Deciding on App Functionality? Look to Your Reviews



There is no reason for any hotel to have a sub-par mobile app, but lacking time, money, or a development team, that’s exactly what’s happening. It’s frustrating as someone who looks at these every day to see that people are still being sold on technology that serves little to no purpose for the hotel or its guests. But how can you pinpoint what kind of technology to provide?

Work backward. What do your guests want? Do they want to be able to open curtains with their iPhone? Check your reviews, is that what people are saying? “I had a great stay, the room was gorgeous and the staff was gracious and attentive, but I’m taking off one star because I had to physically use my own hands to change the position of the curtains and that’s just so 2013.”

Your reviews could tell you exactly what your hotel needs to up the ante, so get creative and consider how your app can work for you.

I chose three highly rated hotels, and looked at their most common complaints. Here is what I found:

No room service. Many hotels are finding that room service is a drain on their budget, and a potential land mine for guest dissatisfaction due to long wait times and food quality on arrival. Apps can’t make club sandwiches appear at a summons, but they can be a bridge between full service and no service by offering direct messaging to your in-house restaurant so guests can at least have hot food ready for pickup on their schedule. If your property doesn’t have on-site dining, your app can point guests to quality options available near the hotel, complete with phone numbers and menus. You might even consider adding an extra tab specifically for delivery options. Just be sure that all the information your guests will need is included within the app.

Please provide more towels, shampoo, etc. Overstocking a room doesn’t make sense from either a financial or aesthetic standpoint, but often, particular guests will want more than what is provided. A property app can provide your guests with instant communication to your housekeeping staff for these types of requests, without bogging down the front desk with extra communication duties. In-app direct messaging along with multilingual capabilities will grab you that extra star in future reviews.

Late check-in. A “late” check-in is probably in the eyes of the beholder, as it can be later than promised, later than a guest is used to from other properties, or merely later than the moment the guest arrives. While technology won’t run in and clean a room (yet – I remain hopeful for that day), it can assist you in diffusing a problem before it comes up. If you have created a connection with your guest before their arrival, are they able to text the front desk and let them know they’ll be there ahead of schedule? Or what if you suggested a relaxing hangout for your guests with the promise to text them as soon as their room is ready?

Bottom line: These are three common complaints for otherwise top-performing hotels. A branded, well-designed, and useful app can help address these common issues without any need to add or remove existing staff. Want to see an example? Text Connect to 411247 or stop by and chat with us at HITEC booth #1061.