We live in a changing world. There is no use in denying it. Burying your head in the sand only makes it that much more difficult to move forward as a small hotel business. The entire travel and hospitality industry went from shattering records to barely eking out an existence. To adapt to our “new normal”, small hotels will need to adopt new technologies and change how they do things.
A Technology-Empowered Future
Will the hospitality industry revive? It will. There have been industry-wide setbacks in the past, such as disease outbreaks and global challenges like the Great Recession that made small hotel businesses and large organizations alike rethink their strategies. In all cases, the travel and hospitality industry has eventually come back from the brink. This time, we just don’t know when that will happen.
However, while we may eventually tame the pandemic, its lessons will remain. What are those? More thoughtful travel is one of them, with consumers paying more attention to the number of human interactions required to do what they need to do, such as checking into their hotel room. New technologies are already paving the way to make that possible, such as:
- Contactless Payment Solutions: These have been on the market for many years, but they’ve now come into their own, thanks to COVID-19. With contactless payment solutions, your small hotel can accept and process customer payments via credit card, debit card, and other forms without the guest ever having to stand at the front desk, and with no need to handle the physical card.
- Keyless Entry: Gone are the days when customers had to use physical keys or even key cards to gain access to their rooms. Keyless entry systems tie into smartphone technology and allow guests to unlock their doors without having to insert and turn a key, or swipe/tap a card.
- Streamlined Communications: With the travel industry in flux, customers demand new ways to communicate with the businesses they patronize. Today, even small hotel businesses must be able to streamline bookings, cancellations, and alterations to reservations, and that requires more than just a phone system.
In all these instances, digital technology is the enabler, moving businesses forward to a brighter future.
The Importance of Mobile Apps vs. Traditional Desktop Systems
A quick glance at the pre-pandemic hotel operations process shows many areas where face-to-face interaction is required. Other contact-heavy processes are also common, such as the use of physical room key cards. Mobile technology is paving the way toward a “no-touch” future that will provide consumers with the health and wellness safeguards they have come to expect. In short, consumers are carefully considering who and what they come into physical contact with, and a mobile PMS delivers capabilities unavailable with traditional desktop systems.
Here’s the traditional process a consumer must go through to book a room at your property:
- They must first become aware of your small hotel business, which means exposure to your brand in some way. Today, that’s most often digital – social media, Google searches, etc.
- They must explore your property, which means access to a website with virtual room tours (or high-quality images at the very least), information about rates and amenities, and more.
- They must book their stay, which usually means interacting with front-desk staff or using a calendar tool built into your website.
- On arrival, they must go to the front desk. There, they must stand in line or wait in a lobby with multiple other people. They must then interact closely with the front desk staff, check-in, be handed their keys/keycards, and then finally go to their room.
- At their room, they must swipe or tap their key to enter the room.
- During their stay, they will interact with other members of your team – housekeeping for toiletries, towels, and sundries; the front desk staff and/or concierge, and other members of your team.
It all adds up to a great deal of physical contact and risk. A mobile PMS can dramatically reduce your guests’ risk level while improving convenience and enhancing the guest experience. For instance, here’s how that same process would look with a mobile PMS in place:
- The guest learns of your property and decides to book a room, which they can do through a smartphone app. They can even pay for the room at the time of booking.
- When they arrive at the property, the smart mobile PMS recognizes them and they can go directly to their room without having to deal with the front desk staff or handle a keycard.
- During their stay, guests can access their app for anything they need, including information about other services, nearby attractions, access concierge services, and more, all without having face-to-face interaction with your team.
Once, these capabilities would have seemed like science fiction. Today, they’re a reality. New technologies, such as facial recognition, mobile wallets, and digital room keys are not just available, but consumers are now familiar with these capabilities and are beginning to expect them.
Beyond Improving the Guest Experience
A mobile PMS for your small hotel business offers a dramatic way to improve the guest experience while speaking directly to their health and wellness concerns. However, the benefits are not just for your guests. This technology can improve the hotel management process, as well.
With a mobile PMS, stakeholders can access the PMS remotely and make decisions faster. There is no need for a front desk staff member to be on hand when all actions and decisions can be done right within the app. And we’re not just talking about check-in/check-out functionality, either. With the right mobile PMS, you can handle complex processes, such as setting seasonal rates and changing rack rates. It’s also a simple process to set specific reservations, including travel agent and corporate reservations.
There is a catch, though. You must choose the right mobile PMS for your small hotel.
The Hotelogix Mobile Hotel App Can Handle Your Complete Guest Cycle
Designed with simplicity, ease of use, and both the guest and staff experience in mind, the Hotelogix mobile PMS app delivers critical capabilities. It’s ready to handle your complete guest cycle, from booking to their stay to the check-out process. With our mobile app, you can:
- Eliminate long lines at check-in by scanning IDs and processing everything in mere seconds.
- Accept payments and process bills quickly and easily.
- Manage all front desk tasks, from creating reservations to altering them anytime and anywhere all from a mobile device.
- Accelerate and improve housekeeping operations through alerting staff of room statuses and ultimately making rooms available to guests faster.
- Accept payments through the mobile POS, including automating invoicing, taking room orders, and more.
At Hotelogix, our goal is simple: to empower you to give your guests the best experience possible. Our digital-first stance also means that we’re well-positioned to help your small hotel emerge from COVID-19 ready to take its place in our changed world. We understand your guests’ expectations, from fewer in-person interactions to streamlined processes, and we’ve built those capabilities right into our mobile PMS app.
Don’t take our word for it, though. Sign up for a free 15-day trial and see how well Hotelogix fits your property’s needs and guest expectations.