Tapping into a Safer, Smarter Stay

Are Hotel Apps the Answer to a Socially Distant Guest Experience?

Sep 30th Uncategorised

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The global outbreak of Coronavirus has caused many countries to go into lockdown. This response to the pandemic has altered the way millions of us go about our daily lives on a tremendous scale, forcing many businesses to close their doors for the foreseeable future.

Smarter Hotels for a Safer Stay

The hotel and hospitality industry is enduring a global crisis at the hands of COVID-19. Until we come out of lockdown, it’s difficult to understand how business will look for hotels, but what we can predict is that the industry will have to completely transform their business strategy and adapt to these forces of change in order to survive. As the world comes to terms with the fact that we won’t be going back to normal anytime soon, many businesses, including the hotel sector, are now looking at innovative ways to do business in a socially distant world.

“Social distancing will remain part of human behaviour beyond COVID-19. This behaviour resonates with the new high demand for mobile app use. Guests’ mobile app usage will more likely increase for requesting hotel services, especially in-room dining orders, concierge requests and general chat with hotel employees”.

Yazan Sabelaish — Senior Director of Information Technology, Four Seasons Hotels, Dubai

Safety and your Fingertips

The biggest challenge for hoteliers on the other side of lockdown will be establishing customer confidence within their brand. It’s vital guests feel that hotels have gone above and beyond to protect their customers’ safety, while also providing them with an excellent guest experience during their stay.

We’ve mentioned before how mobile applications can supercharge the hotel guest experience, and they will only become more important in a socially distant world. While many hotels have invested in a mobile app of some sort, it’s clear that the industry will need to up their app game, allowing the whole guest experience to be completed from the comfort of their mobile phone.

This week on Medium, we look at ways in which the hotel industry can achieve this to create a smarter, safer stay for their guests in a socially distant world.

Contactless Payments

With many businesses refusing to accept cash and only taking card payments in light of COVID-19, this will likely continue long after the lockdown is over. Implementing contactless payment methods such as Google, Android, and Apple Pay into your hotel’s mobile app will help ensure the safety of guests while providing a fast and secure payment experience.

Virtual Concierge Assistant

While social distancing practices are likely to remain, it’s vital that hotels still meet every guest’s expectations. Virtual concierge assistants are likely to be adopted more by hoteliers, allowing guests to chat with members of staff and make hotel requests, without coming into contact with them. Enabling hoteliers to effectively communicate with their guests and ensure they have an excellent experience while protecting the safety of their staff and customers’.

Voice Command Features

As the sharing economy has effectively ceased for now, guests are more likely to come to expect the use of voice command features during their stay to avoid touching shared surfaces that may be contaminated. Allowing guests to control room lights, TV’s and heating preferences using their mobile phone is likely to increase customer confidence within your hotel.

While the UK is still facing the worst of the crisis and the exact response to how hotels will recover is not fully known, it’s vital that the industry monitors how the market is changing in order to determine new and innovative ways to adapt to these changes and allow their business to survive in a socially distant world.