Ruchir Talati, Marketing Manager, Telecom Solutions, Matrix Comsec

From mobile apps to mobile PMS, the hotel industry has come a long way and there are many innovations in store.

The hospitality industry relies mostly on services and customer satisfaction. However, there has been a major change in the way hoteliers interact with their guests, all thanks to the ever-evolving technology!

With a myriad options for hotels available on mobile devices, the guests opt for only those hotels that offer customized experiences. From mobile apps to mobile PMS, the hotel industry has come a long way and there are many innovations in store.

Besides this, mobile check-ins will soon replace the tradition of collecting keys from the receptionist's desk. Let us take a peek into the trends that hotel owners will have to embrace to retain their customers at a time when guests have plenty of options to choose from:

Data consolidation. There are many instances where receptionists have to juggle between multiple applications to fetch out details like call costs, check-in and check-out dates, mini bar utilization, usage of internet, and monitor the cleaning status and other activities. Switching between different applications has a negative impact on the front-desk executive's productivity. Integration of PMS with the communication solution will help receptionists manage their tasks efficiently and boost their productivity. Soon, mobile PMS will enable front-desk executives to check and retrieve all activities of a guest from their mobile devices.

Mobility. Improved reachability of the hotel staff due to mobile apps will enable hoteliers to take guest convenience a notch higher. With mobility extensions offering presence sharing, audio conferencing, and Video Calling from the handheld terminals, the relevant hotel staff can be informed regarding guests' service requests. When guests are served in minimal time, it has a positive impact on the hotel's reputation.

WiFi. Availability of WiFi is no longer a luxury but a much-needed facility. Guests travelling with smartphones, tablets, and computers often use these devices to stay connected professionally or for entertainment purposes. The requirement will force hoteliers to invest in compact solutions offering WiFi connectivity, mobility, and streamlined communications.

VoIP communications. Hoteliers will rely on VoIP networks to ensure proper connectivity between mobile staff and superior timely services to the guests. For instance, easy access of communication features and seamless connectivity of modern VoIP network help the hotel staff in managing guest's requests and numerous calls efficiently. However, VoIP connectivity eliminates the need of installing lengthy wires and helps hotels retain their aesthetic value, which is an added advantage.

Instant messaging. Hoteliers will count on instant messaging as a means to advertise their services and improve guest-retention skills. Constantly updating the status of the service request of guests through messages helps hoteliers improve their brand image, boost loyalty, and strengthen their customer base. Hoteliers will give their services a personal touch by using Instant Messaging services for sending reservation confirmation, welcoming guests to the facility, and sending thanks after their check-out.

Secured communications. With all devices and technologies coming together on a single platform and increasing security threats, the hoteliers will soon have to hunt for systems assuring privacy of the data. Communication solutions tailored on the latest security protocols will be favored when it will come to procurement.

Technology apparently is the common thread between these innovations. However, a single thing that has not changed is the goal of hoteliers to reward their guests with memorable experiences at their facilities. There are many tech tools that will surface every year to help hoteliers move toward their goal of offering superior services. Therefore, hotel owners need to be utmost careful and select only those solutions that are built on substance and capable of sufficing their distinct requirements with minimum investments.

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