The hospitality industry has been cautiously conservative in regards to the adoption of new technologies. In fact, when compared to many other industries, hoteliers are quite a bit behind in bringing exciting technological innovations to their customers. A variety of reasons are often given for this situation including, budget constraints, staff redundancies, and the necessity of the return on investment being clearly measurable. However, a number of hotels and chains are beginning to transform this scenario in the face of ever-rising customer expectations.
With the ubiquity of mobile technology, hoteliers can assume their guests are traveling with some form of smart device. It can be either a phone, tablet, or even both, but this situation has created expectations on the part of hotel guests. Consumers expect to seamlessly connect with the world wherever they go, on any device they may have in hand. They demand user-friendly hotel apps which empower them to compare prices, plan, and book their hotel accommodations.
One means for hotels to offer what the traveling public is seeking is to offer a mobile website with a booking engine. All functionality available to web desktop users should be offered on the mobile site as well. This includes checking rates, viewing room accommodations, booking, paying for and confirming reservations. Some hotels are utilizing mobile technology to take their guest’s experience to new heights. Mobile apps, for example, give hotels the opportunity to interact with their guests and offer services directly through their devices.
Hotel guests want greater control of every facet of their hotel guest experience and hotel mobile apps enable them to do so. With a hotel app downloaded to their smartphone or tablet, guests can select from among commonly variable choices such as, room size and bed type, to customizing the room temperature and even selecting food and drinks for the mini-bar; all in advance of their stay if desired from a mobile device armed with an app from the hotel. Guests can even skip the lines and go straight to their room with mobile check-in and mobile room keys.
Today’s traveler now expects and demands a hotel experience customized to their needs, tastes and convenience. Mobile technology offers hoteliers an exciting means to meet and exceed the expectations of their guests with a level of highly personalized service and convenience previously not available. Mobile technology does however require a commitment on the part of hotels to invest in their customers through truly adopting of these technologies.
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