It’s no secret that mobile technology is the way of the future. In 2009, mobile app downloads reached 2.52 billion, and that number is projected to reach 268.69 billion in 2017. With technology rapidly evolving, hoteliers need to keep up with the evolving preferences of their guests by harnessing the benefits of a hotel app and other hospitality technology to gain an advantage over the competition. A recent survey revealed a hotel app and other hotel technology factor in the booking decisions of 70 percent of travelers.
“Today’s guests expect to be able to use their smartphones to do almost everything,” said George Corbin, senior vice president of digital, Marriott International. “They’re more mobile than ever and consider technology to be a central part of their lifestyle.”
By creating a hotel app that makes information and service more easily accessible for guests, hotels are able to attract more guests and reach a larger mobile audience, which is one of the primary benefits of a hotel app. The convenience for guests of using an app can increase guest satisfaction by giving them control of their stay in the palm of their hand. Guests can access the concierge for requests or questions within seconds or book hotel services such as massages and room service right from their mobile device.
Hotel apps give hoteliers the opportunity to create a luxury experience for their guests without stretching the budget. Giving hotel guests customized services and a convenient method to interact with hotel staff results in stronger brand perception and increases the likelihood that they will choose to stay at that hotel again in the future.
“Today’s guests expect to be able to use their smartphones to do almost everything.”
These hospitality apps afford hoteliers the opportunity to strengthen the relationship with guests, which can foster the development of guest loyalty and encourage members in hotel loyalty programs through incentives available to guests who take advantage of the hotel app. As an example, some hotel brands offer exclusive features, such as mobile key room entry or mobile check-in, only to hotel loyalty program members.
Other innovative features that can be made available to guests through a mobile hotel app include such things as location-based targeted messaging or push notifications hoteliers can use to alert guests to available marketing promotions.
One example of a hotel brand app that has performed particularly well in improving the guest experience is Conrad Concierge, the official app of Conrad Hotels & Resorts. It allows guests to experience top-notch service by replacing outdated methods with an innovative and seamless process to check in and out of rooms through their hotel app. Guests can even check in on their ride from the airport to one of the brand’s global properties, allowing them to minimize their time in long lines at the front desk and get to their hotel rooms more quickly.
Mobile check-in and –out, in addition to mobile room key technology, are among the more popular aspects of a hotel app and exemplify one of the outstanding benefits of a hotel app – streamlining hotel processes and making guests happier.
The use of technology in the hospitality industry has further increased the competitiveness within the industry, and hotels that want to stand out to their guests as leaders when it comes to comfort and convenience should look to where the interests of modern guests lie. As guests have continued to express an overwhelming preference for using mobile to communicate with staff and manage travel experiences, the benefits of a hotel app continue to become more apparent.