Checking in Before Checking Out

Using Mobile Technology to Manage the Guest Experience

By Scott Schaedle Founder, Quore | January 15, 2017

It’s no secret that mobile technology has reshaped the consumer travel experience. Today’s traveler can check in and out of a hotel without ever speaking to a human being. That lack of human interaction and direct communication is both a good and bad thing for the hospitality technology industry. From booking a reservation to leaving a review, mobile use continues to rise in the hospitality technology sector, and is not slowing down any time soon. Today, nearly 60 percent of travelers book hotels using a mobile device while 81 percent of travelers find user reviews important when considering which hotel to book. Savvy hotels will adapt to this trend while the rest will be left in the past.

According to The American Hotel & Lodging Association, the use of mobile apps for hotel service continues to climb, peaking at 35 percent for the industry overall. Hotels now have technology that allow guests to make requests and report issues by simply sending a text from their own cellphone. These services are crucial to staying at the forefront with the demands of today’s modern travelers.

With mobile devices serving as a natural extension of travelers, hotels must engage with their guests on the platforms where guests are talking and listening before, during and after their stay to manage the guest experience from check-in to checkout.

Streamline Operations

Gone are the days of siloed departments, shifts and management communication. Today’s tech savvy hotels roll up communications into one platform to improve communication from staff to staff, staff to shift, and staff to management. This dialed-in approach ensures visibility and accountability among the entire team.

  • Staff to Staff - Streamlining operations through one centralized program with push notifications allows fast and accurate communication to keep the whole team on the same page and address guest-related issues quickly. It also allows for the aggregation of key data to trend and forecast crucial needs. The systems also ensure a response by staff. An automatic escalation procedure prevents the request from languishing. This way no requests go unnoticed.

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Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.