IT for customers and staff: exceed customer expectations and keep them coming back
In today’s fast-paced work and leisure environment, hotel and restaurant guests are always on the move. To ensure you keep up with their expectations, you need to embrace cutting edge mobile IT solutions. According to PWC, your customers want mobility, flexibility and easy real-time access to information, and expect to be able to connect and access the content they want when they want it across all IT platforms, with easy transition between different devices. It is no surprise for example, that connectivity in terms of Wi-Fi-access has become an essential part of a hotel’s offering, on a par with electricity and water.
The leisure and hospitality industry is particularly well positioned to use mobile technology to enhance the guest experience, promote onsite and local services and improve operational efficiency. What’s more, a variety of customer engagement applications, which can be accessed directly on tablets, such as same-day offers and loyalty programs, will enhance your customer’s experience on-site and keep them engaged online long after they have left the premises, which is likely to incentivise them to return to you in the long-term.
Allowing you to service more customers on the move, tablets also offer an efficient solution for inventory management and maximum on-site mobility. They can also run industry-specific software to help you improve operations and deliver a better experience for your guests, and enable your employees to work smarter not harder. Because tablets are lightweight and have user-friendly touch-screens, they can be used across the business – for example, by waiting staff to take orders, maintenance crews to update inventories, housekeeping to record stock requirements and by concierge to check guests in and out.
The end of the physical check-in desk
Because hotels are fixed entities, there has been an assumption that mobile technologies may have minimal impact. However, according to Hotel Industry Magazine this myth has been thoroughly laid to rest as tablets, mobile phones, smartphones and laptops have become critical tools on both sides of the check-in desk. For example, UK-based City Nites, hotel apartments chain accesses its hotel management system on Apple iPads to eliminate old-fashioned, manual registration desk processes. This enables hotel staff to ‘meet and greet’ their guests at any location. This personalises the check-in experience and reduces the costs associated with static reception desks and associated technology at each location.
No more frustrating delays in paying restaurant bills
At the end of 2013, the Telegraph reported that Applebees, the largest diner chain in the US, had announced it was bringing 100,000 tablets to its tables allowing customers to order food and pay the bill without their waiters. Speaking of the decision to introduce the initiative, the chain’s president, Mike Archer, said “Let’s face it, everyone who has ever been to a restaurant has been frustrated by waiting for their cheque…Starting out, our goal was to create a way for guests to control when and how they pay their cheque.”
The potential of mobile IT in restaurants doesn’t stop at reduced waiting times for bills. With tablets providing customers with the opportunity to leave feedback, and post reviews, they also enhance customer interaction, which can be maintained online away from the restaurant to keep it at front of mind with the customer and get them back through the door again soon.
What will mobile IT do for your business?
With the opportunity to lease tablets and smartphones at just 82% of the retail price, cutting edge mobile initiatives are no longer the reserve of large leisure and hospitality chains. So if you want to develop customer service as a competitive edge, what are you waiting for?