Viewing mobile hospitality as a core function of both guest service and operations is the first step toward meeting travelers where they want to be reached.
When mobile technology became a reality for hotels almost a decade ago, hotels rallied their budgets around a few specific capabilities—mobile websites, then mobile apps, then SMS marketing, followed by social media initiatives, and so forth. The marketing team would put a checkmark in the right box (mobile website: done and check), implement some SEO, and move along. Each bit of mobile was treated as a singular destination. A place that could be arrived at and then departed.
It has been ten years, and it's time that we adopt a new perspective on mobile hospitality—seeing it as a journey, a process. There are now hundreds of capabilities, none of which stand alone, all dependent on one another and on legacy systems. Mobile hospitality is an evolving platform of increasingly important stature. It is an essential aspect of delivering reservations, marketing, and guest service, and hotels benefit from treating it as such.
When we evolve from viewing mobile hospitality as a destination and, instead, see it as a process designed to deliver a specific level of guest engagement, our needs change.
Here is a handy breakdown of what mobile hospitality looks like when we shift perspective.
Cookie cutter, off-the-shelf tools
Single purpose products = product obsolescence
Relies on dominant technologies (static)
Features customized to hotel's guest needs
Software as a Service (SaaS) = evolving capabilities
Emerging technologies (innovation)
Integrates various components of mobile (and beyond) into a device-agnostic guest-engagement platform.
While the "destination" approach may at first seem more attainable (and plenty of firms will sell it as such because it's profitable to sell off-the-shelf products), without a holistic strategy that considers integration flexibility, and customization, hotels are destined to be forever re-doing bits and pieces as they become obsolete or out of sync with one another.
Adopting the "journey," on the other hand, creates a stable and innovative foundation that can be tailored to a hotel's exacting specifications. TripCraft uses a combination of Engines and Toolkits available in our platform along with customization to deliver mobile solutions that can evolve along with a hotel's strategy. Many times this approach allows a hotel to do something that's never been done before.
When The Standard Hotel Group sought to create a mobile application that would give guests the opportunity to book and check-in at any time of the day or night along with a one-touch payment solution, it was evident they wanted to take mobile hospitality to a new level.
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