Mobile PMS: Putting the Personality Back Into Your Hotel Room
By Jeff Edwards Head of Global Hotel Business, Amadeus | January 19, 2014
Technological advances are dramatically reshaping the hotel industry landscape. A volcanic eruption of apps, online booking, smartphones, and comparison sites has eradicated the familiar hospitality format. There's no question that guests love the fact that hoteliers are making full use of all this technology to improve their service. But does it come at a cost?
Is Technology the Bad Guy?
It's a familiar refrain to many industries that technology has taken away the 'personal touch'. People complain that their bank manager doesn't know their name, or that the barista at the local Starbucks doesn't remember how to spell it. In the hospitality sector, that note of individuality and care is crucial to proper customer service. e-Commerce is a wonderful business tool, but used indiscriminately, it can have a homogenizing effect. Every hotel stay feels the same, and for someone looking for that traditional service, it can be disheartening to think you're just another face coming through the revolving door. In some ways, it's a bit like the plot of Stepford Wives, where vivid, lively personalities are replaced by 'perfect' but boring clones.
The good news is that technology is not the bad guy here – like all tools, technology only does what it's told to do. And technology can be used to put personality back into a hotel business, giving guests an experience they wouldn't get at another property. That's how we think about mobile property management systems (mobile PMS)
Why Go Mobile?
To start with, let's ask 'why mobile?' Well, we know that smartphone penetration is high, and that tablets and 'phablets' (phone-tablet hybrids) are also increasingly popular. In the hotel sector, approximately 65-75% of bookings are made at the property. In the old days, this would usually refer to the guests who were 'walk-ins' or people who saw the hotel sign on the freeway exit and took a chance. Today, these guests are more likely to book via a mobile app, or by searching on their phone for a hotel in the vicinity and picking the one they like best.