How Mobile Apps Improve Workflow at Small Hotels
Smaller hotel properties face unique challenges in today’s economy. Already operating with proportionally less staff than larger brands, each team member often wears multiple hats to provide winning service for guests. On top of this, it’s no secret that 95 percent of hoteliers are facing staffing shortages while travel-starved guests are pushing occupancy levels to record highs.
In the face of these challenges, small property operators must find cost-effective ways to better manage workflows and create efficiencies in order to provide the exceptional experiences guests expect. You can meet this challenge head-on by embracing next-gen tech in the form of a mobile hotel application. The right app automates processes and makes daily operations easier, allowing staff to spend less time on tedious, time-consuming manual tasks and more time delivering the excellent service that earns guest loyalty and lucrative repeat business.
The hotel check-in process is typically labor intensive, requiring front desk staff to verify guest identities, get signatures on significant documents, review policies, provide hotel and area maps, point out specific locations, and even present upgrade and cross-sell offers.
With a hotel app offering mobile check-in, you can save valuable time – working more efficiently with reduced personnel. Through the app, guests can complete the check-in process on their own prior to arrival. The addition of mobile key functionality means that guests don’t even have to stop at the front desk upon arrival but instead can head straight to their room to get started on their vacation fun.
A mobile payment feature streamlines the payment process and ensures that your team members aren’t tied up manually inputting credit card information. This also helps reduce errors and reconciliation times. In addition, advanced mobile apps integrate with your property management system (PMS), giving you instant access to detailed guest profiles, and allowing you to automate upsell and cross-sell offers based on guest interests and demographics.
Improve Communication and Collaboration
Small properties operating with reduced staff can still improve guest services through in-app messaging and text features. These integrated functions reduce the need for human customer service because guest requests can be funneled through the app, allowing you to deliver quick responses to guest requests. You decrease the need for time-consuming phone calls and consolidate communication, so nothing gets missed.
The right app can even serve as a mobile concierge, a feature your guests love. It removes barriers by effortlessly translating messages and eliminating the need for human interactions by placing curated lists of staff-recommended activities and dining venues at guests’ fingertips – available with a few taps of their smartphone screens.
The messaging feature of a mobile app also operates as a staff collaboration tool, simplifying communication among team members by keeping them connected in real-time, no matter where they are on the property.
Better Manage BOH Operations
In addition to improving workflows for guest-facing staff, back-of-house (BOH) operations benefit from the use of a mobile hotel application as well. For instance, instead of relying on printed task lists for your housekeeping team – which can become obsolete throughout the day – staff can check schedules on their personal devices. You can even assign tasks and create reminders on the fly. Housekeeping staff can see in real-time which rooms are vacated and ready to be cleaned, and they can also mark rooms clean as they go, allowing you to turn rooms over faster.
Through the app, guests can choose in advance the level of housekeeping they prefer during their stay. Some may want a full daily cleaning, while others may simply want fresh towels delivered every couple of days. This helps you to schedule and utilize your staff more effectively.
Similarly, you can enhance the efficiency of your engineering team by prioritizing a running task list with assignments for specific workers to complete as necessary. An app can keep everyone up to date on the operational status and preventative maintenance schedules of key assets, so nothing slips through the cracks. Team members receive real-time updates and notifications, helping prevent the loss of high-value equipment and the cost of more labor-intensive repairs that could occur down the road.
Mobile Apps Benefit Overall Workflow
With the right app in place, hoteliers operating smaller properties optimize overall workflows by streamlining processes, improving the flow of information, and creating staff efficiencies, empowering you to accomplish more in less time with leaner teams. Bottom line: mobile apps put you in the best position to weather the hospitality labor crisis and thrive in the future.
Want to better manage workflow with a mobile app at your hotel?
 Duguay, Sarah. “How Hotel Tech Can Help with Labor Shortages.” Hotel Tech Report, 26 Jan. 2022, https://hoteltechreport.com/news/hotel-tech-alleviate-labor-shortages#:~:text=According%20to%20Revinate%2C%2095%25%20of,the%20outlier%2C%20in%20today's%20market.
 Starkov, Max. “No, Guests Do Not Require Human-Provided Services in Hospitality.” PhocusWire, 4 Jan. 2022, https://www.phocuswire.com/no-guests-do-not-require-human-provided-services-in-hospitality?oly_enc_id=6544E6835612F3K.
 “Infographic: Survey Reveals Tech-Supported 'New Normal' for Hotels amid Covid-19.” Metova, 10 Nov. 2020, https://metova.com/infographic-survey-tech-supported-new-normal-hotels-covid-19/.