Mobile Technology: Meeting Tech Expectations

What once seemed futuristic is now the norm, owing to the escalating developments in mobile technology, and hotels must continue to innovate in order to meet guest expectations. In a recent study from Mower, 65 percent of guests said they would gladly pay more for a hotel that provides the mobile technology they deem essential. The same study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel, and nearly 7 in 10 want to use smart devices provided by the hotel. And how do guests wish to use all this technology? A majority expressed a desire for mobile check-in and check-out, and mobile payment options. They also want to be able to stream content from their phone to the TV; to make service requests of the hotel staff; to control in-room lighting, temperature and sound; to order food and beverages; and to request a wake-up call - all from their mobile device. Guests also expressed preferences for robust wi-fi and convenient device charging ports throughout the hotel. They also appreciate the use of hotel branded apps which allow a guest to book a room, access loyalty programs, receive discounts and rewards, and even use the app to choose the room, floor and view they prefer. Some hotel apps also allow a customer to track their charges throughout their stay, rather than waiting to receive a bill at the end. Finally, mobile tech lounges are popping up more frequently in some hotels. These lounges offer guests the opportunity to perform tasks like airline check-ins or access to local info guides, but they also provide a place where guests can comfortably get some work done outside their room. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to meet their customers' expectations in the mobile technology space.


This week's Top Pick...

Zoe Connolly

In this increasing Internet of Things world, how can hotels give guests the personalized and memorable experiences they want? Is Alexa the answer? What about Siri? Or maybe Cortana? Can any of them give hospitality and deliver those immersive experiences so you can delight your guests and improve your team's productivity. And what about privacy policies? Will a hotel be able to use Alexa to eavesdrop? These are the questions that every hotel will have to answer – and soon. This article will help you begin that process. Read on...

Trending articles this week...

Adam Gillespie

It is no exaggeration to say that technology is advancing so rapidly that it is often difficult to keep up with the changes. Year after year, one area in which this is apparent is within the hospitality industry, as more hotel brands respond to the needs and requirements of discerning customers who expect an experience that fits their modern lifestyles and expectations. Many market leaders have responded well, with new and exciting innovations, while others lag behind. As we approach the start of a new decade, take a brief insight into where hotel technology stands at the moment, along with some suggestions as to what we might expect to see in our hotel rooms for 2020 and beyond. READ MORE

Andrada Paraschiv

With a long tradition in service excellence, razor-thin, cyclical margins, and a complex ownership/management structure, hospitality has been slow at adopting technology. Today, hospitality companies must embrace new advancements in technology, if they want to remain competitive. Guests and employees expect the same level of digitalization in a property, which they've become accustomed to in their private lives. To adopt technology that sticks and adds value to the organization, there are a few things hoteliers need to consider: return on investment, making sure the technology stack combines into a cohesive ecosystem, have a strong employee adoption strategy and finally have the ability to measure success. READ MORE

Ted Horner

Consumers have embraced voice technology with a high adoption rate in homes in the USA. The end result is that hotels moving forward are seriously looking at this technology. In a recent study of technology investments in 2019 30% of hotels stated they were going to invest in voice technology in 2020. With more than 100 Hotels having made the investment to date the feedback is that the technology is driving new revenues by making guests aware of, and removing the friction to engage with, high margin amenities and services. READ MORE

Robert Rauch

Hoteliers can leave no stone unturned in this extremely competitive business environment, and a key weapon in our arsenal is technology. Mobile technology, in particular, is in a constant state of flux and continuously unlocking new opportunities to boost marketing efforts and improve the guest's experience. There are a few exciting advances in mobile tech that hoteliers can look forward to employing as mobile and 5G come together. Though as these innovations develop, it's important to take a step back and recognize how users from different generations will perceive and interact with these new marketing tools. READ MORE

Library Archives

 
Richard Walsh

How are hotels responding to the daily challenges of the escalating evolution of tech services for their properties and more specific for in-room convenience that is becoming an expectation by their guests? In-Room Technology has become a critical issue for all hotels and there is no one answer for all hotels. The evolving changes in guest expectations and tech service selections confronting hoteliers today will continue to escalate and to continue the hotels will have to implement in-room technology services same as they did in the past with air conditioning, television, phones, digital keys and more. READ MORE

Joe Schwinger

For hoteliers, meeting planners are a crucial audience. Planners have the power to direct hundreds of guests to a hotel, often for several events a year. To attract planners (and their business), it's important that hoteliers understand their needs and expectations - especially when it comes to technology. Here, MeetingPlay CEO Joe Schwinger shares some insight into event technology trends in 2020 so you can better prepare your hotel for meeting planners' evolving expectations. READ MORE

Mattias Berglund

The future of communication and conversational commerce has arrived, quite frankly, it has been around for quite some time. Consumers have been using multiple screens and messaging applications for years and the usage is growing significantly all over the world. However, it has taken companies a period of time to adapt to the Over the Top (OTT) chat application driven user behavior and to reach consumers via the various channels. The evolution in this field has been slow for three reasons, fragmentation in the user base, perceived technical complexities when communicating with consumers using multiple channels and the fact that interactions with chatbots has been deemed impersonal. There are solutions available. READ MORE

Frank Vertolli

An evolving array of tools and services led by smartphones is fueling the modern travel experience. From pre-trip dreaming and planning, booking and the travel experience, to the post-trip journey home and sharing, mobile technology plays a pivotal role in modern tourism. Start to finish, all of these touch points represent opportunities where travel suppliers and service providers can build brand awareness, enhance engagement, and add value for users. By leveraging evolving mobile technologies, the travel and tourism industry can continue to place the focus on creating an enhanced guest experience, prioritizing specific needs and desires to ensure the traveler's experience exceeds their expectations. READ MORE

Tracy Ford

Robust indoor wireless networks are enabling building owners and managers to employ technology and applications that allow their staff and systems to be more efficient. These applications include automated systems that monitor and control various environments within the building, including security systems, housekeeping and maintenance functions. Citizens Broadband Radio Service spectrum has recently made available by the Federal Communications Commission in a novel shared approach that could prove advantageous for hotels. CBRS spectrum can facilitate private back-of-house communications for staff using private LTE spectrum that has all the advantages of cellular with the ease of deployment that Wi-Fi offers. READ MORE

Tim Peter

Is your hotel mobile-ready? Mobile-first? Mobile-native? Well, brace yourself, more changes are coming. Just when you thought that you were getting the hang of using mobile to drive interest and action among guests, your customers have started using mobile in wholly new ways. And these behavioral changes represent "the new, new thing" for mobile marketing and distribution. What is the change? An increasing use of voice among guests when they search and interact with information in mobile situations. Voice already plays a key role in travel sales and marketing. Here's how to make sure voice plays that role for you. READ MORE

Gustaaf Schrils

Chatbots and voice assistants. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. And, Natural Language Processing? What possibly could these have to do with serving guests in a hotel? It's the ultimate Sci-Fi question: can humans and machines not only coexist but blend into a single entity. It's time we take our humanity and cobble on some AI and ML, mix it with a dash of NLP and top it off with some Deep Learning and punch out a robust, not robot, service initiative to enhance guest satisfaction and the bottom line. READ MORE

Court Williams

With mobile technology gaining ground almost daily, the hotel industry is under pressure to keep up with guests' expectations. Recent research shows 65 percent of guests would pay more for hotels that offer the mobile technology they consider essential. Fulfilling these wishes requires hotel companies and chains to make significant investments in hardware, software, staff recruitment, and training. Hotel management also faces the challenge of ensuring that their back-end systems and procedures are capable of meeting the risks and vulnerabilities that accompany the shift to mobile technology. Biometric authentication offers the opportunity for hotels to address these risks using the latest in technological advancements. READ MORE

Coming up in February 2020...

Social Media: Social Listening Tools

The reach and influence of social media is staggering. Nearly 3 billion people use social media daily, posting a range of messages, selfies, images, and everything in-between. According to HubSpot, almost 4 million posts are uploaded to the major social networks every single minute! That's an astounding amount of content and it is crucial for hotels to skillfully use social media in order to effectively compete. From establishing a suitable brand identity and voice to creating content across all the major networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.), the goal is to actively engage consumers and to eventually convert them to customers. Some hotels are initiating online contests as a way to attract new customers, while others are rewarding customers with discounts who subscribe to the their email lists or follow their social media pages. Another recent strategy is to employ social media listening tools that track what people are posting online about their businesses. These tools allow hotels to monitor - or listen to - what's being said about a brand across the entire social web, and this can prove to be very valuable, unfiltered information. Social listening permits hotels to be aware of people's opinions about their business, industry or competitors, and some of these tools even listen beyond social media platforms. They also monitor publicly available information on blogs, forums, news outlets and websites. Some listening tools are more focused on gathering and analyzing data, while others offer more engagement-oriented features, which allow hotels to interact with people right from the platform. Often the information that is gleaned from these listening tools ends up being the most authentic, unbiased insights a business can get. The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to successfully integrate social media strategies into their operations.