January FOCUS: Mobile Technology

January, 2022

Mobile Technology: Next Level Innovation

Despite the recent adversity that has challenged the entire lodging industry in every facet of its operation, the relentless march of digital innovation continues unabated. Part of this is driven by the need to outperform the competition so hoteliers can promote their operations to digitally-savvy Millennial travelers, and part of it is driven by the desire to continuously find new ways to enhance the guest experience. In that regard, hotel apps that provide mobile check-in/out, room access, room service, and the capacity to control in-room lights, curtains, temperature, and television programming from a guest's personal device is fast becoming standard. Soon, new features such as voice control, facial recognition, smart rooms, and the use of A.I. for things like virtual hotel tours may be on the horizon. The January Hotel Business Review will report on how some hotels are integrating new mobile technologies into their operations to offer their guests an impressive, next level experience.

This month's feature articles...

Ted  Horner

With the increasing use of mobile devices by hotel guests, mobile technology in the hospitality industry is focused on streamlining services, improving customer experiences by addressing guest pandemic concerns with contactless engagement and also providing potential new revenue opportunities. Hotels that are offering a greater range of mobile technology options are now beginning to see a higher take up rate of this technology with resultant increases in revenue and guest satisfaction READ MORE

James Houran

Many traditional business tools are now optimized for mobile technologies. This greater flexibility means faster and better data collection to promote operational excellence and culture-building. Operators should strategically leverage periodic team SWOT analyses to guide hiring and training of leaders using psychometric assessments and then to use team member surveys to gauge the outcomes of those alignment and effectiveness initiatives. READ MORE

Yaniv Holzer

As consumers expect more instantaneous engagement with brands and services, how can hotels match and exceed guest expectations? What is the role of direct messaging channels in building deeper relationships and harnessing the guest journey? And with the impact of the pandemic, how can hotels boost their revenue and reputation by using smart messaging to connect with customers in a mobile-first world. READ MORE

Vanessa  Horwell

The mobile capabilities that became table stakes for hotels during the pandemic – contactless check-in and keys, QR codes, apps – are good, but they don't go far enough. There are still gaps in the mobile guest experience, a lack of cohesion between systems on the back end, and a newfound wealth of data that's underutilized. READ MORE

Steve Blidner

Resistance is futile. Guests have made it clear and are now expecting a personalized, mobile-first experience. It's no longer an option, but a requirement. If there was any silver linings from the pandemic, it was the shift in perception and speed of adoption of mobile technology. With current staff shortages and uncertainly with future protocols, now is the time to embrace mobile technology to help mitigate these uncontrollable circumstances while increasing revenue. READ MORE

Narda Malcolm-Kingston

This article answers a vital question for hoteliers on whether investing in Mobile Payment technology is worth it. There is a discussion about the type of mobile payment solutions available to hoteliers to incorporate into your properties, and then there are some pros and cons of adopting the technology in your property. Ultimately the article encourages the adoption of Mobile Technology and provides justification for this stance. READ MORE

Ajay  Dawar

Voice quality and other issues have been an increasingly prevalent issue with more contact center agents working remotely during the pandemic. The accelerated shift to at-home agents during COVID-19 ripped a hole in contact centers' ability to manage technical issues as well as offer consistency across network environments, including those that negatively impact customer experience during interactions with callers. READ MORE

Mark Heymann

A mobile app has become an essential technology at every phase of the guest experience - and now, it's becoming vital to the workforce as well. Used to facilitate communication, improve and streamline workforce scheduling, implement safety regulations, and even promote financial wellness, mobile apps now form a crucial component in a hotel's ability to gain a reputation as the employer of choice. READ MORE

Norm Rose

We are moving into a new era of remote working and the delivery of all hotel services digitally. No longer constrained by being in the office, the modern workforce is embracing a work anywhere, anytime philosophy. Mobile devices are at the heart of this change. This article urges the hospitality industry to move beyond a narrow focus on digitizing manual processes (check-in, check-out, digital keys) to embrace the full potential of the smartphone platform. READ MORE

Peter Lanfranchi

Virtual Model Rooms, "360 Capture" and 4D Logistics are just a few of the tools General Contractors and architects, have employed to combat material shortages, shipping delays and rising labor costs. The result: Virtual Construction, Virtual Reality, mobile and Information technologies have changed how projects are big managed where FFE orders are placed earlier than ever, RFI resolutions are reduced to hours as opposed to days and weeks and change orders are kept to a minimum. Schedules are reduced. Costs are contained. READ MORE

Pedro  Colaco

If there is one thing Hoteliers have gained from the past 2 years of recession, it's the rise in hotel direct bookings, and more specifically, mobile direct bookings. As the app economy continues to grow and hotels encourage guests to have direct transactions, it is expected that mobile will continue to play a crucial role in increasing hotel direct bookings in 2022. READ MORE

Michael Pace

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco took advantage of the slower pace during COVID to elevate their technology systems. They had multiple archaic systems in place that didn't talk to one another, and the costs of the systems kept rising. Then they found KYC. With a 50% reduction in costs, KYC now provides the technology services they need to operate more efficiently. READ MORE

Amy Arbuckle

Hotel mobile apps now offer a one-stop solution for virtually every aspect of a stay, from food ordering to Wi-Fi information, from maps to loyalty programs. Guest messaging platforms allow guests to message the front desk anytime, anywhere. The mobile part of a hotel experience isn't just an add-on anymore. It's something that more and more guests expect when they check in. READ MORE

Aaron Shepherd

Mobile is transforming the travel and hospitality industry as we know it, both from an external perspective (guest-facing) and an internal perspective (end-to-end operations). Mobile, cloud-based technology plays an integral role for today's hoteliers, empowering them to meet the guest demand for convenience and personalization while delivering enhanced data capture, increased automation, seamless connectivity, and growth opportunities. READ MORE

Markus Boberg

Hospitality's demand for contactless experiences ensuring guest safety has led to a skyrocketing increase in adoption for digital key services. Yet as with any technology, enhancements continue to be made to digital key platforms to accommodate new guest behaviors and preferences. Using the latest technologies, hoteliers can now simultaneously address health safety concerns while still ensuring maximum guest convenience. READ MORE

Bonnie Knutson

The hospitality industry has always been one of people serving people. But in this rapidly shifting world, defining technology's role in hospitality is a perplexing question. Is it a Virtuoso that harmonizes service delivery with guests' expectations, or is it a Vampire that sucks the spirit out of hospitality and diminished a hotel's revenues and/or capital? In this article, we begin to answer this question. READ MORE

David Harouche

Mobile has become a primary way to keep a hotel's frontline staff informed. As the face of a hotel brand, where service is often paramount, their knowledge of the company and its services will have a direct impact on the customer experience. Mobile-first training, communications and task management is an invaluable tool to ensure the ultimate in customer service. READ MORE

Robert O'Halloran

Hotel mobile technology use has increased in lodging operations for some time. Hotel operators need to integrate mobile technology to enhance the value of their products and therefore enhance guest experiences. Selecting the optimal channels for mobile technology will enhance guest experiences and the value and reputation of the hotel. This article will highlight various mobile technology options and their IVEES attributes. READ MORE

John Bohlmann

With vaccines rolling out around the world and countries reopening their borders, next year is expected to bring fairer winds and calmer seas to the tourism industry. However, catching COVID-19 is still the main fear among travelers. Hotels need to make changes in their services and infrastructure based on technology to attract guests and recover from the economical losses caused by the pandemic. READ MORE

Coming up in March 1970...