The explosion in popularity of mobile devices should lead all hoteliers to assume their guests are traveling with them. Research studies overwhelming support this assumption. The pervasive presence of smart devices has simultaneously created an expectation on the part of the traveling public to be seamlessly connected with the world wherever their travel may take them.
Given this reality, hotels have another tool at their disposal to create a more personalized hotel guest experience with mobile technology. Whether guests are using a phone, tablet or even the increasing popular wearables, hotels have an opportunity with mobile to build loyalty with their guests. One means for hotels to offer what the traveling public is seeking, is to provide 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 however are utilizing mobile technology to take their guest’s experience to new heights. Mobile apps, for example, give hotels a platform from which to interact in fresh ways with their guests and offer services directly through their devices. When guests enable Bluetooth on those devices, hoteliers can communicate directly through location-based beacons. Pioneered largely by the retail industry, this technology permits hotels to broadcast promotional offers, and also can facilitate convenience in a variety of services such as housekeeping.
Hotel guests want to manage every aspect of their stay experience and hotel mobile apps empower 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 bypass the lines at the front desk and go straight to their accommodations with mobile check-in and mobile room keys.
Today’s tech-savvy traveler now expects and demands a hotel experience customized to their individual needs, tastes, and conveniences. Mobile technology provides hoteliers with an exciting instrument from which to meet and exceed the expectations of their guests with a level of highly personalized service previously not possible.
In the last part of this series we will see what the 21st Century smart hotel room looks like.