HOTEL MANAGEMENT asked several mobile technology experts what are the top three things hoteliers should do to ensure their hotel is mobile-friendly. Here’s what they think are the most important.
Aledander Shashou, co-founder and CEO of Alice:
- Make sure there’s good Wi-Fi on property, for both guests and staff.
- Train employees well on the benefits of messaging, and then give them the autonomy to allow their personality to come through when texting with guests.
- Offer text messaging to guests—make sure it’s a solution that’s integrated with staff operations so messaging with guests doesn’t create a burden for your staff.
Julie Hoit, marketing manager for Guestware:
- Implement proper software to support mobile communication with guests.
- Evaluate the vendor landscape. A clean user interface is important, but the configurability often shows the true robustness and quality of the software.
- A critical aspect of achieving return on investment with any system is the implementation and successful use of the system by the hotel team. Corporate and hotel managers cannot expect instant results without leading the change management aspects of the implementation. To be set up for success, hotels must maintain strong, long-term leadership and accountability.
- Keep it simple. Focus the guest on the transaction and limit choice.
- Keep it seamless. Reduce the upsells, get out of the way and just let people check out swiftly and easily.
- Scrap the forms. With a multitude of mobile payment and credit card scanning technologies now in existence, why are so many OTAs and brands continuing to torture their customers with painstaking forms?
Gregg Hopkins, chief sales and marketing officer for Intelity:
- Easy-to-use mobile application that provides value to the guest with things such as messaging, service requests, mobile check-in and check-out, mobile key and more.
- Provide a text solution as another communication channel for managing requests.
- Market the availability of mobile solutions at every guest communication opportunity.
Mike Murray, founder of TripCraft:
- Free Wi-Fi. Mobile users get pretty upset at having to pay for something they get for free at a local coffee shop so hotels need to provide free connectivity to keep all their mobile guests happy and engaged.
- Mobile self-service. Most mobile users are all about self-service—they want to book, check-in/-out, order roomservice, message with the concierge and do most anything at a hotel from their mobile device. As hoteliers, we need to accept that it’s a new generation of customers that is driving demand for mobile self-service and it’s not just a passing trend that we can ignore; the sooner you embrace it, the better you’ll be positioned to engage this customer base.
- MoLoSo culture (mobile, local and social). These are three fundamentals of a mobile-friendly hotel that appeal to mobile-savvy guests.