We live in a plugged-in world. Adults in the US spend an average of three and a half hours a day on the mobile internet. While some people do strive to unplug when on vacation, most travelers expect the conveniences of technology throughout their experience. When customers plan a vacation or extended stay, they want access to the same technology they have at home.
Hotels that have invested in hospitality IT and embraced today’s consumer expectations are gaining a competitive advantage. Let’s look at some of the ways hospitality businesses are improving technology and winning over customers in the process.
Stronger WiFi access
Customers want to be able to get on the internet to browse local sites, communicate with friends and family, or even spend a few hours working whether they’re staying in the mountains, at the beach, or in the city. This is why hotels should make sure they have reliable internet access in every room. The more bandwidth available, the more likely guests will have a smooth experience — but as a general rule of thumb, guests should have a minimum of 200 Mbps of dedicated WiFi available. This will be enough for streaming on multiple devices.
Give guests the freedom to check in from their smartphone or laptop. Using either a platform as a service (PaaS) model or a custom on-premise application, a sophisticated online booking system will allow guests to check in, check out, view rates and features, and leave feedback — all from the one portal. Implementing the right hospitality IT upgrade to make this happen does require some upfront investment, but the digital transformation is well worth it. Nearly half of smartphone users in the US are comfortable booking and planning their entire trip on a mobile device.
Mobile room access
Instead of fumbling with key cards that can be easily lost, give your guests total peace of mind with this cutting-edge hospitality IT innovation — smartphone room keys. Your customers won’t have to worry about keeping track of their keys because all they need to get into their room is their phone. And, your business doesn’t have to spend money — or charge a guest and diminish their experience — every time a key card is lost.
Room service app
If your hotel offers room service, make it available online with a mobile app. Guests can download your app and then access your menu and place orders using their device. As with other technology innovations in the industry, this will improve the guest experience and cut costs. Your hotel won’t need as many staff members to answer room service calls with mobile app ordering. Existing employees can focus on doing more high-level work, ensuring guests have a memorable stay at your business.
If you offer other services such as spa treatments, laundry, or on-site daycare, you can include these in the hotel mobile app as well. Guests will appreciate being able to order everything from one central location.
Improving hospitality IT is a win for everyone
Implementing new technology can enhance the guest experience, leading to repeat stays, positive online reviews, and more business. It also empowers your staff to do more for guests. The financial potential is immense as well, especially for larger hotels. While hospitality IT will have upfront costs, your business can save money over time with fewer material and labor costs and increased business. Talk to an expert IT consultant to find out how technology can make your hotel more competitive.