Businesses in nearly every industry are searching for ways to improve customer experience with the help of mobile apps. For hotels, mobile app technology has sparked an array of new possibilities — all of which can create a smoother hotel stay for each guest who checks in.
The idea of waiting at the front desk to check in isn't particularly appealing, especially for weary travelers. Combine that with the potential for long lines, bad moods and logistic mistakes, and it's easy to see how a stay can get off to a bad start.
Instead, companies such as the Marriott
have eliminated this extra step, allowing guests to check in (or out) via their phones. Starwood Hotels & Resorts has also adopted mobile app check-ins, along with keyless room entry to create an even more streamlined process. Guests simply open the Starwood app
, receive a room number and digital key, and scan their phones at the door using Apple Watch technology.The Hilton even gives customers the luxury of selecting their room from a graphical floor plan within its app.
Thus with new mobile app technology, visitors of these hotels can streamline the entire process of booking, checking in and getting acquainted with their rooms — all with little to no human intervention.
While you might assume that all this technology decreases interaction between hotels and their guests, Marriott Global CIO Bruce Hoffmeister says it actually increases chances to communicate before, during and even after a stay.
Management of Guest Experience
One major upside to developing mobile apps for hotels is management's ability to keep track of customers without direct intrusion. Guests can contact staff directly from their mobile apps to communicate a problem or ask for additional service.
The Marriott app gives guests the option to select from a list of what they need or chat directly with a staff member. Not only does this make life easier for guests, but it also creates a much more reliable system for staff to keep track of requests.
According to Marriott data, a whopping 40 percent of guests begin communicating before they even arrive at the hotel.
Concierge on the Go
While all businesses today are interested in improving their customer's experience, hotels need to be especially careful to assure quality in this area. Some hotel apps are going the extra mile to provide guests with travel guides that highlight attractions, restaurants and local transportation information.
The Ritz app
allows users to share these tips on social media, connecting not only guests, but also their friends and family to the hotel experience.
Hotel apps may even begin borrowing from the user-base of travel apps, as they offer more and more competitive services.Thompson Hotels creates customized promotions for its app users, which can be advertised through push notifications. From there, users can simply enter a discount code and book their stay.Both the Hilton and Ritz-Carlton offer rewards programs, which serve to increase customer loyalty.
With both travel recommendations and discounts, hotel apps have become competition for travel apps that were once coveted for these features. Mobile apps for hotels provide a wealth of information for both guests and staff, streamlined communication and fewer unnecessary trips to the front desk.
As hotels realize the importance of appealing to younger professionals and families, hotel app integration is bound to continue — with even more accommodating features in the future. Don't be surprised to see more mobile apps cropping up for hotels around the globe.
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