You’ve just stepped out of your Uber, as the driver passes you your bags. Your eyes eagerly take in your surroundings for the week — sprawling grounds, a pristine modern lobby, picturesque architecture, and landscaping. A hotel staff member greets you immediately with a beaming smile, iPad in hand, to pull up your reservation. You’ve already checked in through an app on your mobile phone, which will also double as your room key and digital wallet during your stay.
Like clockwork, you find your way to your room, which is stocked with the items you requested in-app, while en-route to the property. Alexa is waiting for instruction on the bedside table, and the Smart TV is flipped on and ready, allowing you to enjoy an evening of late-night Netflix and room service. You set down your bags and step over to the window to take in the sky-high view of the grounds, only to hear your phone buzz with an alert. Your dinner reservation is in an hour, so you peruse the menu to decide what you might order and glance at the other items you’ve booked into your itinerary.
Many things in life might be uncertain, but this, you’re sure, is going to be a good trip.
A few years ago, this scene would be described as a fantasy, but now hotels around the world are clamoring to give this streamlined experience to their guests. Today, forward-thinking hotels are leveraging cutting-edge technology to enhance the traditional hospitality experience, creating a guest journey that is filled with convenience, personalization, and share-worthy moments. The modern, mobile guest experience is one that will keep guests coming back again and again.
What It Means to be Streamlined
We’ve long since identified the importance of mobile functionality within the hospitality industry. Now, hotels are catering to guests’ growing desire for mobile-centric convenience, by ensuring that the entirety of the guest journey is personalized and mobile friendly. Offering both person-to-person and mobile communication pathways is paramount to the creation of a more personalized service model, as it empowers guests to choose when and how they interact with the hotel.
But the need for mobile solutions extends beyond the demand for a more intuitive booking and check-in experience. With an influx of guest data, responsive platforms boasting open APIs, and the flexibility of cloud technology, hotels can set new standards of efficiency, achieve scalable innovation, and gain a deeper understanding of guests. This allows hotels to extend mobile convenience and data-driven personalization to every touchpoint of the guest journey 一 not just check-in. So, what does this new streamlined guest journey look like? The answer requires looking at the marriage of a mobile PMS with a mobile Point-of-Sale (POS) system.
Going Mobile: The Benefits for your PMS and POS
Consider this: increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. With those numbers in mind, it comes as no surprise that hoteliers are actively investing in platforms which allow them to continuously improve the guest experience. Fortunately, integrating a mobile-PMS with a mobile-POS will help achieve precisely that goal. Both systems can seamlessly connect hotel staff with guests to add value to the hospitality experience, anywhere on property. With a mobile PMS, hotel staff are free to interact with and respond to guest demands directly. A mobile PMS lets hoteliers reduce (or eliminate) front desk lines and delays, improve sales, enhance guest service, and reduce errors while collecting valuable guest data. Similarly, a mobile POS can streamline and customize the dining experience with mobile-enabled tableside ordering, room service ordering, order-ahead, and pay-at-table options. Leveraging a mobile PMS and POS, hoteliers can establish an agile business model that is equipped to keep pace with modern guest demands, while adding value to their service offering.
PMS and POS: A Match Made in Hospitality Heaven
The name of the game is integration; hoteliers are tasked with creating a digital infrastructure comprised of open API platforms that can seamlessly work together to support staff and answer guest requests. To borrow a common phrase, “No PMS is an island.” Beyond the daily requirements placed on your property’s PMS, you also need to be equipped to seamlessly process your guests’ dining transactions.
This is where your POS comes into play; ideally, by linking with your PMS with your on-property restaurant, spa, stores, and more to ensure all guest transactions and data are centralized. While your PMS helps to automate critical guest touch-points and operational demands, including reporting and logistics, while your POS takes care of dining orders and posting charges to the relevant folio within the PMS. By marrying these two platforms together, hoteliers can save time, prevent billing mistakes and streamline the billing process, and better identify and capitalize on revenue opportunities.
Without a mobile POS, hotels can add needless friction to an otherwise seamless guest journey. Without a well-integrated PMS/ POS, restaurant and room service bills will have to be added to a guest’s folio manually, increasing the amount of inconvenience for the staff and guests. It can also increase the possibility of errors or billing discrepancies, leading to disgruntled guests, and the loss of revenue for the hotel.
By integrating a mobile PMS with a mobile POS, hoteliers can reduce errors and ensure a pleasant, hassle-free guest experience upon check-out. A mobile POS can record all of the restaurant and dining related charges accrued by a guest, and relay them to the PMS in real-time, so that they are automatically posted to the folio. While guests can enjoy the convenience of a mobile wallet and the convenience of keeping track of their folio on their mobile device, staff can benefit from the increased automation which allows them to focus on guest service, rather than yet another administrative process.
An integrated mobile PMS and POS can streamline your entire guest journey, ensuring that each moment a guest spends with your property is streamlined, convenient and personalized. Staff can focus on creating memorable moments for each guest, while guests can focus on what matters most: enjoying their stay.
A mobile PMS and a mobile POS — name a more dynamic duo… we’ll wait.
About the Author
Nicole Dehler, Vice President of Product Management
StayNTouch, A Shiji Group Brand
Nicole spent more than 12 years in the Regional Divisions of MICROS Systems, divided between Product and Project Management of Property, Sales Force and Central Reservations Systems. She led the Enterprise Team in Asia Pacific as Director of Operations, looking after large scale software implementations as well as managing the regional launch of E-Commerce products and Smartphone applications. Nicole joined StayNTouch in early 2013, spearheading the PMS development, strategy, innovation and growth from the very beginning.
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