Technology is influencing and changing the hotel business every day, from booking to guest room locks to guest interaction. The ubiquitous use of smartphones, however, is leading the way as the biggest gamechanger, affecting the ways both guests and hotels behave. We’ve put together a list of six mobile apps hoteliers need to be aware of because of what they do differently – or better – than the rest.
Beekeeper is a collaboration mobile app tailored to reach mobile workers and integrates with hotels’ existing operational systems. Hotel employees can collaborate and share updates across properties and teams, including real-time messaging (1:1 or group) and communication streams. Beekeeper can help ensure hotel teams are unified and sharing information as needed.
- Can be used in a hotel’s for pre-shift meetings to communicate daily arrivals, VIP guests, daily events, check-in/out numbers, and any other pertinent information needed for the day.
- Communicate amongst team members who may work different shifts and often don’t see each other (i.e., day shift and the night shift employees who don’t physically see each other but still need to communicate).
- Analytics dashboard tracks messaging read rates and overall engagement.
- Can be used to motivate employees and celebrate achievements.
If you’ve never heard of WeChat, you will. This China-based social media and messaging platform now has more than 800 million users worldwide, about double that of Instagram and Twitter combined. Important for guest communication (especially if you have international clientele), the platform is also being used in entirely new ways.
- The platform provides hoteliers with opportunities for marketing and sales in a way that appeals to Millennials and tech-savvy business travelers.
- In China, Marriott is using two WeChat accounts – Marriott Rewards WeChat for guests and their loyalty club, and Marriott Careers WeChat for staff and potential employees.
- In Las Vegas, Caesars Entertainment has put together smart hotel rooms at The LINQ, a local hotel and casino, that use WeChat to control lighting, thermostats and curtains.
A new competitor to Airbnb, Squarebreak features a growing collection of private homes – all verified, all insured – that also offer hotel-like services, including bike rentals, daily cleaning, personal training and many more.
- They focus on matching homeowners with travelers.
- Properties are managed with extreme care to ensure they’re ready for guests’ upon arrival.
- They cater to an international audience.
OpenKey is the industry standard for universal mobile key room entry in the hotel industry. Beyond mobile key, OpenKey offers mobile check-in/out, room service, room control, and other mobile guests services. Leading hotels utilize their technology either through the OpenKey mobile app itself or integrated into their own hotel mobile app.
- Mobile key drives an average 7% improvement in guest satisfaction scores and can save $1,000 per month on RFID keycard costs.
- Certified integrations with POS, PMS, room controls, spa, workflow/ticketing, mobile dining, and more.
- The OpenKey Front Desk application works hand-in-hand with the mobile app to create a world-class guest experience.
A cloud-based operations platform, ALICE enables the hotel staff to interact with guests – and each other – to deliver the best service possible. Their main goals are to improve guest satisfaction and achieve operational excellence.
- ALICE unifies staff and guests to seamlessly handle any request – anything from in-room dining to a broken AC unit.
- The platform is comprised of three products:
- ALICE Staff – A complete request management solution for communicating requests and resolving incidents quickly across all departments.
- ALICE Concierge – An easy-to-use task tracking tool that helps keep the concierge team organized.
- ALICE Guest – Increases engagement with guests by enabling them to message the front desk by app or text, whenever, wherever.
According to Sojern, the world’s leading travel performance marketing platform, 62% of domestic hotel bookings made within seven days of arrival. Hotel Tonight gives travelers a way to get great deals on these last-minute bookings (thus, the name).
- This mobile-only platform provides last-minute rates for that night or future nights – up to seven days out.
- As explained by the Hotel Tonight team, when their carefully-screened hotels have unsold rooms, they load them directly onto the app, giving customers access to deals.
- They have more than 25,000 hotel partners in 1,700 cities and more than 30 countries.