Meet Dave. He’s on a business trip to the area for a conference, and he’ll be staying overnight at a local hotel. Dave’s new to the area, and he’s new to the idea of a hotel engaging him directly, through his mobile device. As a result, Dave’s about to experience a novel way of interacting with a hotel that is both innovative, accessible, and in-line with his travel preferences. Equally beneficial, the hotel staff benefit from mobile technology that keeps them connected and aware of the needs and habits of mobile guests like Dave.
- Early Check-In Notification: 9AM
Dave is on his way to the hotel from the airport when he receives an email from the hotel he’s staying at. In the email, he’s prompted with the option to check-in early for a small additional charge. Dave can tell that he’s making good time, so checking-in early is a great option for him. He accepts the charges, enters his estimated time of arrival, and receives confirmation that his check-in time has been moved from noon to 11am. Score!
- Arrival at the Hotel: 10AM
It’s 10am, and Dave has just arrived at the hotel. He proceeds to the front desk and is greeted warmly by the attendant. The staff member asks Dave for some quick details regarding his stay, and retrieves his reservation from a tablet instead of a desktop. Dave is clearly impressed!The front desk attendant turns to Dave and presents the tablet to him so he can clearly view what’s on the screen. On the tablet, the screen is displaying the image of a newly renovated room with a balcony on the 14th floor. The front desk attendant lets Dave know he can choose to upgrade to this room for a small fee. Dave is enticed by the stunning image of a high-end room with a balcony looking over the waterfront, and he happily agrees to the upgrade.
- Complete Check-In: 10:10AM
After Dave is assigned the new room, the front desk staff member informs him that his room will be ready shortly. She tells Dave that once his room is ready he can complete check-in and a QR code along with his room number will be emailed directly to his mobile phone (with the QR code, Dave can print keys for himself from a key dispenser in the lobby and proceed directly to his room). The staff member follows-up by telling Dave he should not hesitate to let her know if she or another staff member can assist him. Dave is surprised that almost immediately, he receives another email notifying him that his room is ready.What Dave isn’t aware of is that the hotel’s property management software uses real time data to update staff on the status of incoming reservations. The housekeeping staff can see that guests like Dave need their room to be cleaned as quickly as possible for early check-in. This real-time sharing of data keeps staff on the same page by making relevant information available on their mobile devices. As a result, the hotel staff is better equipped to manage the back end of things allowing the hotel operations to run smoothly and Dave, well he just reaps the benefits.
- Room Number and QR Code Emailed: 10:20AM
With his QR code and his room number at his fingertips, Dave collects his items and proceeds to the key dispenser in the lobby. He notices that close by one of the hotel’s staff is assisting another guest with creating room keys. Dave is a savvy traveler so he appreciates the option of self service and successfully creates his room keys by scanning the QR code on his phone and printing two keys for himself.
- Proceed to Room: 10:30AM
Dave enters his room on the 14th floor and is very pleased to see that the room matches the photo the front desk attendant displayed on her tablet. He drops off his luggage and checks the clock. The company conference he is attending starts at 1pm, but there is a meet and greet lunch he can get ready for at noon. Dave notes the cleanliness of the room as he drops off his belongings. He spends some time working on the balcony enjoying the warm weather while the Palm trees sway gently in the breeze. Finally, Dave heads out to the the conference lunch.
- Dinner Time: 7PM
After a long day of conferences, Dave is wiped out. He has just returned to his hotel room and realizes he needs to grab some dinner. On a whim, he checks the hotel’s confirmation email and scrolls through the details of his reservation. There he sees a map at the bottom of the email that clearly marks where the hotel is located within the city. Dave clicks a link below the map and is directed to a search page that allows him to look for local restaurants in the area. Dave chooses a local Italian restaurant that has garnered rave reviews and heads out to enjoy some Italian cuisine. Yum!
- Late Night Out: 9AM
After staying out late with a group of folks from the conference the night before, Dave wakes up later than he anticipated. He’s a little sluggish but manages to get himself up and prepares a cup of coffee while checking his email from his phone. Dave notices he’s received another email from the hotel informing him that he can opt to check out late for a small fee. That was a welcomed relief for Dave, as he wasn’t quite ready to get out of bed, nevermind pack up his things to go. He went ahead and extended his stay an extra hour making the confirmation through his mobile phone.
Dave is very satisfied with his experience at this hotel as well as the ingenuity the hotel displayed by staying connected with him throughout his stay, via his mobile device. The hotel demonstrated a method of guest connection that worked for Dave. The experience took customer service to a new level with its seamless integration into his daily routine. And while Dave didn’t know it, the hotel’s property management system allowed for up-to-date sharing of information between staff, making it easy for the team to communicate efficiently and instantly through their mobile devices.
By bringing the luxury of mobile connectivity to the guests’ experience, hotels can better serve the modern, tech-savvy mobile guest, while still making sure guests feel the welcoming presence that in-house hotel staff provide. WIthout eliminating the need for readily-available front desk staff or other team members who specialize in customer service, mobile technology is a way to connect with a larger range of guests throughout various stages of their trip. Going mobile is a way to ensure your hotel stays connected and “within arms reach” of your most precious commodity – your guests.