When a guest walks into your hotel, he looks for facilities that help him stay connected or work with the same speed and efficiency that he does at home, and adopting mobility solutions at your hotel is no longer a matter of choice but an imperative.
The saying ‘Customer is King' has never been truer. Today the hospitality industry is being shaped by guests who live fast paced lives and use technology to keep up with news, keep in touch and multitask. Whether at home or on the road, they like to stay connected and internet and mobility devices enable them to do just that. Mobile devices have gone from good-to-have to being absolute necessities today.
Here are some numbers that further reiterate the point:
In 2011, there were 835 million smartphone users
By 2014, mobility internet should take over desktop internet usage
QR code scans increased 300 per cent in 2011 over 2010 (ScanLife).
Mobile was responsible for US$ 2.6 billion in travel booking value in 2011. By 2013, that number is projected to exceed US$ 8 billion, representing 6.5 per cent of the total online travel market. (PhoCusWright January 2012)
91 per cent of mobile internet access is to socialise
64 per cent of mobile phone time is spent on apps
On an average, it takes 90 minutes to respond to an email, but 90 seconds to respond to a text message.
‘When your guests are enjoying the benefits of mobility solutions, why not you?' is the question before the hospitality industry. And if you think that mobility solutions are just another fad meant to drain your money, think again. Those hotels that have actually begun exploring its potential have seen an upward spike in guest loyalty, efficiency and revenue.
Benefiting from mobility solutions
Hospitality jobs involve extensive interaction with guests, which means moving around the hotel, supervising and ensuring everything is functioning smoothly. When managers or staff leave their computers, it means they move away from the macro view of hotel functioning to the micro view. Mails cannot be responded to immediately and escalations are discovered only when the managers return to their computers. All this has changed with a pocket sized device or little larger - the smartphone/ tablet. Cost effective and portable, they are just what hotel managers need while on the go. With a smart phone in hand, managers can personally respond to requests for services, monitor staff and amase guests with their speed of service. Excellent service is what builds lasting loyalty and keeps guests coming back for more.
Technology development is also moving in the direction of enterprise mobility. As Digital Ad Agency Vertic notes, enterprise tablet adoption will grow by almost 50 per cent per year and the iOS and Android platforms will be adapted to meet enterprise requirements and Windows 8 Tablets will hit the market. The introduction of Quadcore to tablets, 4G, Cloud Computing and the continuous adoption of HTML5 will also enable the tablet to be more integrated into the work environment.
A good measure of whether your hotel software is helping you keep abreast of this trend is to check if it offers interfaces to mobility solutions. This way, a manager can now monitor departments, generate live reports and immediately respond to queries from management.
The fact is that hotels are graduating to mobility solutions that enable them to use tablet PCs in a far more empowering way. An e-menu application that is loaded on to a tablet enables a restaurant to ensure the menu is updated dynamically and dishes updated as per inventory. Guests can browse through information on the dish, even view attractive pictures of the food and order directly through the tablet. This reduces pressure on hotel staff, automates KOT and billing and controls revenue leakage.
A graphic and visual e-menu on a tablet also offers excellent potential to upsell and cross sell. Launch offers, inform guests about what's new on your menu and even update guests on other facilities your hotel maybe offering. This makes your tablet PC a super advertising and communication tool.
Besides the restaurant, mobility solutions are making their way into other areas of a hotel too, for example a simple interface on a tablet allows guests to check in by themselves, a signature tablet allows an e-signature to be stored in the PMS and ensures you get services faster, a tablet PC can also be used as a single remote and thus takes away the clutter of multiple devices.
Leading the introduction of mobility solution into the hospitality industry is IDS NEXT who brings their 25 years of domain expertise to integrate mobility solutions like Envy Dine into their comprehensive hotel ERP. The solution has in-built intelligence and is designed to be intuitive and user-friendly. The key aim of their mobility solutions is to facilitate users to upsell and cross sell services, optimise the use of manpower and of course, grow revenue.