and frees up receptionists to do other jobs.Guests can even place orders for things like room service and parking permits before they arrive so they don’t have the inconvenience of having to wait for requests to go through.Better branding It can be hard to stand out amid heavy competition, but if someone has your app on their phone, it means they see your logo and branding whenever they look through their library. This could increase your chances of them choosing your property the next time they need a room for the night.
Upsells and add-ons Because apps mean hotels have a direct channel of communication with their guests before and during their stay, it offers them the perfect opportunity to suggest add-ons and upsells like meals at the restaurant, open spa slots and other paid-for services. There’s even a chance to boost any loyalty schemes, as people can monitor their accumulation of points and be prompted to redeem them by the allure of a better room or a special offer at the bar.
Gathering of data It’s essential to collect as much information as possible about guests’ behaviour to improve future marketing efforts and apps allow hotel owners to do just that. It’s important not to be intrusive or pushy, though – just find out what people are doing and when and then use this to tailor your marketing campaigns.More effective use of personnel If front desk staff are being freed up by self-service, it means they can be deployed where they are needed more, which maximises resourcing. If patterns suggest that there are peak usage times of personnel usage and then troughs, schedules can even be adjusted to put fewer people on the job at quiet times and then more during busy periods.
Whether you look into hotel mobile app development yourself or employ someone else to provide the technology for you, usage could result in more efficient operations, improve guest satisfaction and perhaps even boost your bottom line.