Hospitality News Byte: Hotels Providing Mobile Devices in Common Areas, App Used at Local Restaurant, Maximizing and Monetizing Mobile Services

Hotels Providing Mobile Devices in Common Areas Becomes Common Practice

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Same Day Hotel Booking Businesses Rocket Ahead Of The Crucial Christmas Season

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App used at local restaurant texts customers when their table is ready

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InterContinental Hotels Group Upgrades Mobile Apps

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Happy hoteliers and customers: maximising and monetising mobile services

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Hospitality Industry News: Stat on Mobile Hotel Booking, Hotel Amenity, Guestroom Phones with iPhone

 

The Scan: A startling stat on mobile hotel booking, and more travel tech news

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The New Hotel Amenity: Tech-Free Zones

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Hotel replaces obsolete guestroom phones with the iPhone

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Marina Mandarin Singapore is the first hotel to use fully integrated mobile technology to enhance customer experience

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Two BW Plus Hotels Deploy Room-Service App

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Hospitality News: Cloud Computing for Hotels, Hotel Website Upgrades, App Helps Combat Long Lines

Cloud computing ‘revolutionary’ for hotels claims Hospitality Technology EXPO manager

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No Wait!

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User content highlights hotel website upgrades

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App helps restaurants combat long lines

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Text Messages Help Mall of America Shoppers Find Parked Cars

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Hospitality News: Room Service via Mobile, Hotel Mobile Technology, Future Hotel Rooms

 

The first hotel to use fully integrated mobile technology to enhance customer experience

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New app to let hotel guests order room service from their mobiles

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Going hi-tech with sports simulators

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Lake District hotel one of the first to employ ‘wave and go’ technology

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Future hotel rooms will have virtual invisible technology, says study

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Dining and Restaurant Reservations Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

Dining and Restaurant Reservations Trends [INFOGRAPHIC]

This infographic from OpenTable has some great info about dining and restaurant reservations. Since its original creation, a new trend in restaurant reservations is popping up: text messaging. Various services are using the most popular channel on mobile phones to help guests reserve tables and to get notified when their tables are ready instead of using pagers or yelling (which is still used by more establishments than you’d think). In fact, text messaging is being used more and more for hospitality and guest services, with hotels, resorts and spas realizing the value of being able to communicate with guests on the device they never leave home without.

Restaurant owners and managers benefit from text messaging because it is cost-effective, available on almost 100% of mobile phones and enables they to send offers, promotions or collect customer feedback via text message surveys. With more guests becoming more mobile and depending on their mobile text messaging for quick communications, we see it as more than a trend, but a new method of communication that will continue as mobile consumers use messaging more than voice communications in the future.

A few fun facts from the infographic:

  • Italian is the most popular cuisine in all major metro cities except Washington DC, where it is American (go figure).
  • 30% of reservations made on OpenTable are typically booked while the restaurant is closed (really impressive).
  • 7pm is the most popular reservation time (eat earlier or later and avoid the crowds!)

Get a quote for text messaging solutions for guest services.

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Hospitality News: Tech Upgrades Increase Revenue, Restaurant Text Messaging Dos/Don’ts, Hotels and Tablets

 

Smaller Technology Upgrades Could Lead to Increased Hotel Revenue

Hotels are accustomed nowadays to technological upgrades so as to increase their revenue. A simple improvement in hotel service can increase their guest attendance such as by using Google Floor Plan Marker app. This simply helps users navigate their way around the building from board to guest room and alike. Tech-savvy hotels are the trend in the industry since business travellers most likely will be using their mobile devices at hotels to look for special offers and other services available.

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Mobility technology: Aid to hotel revenue growth

Hotel’s technology corresponds to efficiency and revenue. These days, guests are looking for facilities that can help them stay connected to keep up with news, keep in touch with friends and family and perform several tasks at once.  Mobility technology helps hotels provide an excellent service to guests thus building a lasting loyalty to keep them coming back for more.

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Do’s and don’ts of text-message marketing for your restaurant

Text-message marketing is a good way of promoting restaurants because it produces higher percentage of offers being redeemed rather than e-mail marketing messages and direct-mail messages. In using this type of marketing, always keep in mind the do’s and don’ts so as to achieve a profitable return on investment in your restaurant.

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Market via Text Message in the Restaurant Industry

Restaurant industry is now paying more attention to the prowess of the text message marketing. This is a great tool of promoting and advertising what restaurant have in store for their customer such as texting special promotion or just simply having a regular connection with them.

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Tech Trends: Hotels take advantage of tablet computers

Hotels are keeping up the pace with new technology like taking the advantage of tablet computers for customer service. This high-tech device allows for example guest to check rates on a tablet with a website that is meant to be touched rather than sites that are made for a mouse to navigate.

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4 Ways to Increase Hotel Staff Process Efficiencies with Text Messaging | Software for Hotel Management

4 Ways to Increase Hotel Staff Process Efficiencies with Text Messaging

Modern day consumers often choose text messaging as their preferred communication method. But text messaging has applications far beyond casual social interaction. In fact, hotel managers can greatly increase their staff efficiency by utilizing the latest in text technology. With Mosio’s hotel text messaging software, it is actually possible to save money while increasing response times. Here are four ways in which Mosio’s web-based mobile technology can improve hotel employee efficiencies:

1. Reduce Guest Service Response Times – With hotel texting software, guests can text staff members instantly, making reservations and asking questions without having to wait on hold. This improves their hotel experience and encourages repeat visits, but ultimately enables staff to handle more guest requests in a short amount of time.

2. Improve Staff Communications – Set up a customizable answer template, a staff member can quickly answer any frequently asked question. Furthermore, when a manager must reprimand an employee, they can do it privately, which spares them both the embarrassment of a public confrontation.

3. Eliminate Lengthy Phone Calls –  Even business calls often turn to mundane topics, such as the weather or local sports events. With text messaging technology, communications are simplified to pertinent information only.

4. Communicate From Everywhere – With hotel texting software, staff members can be reached at any location. This saves one from the task of tracking down an employee, which improves operational efficiency.

For a manager interested in attaining an edge over the competition, hotel management software offers an affordable, user-friendly solution. With text technology, employees are more accessible than ever, and are able to respond within seconds to any communication.

 

7 Methods Hotels Can Implement to Improve Guest Satisfaction Using Mobile Text Messaging | Hospitality Solutions

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7 Methods Hotels Can Implement to Improve Guest Satisfaction Using Mobile Text Messaging

As a hotel manager, you’ve built your entire business on your willingness to serve others. So why not communicate with your customers using the technology they prefer most? Many mobile users see a phone call as a bother and intrusion. On the other hand, most customers prefer communicating via text message because it is convenient and simple. It’s how they communicate with their friends, family and co-workers. When you use mobile text messaging to connect with your guests, you can improve your guest services in seven key ways.

1. Give guests a real-time voice and improve your reputation as an above and beyond customer-centric hotel by allowing your customers to send their concerns and questions to the concierge or guest services via text and get a reply.

2. Increase bookings at on-location spas and restaurants by allowing guests to text reservations.

3. Reduce the number of no-shows by sending reminder texts about appointments and reservations.

4. Be a mobile information resource for local flavor. Send a text message to alert guests about shows, attractions and experiences in areas around the city.

5. Increase a feeling of safety and security among guests. Use a text message to alert guests in case of an emergency. Guests will prefer your hotel because of the additional security.

6. Improve customer service by texting guests when their tables or rooms are ready, room service has arrived, or rooms have been cleaned. Allow customers to respond with questions about check-in or to let you know if they will be running late.

7. Send current and previous guests special offers, and allow them to respond to the text with a booking or reservation.

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Mobile Technologies in Hospitality, Hotels and Travel [Infographic] | Mobile Messaging Software for Hotels

Great infographic about the impact of social media and mobile on the Hospitality Industry. Put out by Four Pillars.

While the infographic doesn’t discuss the power of text messaging in hospitality (the most widely used channel on mobile devices), they mention:

  • 85% of leisure travelers use their smartphones while abroad.
  • 30% have used mobile apps to find hotel deals
  • 29% of travelers have used mobile apps to find flight deals.

Uses by travelers we think are going to become more popular in the very near future?

  • Checkin and Checkout Via Text Messaging
  • Text a Concierge / Guest Services
  • Restaurant and Spa Reservation Requests and Reminders

For a bigger version of the graphic and to visit Four Pillars, click on the image.

To find out about Mosio’s text messaging solutions for the hospitality industry, get in touch with us via our website, or call our Hospitality Specialist (Marie) at 877.677.4699 Ext. 704.

Facts + Figures: Mobile Text Message Usage in the U.S. (Hint: It’s Massive)

Text Message Growth in the U.S.

We hear a lot of feedback, questions and sometimes even a little skepticism regarding text messaging usage in the United States. Many folks understand and are part of the mobile messaging explosion in the U.S. and others need a little more convincing, asking “why don’t they just call or email us if they need something?”

While no one here sends 470 text messages per day, we love text messaging, are excited for it to be used everywhere, understand that it might be better to provide some industry facts regarding text messaging usage and show why we know we’ll see more and more companies embrace the mobile channel as an paramount addition to their businesses. We’ve compiled a quick list for you with links to the reports where possible, will add more as we find them and if you have any, please let us know or post them in the comments section.

  • On average, Americans send and receive twice as many text messages as phone calls per month. (Nielsen Mobile)
  • In 2008, teens and twenty-somethings were by far the largest users of texting, coming in at 85%. In 2009, this continued to be true with teens at 94% and 20-somethings at 87%, but usage also increased for older age groups. Among those in their 40s, usage jumped from 56% to 64%, and for those in their 50s it jumped from 38% to 46%. (The Vlingo Consumer Mobile Messaging Habits Report, May 20, 2009)
  • A new online survey of mobile users (sample size not disclosed) conducted in January, 2008 by Amplitude Research has found the following features and considerations to be most important among cell phone buyers:
    * Text messaging: 73%
    * Camera: 67%
    * Ability to access the mobile Internet: 61%
    * Music features: 34%
    * Video: 33%
  • Roughly two-thirds of Hispanics used text messaging services in the last 30 days, about one-fourth utilized mobile Internet, and the same percentage sent an email in the past month. (Nielsen IAG Study, July 4, 2009)


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5 Competitive Advantages Mobile Solutions for Hotels and Hospitality

The Mobile Opportunity for Hotels

Consumers are using their mobile phones for everything. They are surfing the mobile web, they are interacting with friends and brands on mobile social networks, they are making purchases using their phones now more than ever and they are texting nearly twice as much as they are talking. They have come to expect the mobile channel to interact with their favorites brands and to get information immediately through their handsets. Too often, consumers are left disappointed if their mobile experience lacks organization, optimization and the ability to continue the conversation beyond a one-way communication. Hotel guests are no different.

Max Starkov wrote an incredibly thorough piece called “Mobile Marketing & Distribution Strategy in Hospitality: the Future is Already Here.” If you haven’t already, I highly recommend reading it. He touches upon the various elements of mobility for hotels and how they can offer higher levels of service to guests through personalization, location based services, marketing and general info through “mini sites” optimized for the mobile web.

At Mosio, mobile is our business. We know why it’s important and have a good idea where it’s going. We also realize that any hotel exploring the mobile channel for the first time, and for those who have already started harnessing its power, are recognizing the importance of providing an engaging, two-way mobile experience in order to interact with guests before, during and after their stay.

In a recent post, we provided some facts and figures about mobile text message usage in the U.S. and the opportunity for Hotels and Hospitality which, by the nature of statistics, speaks directly to the opportunity available to the entire hospitality industry. Taking it one step further in this post, we want to include some more information and specific competitive advantages the mobile channel offers your hotel and the added level of service it offers your guests.

1. Mobile technologies can save your staff time by enabling guests to help themselves find information.

Hotels are in the questions and answers business. While many would agree that nothing beats a face-to-face answer with a smile, most people prefer to just have a quick answer, easy access to information and to be able to get it no matter where they are. Mobile websites (we call them “microsites”) containing hotel and localized information are a great opportunity to provide guests with helpful information on-the-go without standing in line or calling the front desk. In addition, providing important contact information via microsites will ensure that if your guests don’t immediately find the information they need, they know who to call or text for it.

2. The mobile channel is an engaging, personal medium where you can market and promote hotel services during a guest’s stay with you.

When guests are looking for information, they are the most open to suggestions, including products or services that are offered in your hotel or through one of your partners. Listing specials, promotions and last-minute discounts on your mobile microsites and via text messaging can increase revenue and fill real-time cancellations/openings for hotel services.

3. Mobility doesn’t need to be difficult, expensive or time-consuming.

I once heard someone say “Our mobile strategy is: We need one.” I couldn’t blame him for saying it. With so many different components to creating an effective mobile presence, I couldn’t blame him for not knowing where to start either. Consultants and Mobile Agencies can be great if you have time and money to spend, but consider that expenses start with the development, continue through deployment and often repeat with ongoing maintenance. Many mobile sites and marketing campaigns shut down short of fulfilling ROI due to lack of resources for management and upkeep. Conversely, mobile sites that are outdated show the end-user a lack of commitment to offering mobile services. That said, there is no reason why you should ever have to contact an outside agency to make minor changes to your mobile website or SMS communications.

Add apps to your mobile strategy, and the costs can soon make the whole idea for mobilizing a conversation closer. Simply put, developing mobile apps means programming for 7 mobile operating systems, which in turn means updating each of these apps when their operating systems get updated. A single app can cost thousands of dollars and comes with no guarantee that it will be approved, found amongst the thousands of other apps or downloaded by your customers.

If not agencies and apps, then what?! Consider Mobile Software as a Service (SaaS). Mobile cloud computing via the mobile web is growing quickly and gives you the biggest possible universe of potential consumers with the least cost, time and ongoing management resources. It seems a little odd that the simplest and most focused approach is the fastest and cheapest way to have a mobile presence, but it’s the truth. If you don’t trust that the mobile Internet is the future, consider Google’s view of it.

4. Mobile communication should not be a one way street.

With the diverse avenues for mobile interaction available, not allowing your guests to communicate with you via their mobile devices during their stay (beyond a phone call) is the single most underused opportunity to connect with your customers, gather intelligence and provide higher service levels at the point of experience. The few hotels that are sending mobile communications to guests are doing so by providing room-ready updates or outbound promotions. These are great and informative, but I have yet to see a compelling mobile website or text messaging campaign to customers that offer a truly engaging experience. Polls, voting and “How was your stay?” surveys allow the customer to respond A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 but do not allow the guest to offer freeform feedback. There is much greater value in encouraging feedback throughout a guest’s entire stay, with the ability for hotel staff to respond accordingly, than to receive a survey response “C) Service was satisfactory” after they have already left.

5. When you embrace and execute mobile correctly, your brand is with the guest wherever they are.

Providing information and services via the mobile web and text messaging means your brand is in their pockets and in their purses. Mobile is on-demand, 24/7 and is something that all guests are coming to expect no matter where they are. Harness the power of the mobile channel effectively and your brand, your customers and your bottom line will benefit.

Thanks for reading.

Mosio Mobile Information Systems
“Connecting you and your customers on their mobile devices.”

Invest 30 minutes to mobilize your business. Join us for an online demo and go mobile!

Mobile Answers – About Mobile Software as a Service, Mobile Cloud Computing and the Future of Mobility

Mobile Answers

Mobile Answers – by Mosio

Welcome to our new information, news and commentary resource on  technologies, software as a service, cloud computing and all things mobile. This site was created and is maintained by those of us who work at Mosio, creators of Text a Librarian, the award winning AskMosio Community and Mosio for Businesses, enabling businesses and organizations to communicate with their customers and members on thier mobile devices.

We welcome you to visit often and if you’re interested in how Mosio can help your organization harness the mobile channel, please visit us at www.mosio.com.

Thanks and we look forward to speaking with you.

Have a curious day,

The Mosio Team
Mosio
Mobile Information Systems

Connecting you and your customers on their mobile devices.
SXSW Web Awards 2008 Mobile Winner