Why a mobile app is a must for the modern hotel
The operation of any hotel involves the continuous processing of a large amount of data. Reservations, cancellations, calendars, additional services, communication with guests – all these and many other processes require automation. It is not enough to have only an internal program of business process management, because full-fledged work requires quality customer service, support for guests at all stages of interaction. The optimal tool for this is a mobile application that works in sync with the existing hotel software.
How to organize a mobile application for a hotel
The structure of a mobile application for a hotel can vary depending on the specifics of the property and its internal business processes. In a typical design, separate interfaces are created for guests and administrators. They work on a common database with synchronous updating of calendar, catalog, content, prices and other data.
The components of the guest interface:
- Registration and Authorization Form;
- Personal account where contact details, payment information, booking and payment history are securely stored;
- Calendar and room catalog with photos, descriptions, features and rates;
- Online payment through Internet acquiring services;
- Search with filtering by various parameters;
- Sort the list by price, rating, etc;
- Route Plotting, Map;
- 3D tour of the hotel;
- Additional Services Catalog and Order Form;
- Chat with the administrator;
- Feedback form;
- Customize the theme and interface language;
- Reference section on hotel infrastructure;
- An emergency call for staff.
The administrator interface gives you the ability to
- to process reservations;
- Maintain guest feedback;
- Add, delete, edit numbers in the catalog;
- Keep the calendar up to date;
- Work with text and media content;
- Edit prices, add discounts;
- Generate statistical reports;
- Set up loyalty program tools, send push notifications;
- to access the customer base;
- Contact technical support for application problems.
How the hotel benefits from launching the app
Expanding opportunities to implement loyalty programs
If a hotel doesn’t have a mobile app, its promotional tools are limited and not effective enough. For example, special offers are sent by email, which runs the risk of being spammed. Or they are posted on the website, which the customer may not even visit. Another thing is a mobile application, which is always at the user’s fingertips, can remind him at any moment, and a person is unlikely to ignore this notification. It is easy to implement various loyalty programs in the application:
- Accumulation of bonuses in the client’s account – the guest can use these bonuses to pay for services;
- Personalized discount offers;
- Promotions for regular customers – the amount of discount increases with each subsequent stay;
- Special first time booking rates;
- Discounts on partner products and services;
- Offer additional services at competitive prices;
- Other promotions as determined by the hotel’s marketing strategy.
In the application it is possible to realize any ideas, to convey information to the client as easily and quickly as possible, without using intrusive techniques. Special tools are used for this purpose:
- Push notifications – pop-up messages on the user’s smartphone;
- A separate “Promotions” section in the client’s personal cabinet;
- Information about promotions in the Service Catalog;
- Display discounted prices;
- A personal bonus account where points are accumulated.
Enhance the image of the hotel
A hotel that has its own mobile application deserves trust, because launching such a tool requires money, time, attention – all to show care for the customer and improve service. A user-friendly interface, simple options for selecting and booking apartments, personalization of offers, profitable promotions, online payment, fast feedback – all these advantages help the guest to trust in the seriousness of the institution. It remains to strengthen this impression with the quality of services – and the audience is guaranteed to distinguish the hotel among many competitors.
Additional business development tools are emerging
A mobile application can become an additional means to promote hotel services, making the marketing strategy more effective. What solutions can be implemented:
- Run contextual or targeted ads with an offer to download the app;
- Promote your application directly on Google Play and the App Store;
- Promote the application in the search of merchants through the ASO optimization method;
- Link SMM tools to social media;
- Place QR codes on billboards, in travel agencies, in partner offices.
Simplify communication with guests
Messenger messages, phone calls, letters in the mail – all these methods of communication are becoming a thing of the past. Modern hotels create unified platforms for communication with clients at all stages – from booking to checkout. This is convenient for the client – all correspondence is stored in the application, contacts of managers are not lost among other dialogues in messengers. At any time you can view the correspondence and find the information you need. Support specialists, managers, administrators are always available and can quickly help guests solve their questions.
Improved quality of service
The rapid exchange of information and high level of process automation in the application improve service quality and reduce the risk of human error. How it works:
- Automated maintenance and updating of the calendar eliminates double bookings, confusing requests and unpaid reservations. The guest can view room availability, select the apartment for the desired period, and pay online or at check-in.
- The hotel receives immediate notification of a guest’s needs when advice is needed or complaints arise. The ability to respond quickly and constructively is an important benefit that is often underestimated by hotels.
- An extensive catalog of rooms with detailed description of features and search filters helps the client to choose an apartment exactly according to his needs. This helps to avoid unpleasant surprises or misunderstandings at check-in, when expectations and reality do not coincide.
- The app creates a separate section for additional services – transfer, cleaning, laundry, breakfast, excursions, etc. You can easily select, order and pay for a service in a few seconds.
There are more regular customers
Installing an app is a bigger step than visiting a website, making a phone call, or posting on social media. You can forget the link to the website, lose your phone number, or get your social media page confused with dozens of other properties. And even a one-time stay at a hotel does not guarantee that a guest will ever return. But when an application is downloaded, it stays on the user’s smartphone for a period of time and can gently remind them of themselves. To make such a reminder interesting for the user, you can offer a discount on the next booking, a free service, or some other advantageous offer. In this case, the probability of getting a loyal customer increases significantly.
Simplifies data collection, reduces staff workload
Automated processing of reservations, inquiries, payments, requests from guests – all this relieves administrators and managers, reduces the probability of errors, eliminates laborious manual work with a large amount of information. If the hotel already has an internal automation system, the mobile application will be synchronized with the existing software. Both services work as a single mechanism – staff and administrators get convenient mobile functionality, while a separate interface is created for guests.
Hotel gains enhanced business analytics capabilities
Statistics of reservations, payments, cancellations, refunds. If such counting is not done in the back-end software, the mobile application will do it perfectly. Data can be collected for the entire property, for each client, for individual rooms, by date, season, etc. The administrator can customize the analysis parameters according to his needs.
Room demand. Collecting statistical data and analyzing feedback from guests allows to identify more and less popular apartments, on the basis of which to adjust the marketing strategy – to pay more attention to promotion of less popular rooms, to take measures to improve them, to adjust the pricing policy. This reduces the downtime of the apartments and increases the occupancy rate of the hotel.
Demand for services. Analyzing the data in the application helps to determine the list of services that are in demand or remain unused. Based on the data obtained, it is possible to adjust the package of services, add new offers, improve quality and increase capacity in the most popular areas.
Guest’s interests. The mobile application knows a lot about the guest: what kind of apartments they prefer, what services they are interested in, whether they live alone, in a couple or with a company, whether they are coming for business or leisure. If the hotel has a restaurant and entertainment infrastructure, you can analyze the style of leisure, culinary preferences, the hours of maximum activity. If it is a regular customer – to see the seasonality of bookings. With this information, it is easy to create personalized offers that are timely and interesting for the customer.
Feedback, complaints, suggestions. The mobile application becomes a platform where guests can express their opinion about the service, send a suggestion or complaint, or ask a question. See an example of this functionality:
- Number grading;
- Apartment reviews;
- Feedback forms;
- Voice and text chat with administration.
Centralized processing and analysis of customer feedback provides valuable information to improve service, increase service quality, and eliminate weaknesses.
Why it is important to synchronize the application with other hotel software tools
For example, consider a set of automation tools for a modern hotel – a website, a CRM system, and a mobile application. Each component performs its own functions, but they need to work in sync. What that means:
- Regardless of where the booking was created, it is displayed on the website, in the app, and in the CRM;
- A unified database of clients, payments, reservations, rooms is maintained;
- Price updates, content updates, photo gallery updates are played simultaneously on all platforms;
- The calendar is automatically updated;
- User credentials for logging into your personal account – shared across the website and application;
- Personal information, history of bookings, payments and requests are available when logging in to both the website and the app.
Synchronization can be full or partial – for example, a website can have simplified functionality and an application can have more advanced functionality, or vice versa. It all depends on the individual needs and requirements of the hotel. Synchronization technologies via API allow to implement different schemes, you can choose the most convenient option within the customer’s budget. If a hotel does not use a full-fledged CRM, but wants to automate business processes and customer relations – then a mobile application can take over the functions of such a system.
If you run a hotel or promote hotel services, explore the possibility of launching a branded mobile app. It will open new horizons for business development and allow you to expand your regular customer base. To clarify the cost of development, leave a request on the website – the KitApp team will send you a commercial proposal.