Only a few years ago, it was common for anyone with a mobile device to either hear someone say, or themselves say, “Oh, there’s an app for that.”
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
Jump forward a handful of years, and it would be odd for someone to use that outdated sentence. Not only is there an “app” for just about anything, but there are also multiple apps. As a hotel owner or manager, you might already know that a mobile app for hotels is a must.
That app, however, is not meant to be a promotional gallery of images or a nudge for a user to go online and book a room. It is meant to be a full-blown solution for hotel owners. After all, a hotel mobile app features should allow the owner to effectively run the property even when far from the premises.
Mobile and the World
It goes without saying that mobile technology is doing more than just gaining popularity in all parts of the globe. They are, in fact, taking over entire segments and changing the way people shop, communicate, and run their businesses. As the consumer group Deloitte points out:
“Roughly four decades after the introduction of the first mobile phone, almost every developed country surveyed has at least 90 per cent mobile phone penetration.”
And those phones are not just used for making calls. Most consumers know what uttering the phrase “Hey, Siri” means, and that is why things like classic phone books are as outdated or obsolete as the rotary phone. Mobile has immense potential, and that potential is being embraced and expanded constantly.
Data reveals that most mobile users no longer accept the earlier performance standards of mobile devices, either. Again, as Deloitte indicates:
- 4G is the preferred mode of connecting since it is so much faster and data-friendly
- Smartphone addiction is now a real thing, and most consumers indicate they look at their phones many times daily with 20% or more admitting to 50 times per day
- 15% of mobile owners want to use their devices for a long list of functions, including conducting business and making payments
Amid all the talks and walks, there’s no doubt that mobile technology in the hospitality industry is also becoming popular. And while scores of world travellers want to use a mobile app for hotels, and hotel mobile app features are chosen for user-friendliness, there is the flipside – those who own hotels looking to run them from a device.
Why go for a PMS Mobile app for Hotel Management and Operations?
Why would a small to medium-sized hotel owner consider using a mobile app for hotels? What benefits would be gleaned through this choice or option? Let’s itemize some of the best hotel mobile app features to figure this out!
1. Mobile usage
We learned above that billions of people have joined the mobile device bandwagon and are happily loading apps and using their phones for almost everything. People even do annual income tax returns, shop for wedding venues, and put down payments on cars through apps.
Because of this, a hotelier can look at the mobile devices in the hands of their employees as an opportunity. Since more and more people are adept and comfortable with the use of a smartphone, there is almost no learning curve required for them to just begin viewing it as a tool for managing hotel operations.
With that in mind, it makes a lot more sense to consider if a mobile app for hotels is the right solution to your many challenges.
2. PMS Mobile App Capabilities
Today’s mobile apps are far more advanced and enjoy cloud connectivity that ensures they can offer robust functionality from any smartphone. Consider a cloud-based hotel PMS mobile app. It would answer many of the day-to-day operational needs while allowing the owner to perform such functions from anywhere.
In essence, a PMS mobile app supports running the entire property from the device. And, because hotels are made of many moving parts, we need to consider if a mobile app for hotels can address the complex functions of hotel management.
3. Perform Complex Functions from Anywhere
The best mobile technology in the hospitality industry enables complex tasks that benefit from being done on the go.
For example, you may run a small or a medium-sized hotel and be away from the property when you realize that major competitors have slashed their rack rates due to an event or holiday. An app with the right features would allow you to quickly update your hotel’s rack rates or other rates and pricing and then unilaterally update this information across all channels.
Things become much more easier when you go mobile. It not only cuts down your operational time but also makes you more credible when it comes to running a successful business hotel.
4. Synchronicity Made Simple
A well-designed PMS mobile app brings an end to disjointed or misleading information anywhere on the web because it enables full integration. For example, change a rate via the PMS mobile app, and those changes are reflected on any web booking engines, throughout the OTAs, and across any other channels.
Yet, it is not limited to pricing alone. For example, a mobile app for hotels also empower housekeeping functions and serve as an optimal tool for communication across the entire hotel staff.
Optimal mobile technology in the hospitality industry functions enables the hotel owner or manager to assign tasks to housekeeping using the hotel mobile app features and functions. They would be able to update a status instantly and give guests the optimal experience they desire.
5. Top of the Line Check-in and Check-Out
Talking about guests, most of the guests don’t appreciate the wait at the front desk or sitting around, waiting for the formalities to be done or a room to be readied. And this is where the mobile hotel PMS app comes to the rescue — with a full-blown, cloud-based hotel PMS mobile app, this unwelcoming experience can be ended.
A reliably designed mobile app for hotels would speed up the process by enabling guest ID scans and completing registration and check-in within minutes of arrival.
The same can be said at the end of a stay. The mobile app speeds up the process of settling up bills and accepts payment.
A speedy process during check-in and check-out is undoubtedly appreciable my visitors. When your hotel mobile app features are reliable enough to help you with just that, then chances of delivering exceptional guest experiences increases significantly.
6. Multiple POS Demands
An effective mobile app for hotels will allow and support multiple POS functions. For example, the hotelier who needs to generate an invoice would normally be required to be positioned at a kiosk or desk where the POS terminal or PMS software is installed. With mobile tech for the hospitality industry, however, they can address scores of POS tasks that include invoicing and payment processes.
Need to issue a refund without asking the guest to appear in person? The best mobile apps for hotels will enable this sort of solution. It is all about efficiency for the guests and the hotel owner. Now, about that efficiency…
7. Ending Inefficiency and Waste
There are so many ways that a hotel’s efficiency can be thwarted, and the right PMS mobile app can help to overcome the biggest hurdles to such goals. Using mobile technology in the hospitality industry, as we have seen, ensures that the workforce can be managed through a mobile device, the pace of checking in or out can be optimized and simplified, managing pricing can be done quickly and from anywhere.
Keep in mind that the use of a mobile app for hotels can also cut down on infrastructure costs by eliminating the need for redundant workstations. After all, staff and guests will be among the billions with smartphones on hand and downloading an app can even be something rewarded with credits or other options. Even sales staff can be supported in their efficiency through a mobile app for hotels and see rates and available bookings in seconds.
8. Management Dashboard
On the management side of things, a user-friendly dashboard that requires no digging around or filtering for real-time data is incredibly relevant. It allows management to, literally, tote the business around in their pockets.
Having up to the minute insight into the front desk, maintenance, and other managerial aspects allows on the go decisions that keep a small to medium-sized hotel nimble and competitive.
9. Helps Boost Staff Efficiency
Today’s travellers are all about the “experience,” and with a well-designed mobile app, staff efficiency is improved, thereby improving client experience. For example, you can eliminate check-in and checkout lines while still creating a level of personalized attention away from the front desk. Instead of wasting time and resources scanning IDs, the mobile app tackles that part of the process, cutting costs and saving time.
10. Getting a Mobile App to Meet the Needs of Both Sides
Clearly, app development is something easily done and quite common, but that does not mean that every app that appears is a good fit for a hotel owner’s needs. After all, if it is without the level of function, ease of use, and flexibility that is required, it can make a mess of things.
This is why you need to evaluate any potential mobile apps for hotels on a point by point basis and using the criteria above.
Without crowding, the front desk team can focus tremendously on the guest experience. A good app may even prove a great tool for housekeeping, keeping an entire team (often separated by rooms or floors) up to date and on the same page.