In the early 2000s, the airline industry changed the travel experience. By instituting kiosks, they de-centralized the agent counter and reduced waiting lines. At first it was a strange experience, but over time, it not only became commonplace, it became an expected convenience. According to Forrester, 86% of all airline passengers now use self-service check-in.
The hotel industry has taken a little longer to make the same transition.
Why? The front desk of course. The front desk is the center of the hotel staff’s world. But there is something very “anti-service” with that mentality. Why make guests come to you when you could easily just go to them. This new service paradigm is already being seen at places like the Apple store. Go to where the customer is. So where are the hotel’s customers?
The Airport. When you arrive you always see the limo drivers waiting for their passengers. What if your hotel staff greeted you and checked you in upon arrival at the airport? That would be a tremendous level of service and convenience to your guests. All that is needed is a mobile PMS on a tablet and a mobile key encoder.
The Airport Shuttle. Many hotels offer complimentary shuttle service to the hotel. Why not take the time in the shuttle to check in the guests?
Curb-side. You arrive in the taxi, get out, hand your bags to the bell-man and are greeted by a staff member wielding a tablet. They check you in and you proceed directly to your room. Easy and fast.
The Meeting Break-out Space. So often guests arrive at a hotel and go directly to a meeting room. Or they have to take time from the meeting on day of departure to go to the front desk to check out. Let the guests focus on their real purpose and provide tablet-based check-in and check-out services just feet from their meeting. Prediction: “Meeting-side” front desk services will soon be a competitive differentiator used by hotel sales teams.
Convention Space. Adjoining a nearby convention space is very common. Imagine offering front desk services on the convention floor. Not just check-in and check-out, but any sort of special request.
Restaurant and Lounge Areas. Sometime, the first thing you want to do after a long day of travel is get that glass of wine in the lounge. Very often, with all the bed and breakfast packages that hotels offer, the last experience in the hotel is the breakfast buffet. A roving staff member with a mobile PMS on a tablet would allow guests to enjoy their dining experience without having to run over to the front desk for a copy of their hotel folio or key.
There is no question that a mobile PMS will increase your service-level and guest satisfaction. With a mobile PMS, where could you service your guests? Poolside? Casino floor? Let us know!