Smartphone apps infographics with a hand holding a phone with linked circular icons for shopping cloud computing mail wifi analytics speech and route finder or maps

The mobile era of technology begs individuals to download apps when in search of information. Apps have become a clean, organized hub for individuals to sift through the endless amounts of data pushed through this channel. However, the hospitality industry has severely lacked in this area, creating potential gaps for brands to take advantage of.

In a recent QikServe survey, hotel guests stated that hotel mobile apps are failing to “wow” guests. While most stated they were unaware of their existence, respondents also felt that the hotel apps available are “behind the times”, lacking functionality and useful information.

This survey highlights a significant problem, and potential opportunity, in the hospitality industry. As generations and technology grow even closer, hotels should implement mobile apps to streamline guest interaction, provide useful informational outlets, and allow consumers to share their experiences. Hotel apps should be the hub of all informational assets and operational procedures to deliver a personalized, yet simple, experience to guests.

Mobile Key Access

Smartphones are the new travel companion, and while mobile check-in is soon to be universal, mobile key technology will follow immediately. The premise of mobile key technology eliminates the need for any hotel key card (RFID), and the unknown location after handing them to a guest. Rather, digital keys can be assigned and monitored through the front desk only increasing the security of the hotel. For guests, the hotel’s mobile app will simply contain a dashboard notifying them of their room and stay details, but also provide hidden Bluetooth functionality enabling their phone to unlock their room. Thus, mobile access software becomes the second driving force, behind mobile reservation, for downloading an app.

Consumer Feedback

The millennial generation seeks online reviews when it comes to purchasing items or even experiences. Millennials see more value in one’s personal take on experiences, rather than relying on certain marketing techniques to incentivize purchase. For example, a hotel that pushes images of the room and views may be beneficial. However, a user that rates the hotel as 5 stars and compliments their guest services will receive much more value when it comes time to decide and purchase. Hotel apps can provide users with outlets to explain and rate the experience they had, thus giving hotels two lanes to work with. Positive comments can be shared with the world, and negative comments can serve as reasons to improve in certain areas. In doing so, hotels can be more dynamic in serving guests properly, instead of ignoring customer complaints.

Experience Sharing

Not only do millennials trust online reviews, but they love the ability to share their experiences through social media and other social outlets. Friends and family almost always post a status or photo on social sites to show off to others the best parts of their experience. Now, while hotel apps may not be the best place to share these images, the app can still provide a unique way to display experiences. Coupling this with consumer feedback, hotels should share individual experiences through their app that helps better explain an experience a new guest might have. Consider this: A family is swimming in the hotel pool, and a photo shows the excitement of a child’s face as he/she swims underwater. Consumers will be drawn to this excitement more readily than just a stock photo of the pool by the hotel. Thus, hotels should utilize shared experiences from consumers to bring out a more meaningful marketing message through your mobile app.

Local Tourism

Near the front desk, brochures highlighting local tourism and restaurants. Brochures are often helpful, however, suffer from being cumbersome to look at and read. At the same time, guests will often never take them in the first place. A hotel app can be a perfect place for this! The app can hold all of this information in a very unique way, even similar to Apple News. An incomparable user experience would draw more consumer’s to the app, but also help drive potential revenue channels for the hotel as local destinations could fight for marketing and ad space.

Hotels should strongly consider implementing hotel apps that serve more than just a mobile-check in or offer stay details. Consumers want user interaction more and more each day, and hotels have much more information to provide than just details about their stay. Combining all outlets into one, hotel apps can soon become the hub for all information and allow the hotel, itself, to be a more dynamic entity by offering new information and operational outputs while restructuring the staff’s abilities.

y!kes LLC

y!kes provides an innovative mobile access solution capable of both RFID and Bluetooth functionality. By downloading our mobile app, guests may use a mobile key to enter their room, while having access to a variety of features on our dashboard. To learn how y!kes can deliver a re-defined guest experience, please visit https://yikes.co and Request a demo!