Mobile devices have become an increasingly important part of our everyday lives, so it only seems natural that hotels would integrate mobile technology into their day-to-day operations. Our last blog post discussed an emerging trend in the hospitality industry dealing with mobile technology: keyless room keys.
The next industry trend to follow may be using texting to request for room service, housekeeping and other services instead of picking up a room phone.
According to a recent Travel Weekly article, Loews Hotels & Resorts and Four Seasons are two companies that are trying out a new service created by Zingle. This five-year-old firm based in San Diego is looking to expand its text-to-order functionality within the hospitality industry.
This mobile concierge service will look to capitalize on the ubiquity of smartphone use among travelers and the growing propensity to communicate via text as a way to boost revenue while improving service.
This is another example of hotels moving towards efficiency while taking the intimate form of personalization (face-to-face interaction) out of the equation. However, there is personalization to the point that guests will be able to use their own cellphone to communicate directly with the hotel concierge service.
Positives Aspects of a Mobile Concierge Service
-“Texting is typically much faster than a phone call as it allows both parties to be more direct, but still in a friendly and personal way,” according to Zingle CEO Ford Blakely.
-This system can also be used to send text messages to guests for information such as airport delays or incoming weather changes.
-Mobile growth necessitates integration into day-to-day operations.
Negative Aspects of a Mobile Concierge Service
–Receiving service requests via text adds an additional stream of communication to monitor on the part of hoteliers.
-Properties lose the initial face-to-face encounter with guests during the traditional check-in process.
I think that as we move forward in this smartphone-driven world (and they are driving us), it is important to incorporate mobile whenever and wherever possible. The “On-the-Go, Always On” market segment captures a broad section of the millennial generation, a group that will be a major player in the hospitality industry going forward. These tech-savvy travelers expect properties to keep with the latest technological advancements to provide a customized experience that cannot be found anywhere else.
This is a trend that will be embraced by the “Silent Traveler”, a travelers who prefer to communicate through electronic means and social media channels that we talked about in a previous blog post.