Mobile apps become more advanced and ingrained in daily life every year. Developers are constantly working on apps that streamline business processes and improve customer experience, but contact-less solutions are important now more than ever. As social distancing has become the norm, apps that allow customers to skip lines and avoid contact with others are critical. Here are five contact-less mobile app solutions that are helping the hospitality industry:
Mobile Check-in and Check-out
Many are now offering mobile check-in and check-out through their apps. This allows guests to begin and end their stay without visiting a front desk or office. All they have to do is download and access the app from their phone.
Mobile check-in and check-out reduce contact between staff and guests, clear up space and make social distancing easier. It's also faster and more convenient for guests. They don't have to wait in a line, which is especially helpful for check-out if they're on a tight traveling schedule.
Signature Capture at Check-in
POS systems can be a big source of problems for businesses. When every guest has to interact with them, they can become unsanitary. They also can be expensive to maintain and repair. A signature capture system streamlines the check-in process by letting guests sign on their phones.
An app connects the guest with the property and prompts the guest to sign on their device. Then, the signature is sent to the property. The guest and staff members don't have to make contact or even be in the same room.
Keyless entry allows guests to use their smartphones to open their rooms/properties. This technology uses the smartphone's Bluetooth function. When the guest touches their smartphone to the lock, the lock pairs to the Bluetooth signal. Then, the phone sends out an encrypted token, and the lock verifies it and allows access.
Keyless entry eliminates the need for plastic key cards, so it's cleaner, safer and more convenient for guests. Most people keep their phones on them at all times, but they may have a harder time remembering to grab their key card on the way out the door. Keyless entry lowers the chances of guests getting locked out.
With this system, the "key" is encrypted, and the app uses the guest's phone number. Only the guest can open the door, so it's very secure. The key is only activated while the room is booked, too. As soon as the guest checks out, they can no longer access their room/property.
Businesses can save money with keyless entry because it eliminates costs from programming and replacing key cards.
Chip Reader Payments
Contact-less chip reader devices and apps enable guests to pay without risking the spread of germs between their card and the card reader, if one is necessary. Services like Apple Pay and Google Pay allow customers to make payments simply by holding their phone over the payment reader.
Contact-less payment devices use NFC technology, which enables short-range transmissions between devices. This method of payment is more convenient for guests, as they don't even need to have their credit card on them to make a payment.
More and more businesses are introducing comprehensive apps that give guests access to everything they need. Guests can make requests for housekeeping, order room service or upgrade their room through the app, which reduces the number of people in the lobby or at the front desk.
Because the process is so simple and streamlined, property managers will likely see a rise in guests using other services, so this could be a great way to increase profits.
Benefits of Contact-less Solutions
Contact-less solutions provide many benefits for both parties. Mobile apps provide a centralized location for guests to access everything they need during their stay. You can also integrate contact-less solutions with their property management systems, streamlining communication and improving operations from the front to the back of the house.
Contact-less solutions provide an overall better guest experience. Using a mobile app for check-in, check-out, room entry and other services are faster and easier than traditional operations. A survey from Cornell University found that a five-minute wait time for check-in lowers guest satisfaction by 50%. This shows how important efficiency is in the customer experience.
Contact-less mobile app solutions also allow vacation rentals to operate off the cloud, which leads to significant cost savings. After implementing this technology, properties can spend less money on equipment and software.
Those that implement contact-less solutions tend to be safer and have a higher level of guest satisfaction. There are a variety of mobile apps on the market that help make social distancing in the hospitality industry possible, and developers are always working on more.
Tyler Boykin, global director of hospitality and travel, is an industry expert within the Hospitality and Travel landscape. He works at Chetu Inc., a South Florida based custom software development company and thought-leader within the IT community. He offers commentary on changing tides within the hospitality industry and how new software can propel all facets of online travel.
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