It should not be a big surprise to you that customers these days are spending more time on their smartphones. When it comes to ensuring your hotel is ahead of the curve in providing mobile friendly future, are you left behind?
While adapting your business to a mobile world may sound scary with all the technological change you may have to make, it need not be if you divide your task into tiny bits.
Let me guide you on a checklist to ensure the mobile world and your hotel are in sync.
Let us start with the most obvious. Free WiFi with acceptable speed available around your hotel. It is a must and non-negotiable. If you are still behind on this, I would urge you to spend your Capex money on upgrading your wifi speed and connectivity. Upgrading your WiFi may be as simple as increasing the bandwidth from the ISP to as complex as changing the entire wiring and installing additional routers and access devices around the hotel. Also if you are charging for this, consider having a tiered connection with a free basic connection with a paid upgrade for better speeds. WiFi is a basic necessity just like water and air these days and people expect free WiFi around the hotel.
I am not talking about your presence on social media. The question is is your hotel social media friendly. Are you giving your guest enough opportunities to promote your hotel on social media? Is your lobby immaculate that guest feels compelled to post a click a selfie there and post it online? Is your food in the restaurant Instagramable? Are your drinks on trend and do you have some quirky traditions that can make an excellent video. All these put together form the backbone of User Generated content for your hotel. You surely must pay attention to these as many guests these days look for recommendations from their friends and acquaintances to book rooms and dine in restaurants.
Apps and other app-based technology:
Internet of things and other emerging technologies have been knocking on the doors of hospitality business for some time. However, while many of the futuristic technology has not picked up steam, some like brand apps which help guest to make reservations, check in to a room and order concierge service has been picking up. Many of the leading hotel chains are moving their business on to apps from the web as a way of creating a walled garden so that guest does not shop around on OTA and other websites. Add a loyalty program to the mix and the brand app becomes a strong tool for driving revenue at the same time enhancing customer satisfaction. If you run a standalone hotel, before you consider investing in a mobile app, you can at least upgrade your website to have a mobile site which can really provide you with a simple growth curve and possibly enhance revenues. If you have multiple hotels that are well established, you can really benefit from a mobile app.
The last key thing that you should consider is how do these technological changes improve your employee productivity. From handheld tabs helping stewards to take orders to servers in cloud reducing the stress of having a complete IT team on property, the technology today allows you to have all data at your fingertips.
You can use these to effectively schedule labour, look at revenue and forecast and maintain the cost of doing business to a reasonable level to improve your business.
Mobile first technology can also help you reduce guest complaints and have a preventive maintenance schedule through efficient tracking of asset lifecycle.
Your can also improve productivity by providing employees access to online training.