One of today’s hottest topics in the hotel industry, in part due to the rise of the millennial consumer, is the selective service aspect of hotels. Many of the large hotel chains, like Hyatt and Hilton, are increasingly investing into their select-service hotel lines, and numerous others are creating their own guest-facing mobile applications and services or investing in those of third-party providers.
Hilton HHonors loyalty members can choose their own hotel rooms, integrated with Google to show exactly where their room is in relation to the surrounding area. Hyatt is using Facebook Messenger to communicate directly with guests. Aloft Hotels have even rolled out an emoji room service menu.
Despite the myriad ways emerging to connect guests with hotels, concerns about the core functionalities of hotels are now in even sharper focus. The ability for guests to select their own rooms is a potential logistical nightmare for various hotel departments, who have to coordinate between each other and amongst themselves to ensure that the pre-selected rooms will be ready when the guests arrive. Requests made through Facebook Messenger need to be transmitted to the appropriate department, especially if a guest requests to have an extra amenity waiting in their room when they arrive. If only one person is on room service duty, guests may call the front desk or restaurant staff to ask where their food is when they feel the response time is not fast enough.
Self-service apps and options are modern ways to enhance guests’ stays, but hotels also need to consider adopting a solution to improve back-of-house organization and optimize the normal functions of the hotel, thus allowing the new guest-facing apps and technology to work as smoothly as possible.
As many hotels are have yet to adapt to new technological advances, smoothly designed, easy-to-use back-of-house facing applications that help employees perform their current tasks are a great way to ease them into using more complicated applications which interface directly with guests.