(Posted 20th April 2022)
A new generation of mobile solutions is extending guest service to the beach, pool, golf course and outdoor event space, giving guests a good reason to stay on your property and enjoy all it has to offer. They may stop by the gift shop to replace the sunglasses they left at the airport, but from there… the outdoors is where they want to be.
Mobile solutions are the key to enhancing the guest experience today, and technology companies are answering the call by providing hoteliers with new, innovative options to support their operations and boost guest satisfaction levels. Guests are ready to return to travel, and they are hungry for fun activities – especially those that are outdoors.
From event venues to golf courses, to pools and beaches, guests want the ability to explore your entire hotel property and eat and drink wherever they are. They want to reserve a seat at the beach without having to put a towel on a chair early in the morning. They want to swim with the dolphins on Saturday, jet skis on Sunday, and paddleboards Monday through Wednesday. To stay competitive, resorts need to deliver on all these desires with technology that enables fun!
While mobile solutions have already made a huge difference to the hospitality industry with digital keys, mobile check-in/out, mobile ordering and digital payment options, now technology providers are elevating mobile solutions even further. By providing solutions that enable personalized service everywhere guests want to be on the property, hotels are attracting more guests (and the best talent, but I’ll get to that), enhancing guest service, and creating new revenue streams.
According to Tourism Minister Najib Balala, the Kenyan government expects the recovery of tourism to continue in 2022. Tourism revenue in 2022 is estimated at 173 billion shillings (about $1.5 billion).
Hotels that are finding new ways to entice guests to their properties and encourage them to take advantage of the many services, amenities and activities that they have available will welcome not only more guests than their competition but perhaps, more importantly, the most profitable guests – those prepared to spend generously on food, drinks and fun things to do. Now that leisure and business travellers are returning, hotels and resorts must have new technologies in place to provide effortless guest service as well as exceptional experiences that turn a few days away from home into a vacation to remember.
At the same time, hotel staff needs to be armed with the tools to enable those experiences and maximize revenue across the entire property. By integrating new technologies like available-everywhere mobile POS solutions and amenity booking solutions that allow guests to reserve beach chairs the same seamless way they book their hotel room, resorts can modernize operations, and radically improve guest service. Happy guests mean higher checks, better tips, and the loyalty of the best of the best in hospitality talent.
How New Technologies are Changing Guest Service Today
Mobile solutions are a fact of life everywhere – hotels and resorts are no exception. Guests are comfortable booking their room via their laptop, using their phone as their room key, and casting their own content to their in-room TV. To remain competitive, hoteliers need to continue to explore innovative mobile technologies to meet (and exceed) ever-changing guest expectations and help their staff provide exceptional personalized service.
One way to do that is to go where the guest is to better serve them. Your guests are not staying in their rooms. They want to enjoy everything your hotel or resort has to offer, and you want to encourage them to reserve services, book activities, and spend more money on food and beverages everywhere on the property. There are mobile solutions available today that can provide hotels with the ability to reach guests across the entirety of the property. Today’s technology providers are extending the arm of Wi-Fi by tapping into cellular service and offering solutions that integrate with existing POS systems. Hotel properties are realizing they can reach their guests wherever they are and optimize their existing systems without having to replace them.
Extending the reach of service by implementing solutions that are enabled by modern cellular networks, gives guests and staff access to activities and food and beverage (F&B) options outside the range of traditional Wi-Fi. These solutions are designed for movement and outdoor use, where servers use sunlight-friendly mobile tablets instead of fixed terminals. Let’s take a look at some of the new technology options that enhance the guest experience across the whole property and allow resort staff to spend more time serving your guests.
Through geospatial mapping technology, guests can select the deck chair or cabana of their choice and reserve it for the duration of their stay when they book their room. By integrating a mobile POS solution with this mapping feature, servers know precisely where every guest is sitting. More face time means more orders. By integrating the right mobile option with existing POS solutions, the range of services is immediately extended to the pool and other high-demand areas of the property.
There is seamless communication with the kitchen and fewer mistakes, as the order goes straight from the server to the system instead of from a hand-written pad (or a questionable memory) to then be keyed into a fixed terminal. Service is more professional and much faster. By providing staff with a 5G-enabled tablet-based POS solution, they have more flexibility and more time to spend with the guest to ensure the highest level of service is delivered.
At the Beach
Everyone wants a lounge chair in the front row, but unless they get up early and place a towel over the chair of their choice, someone may beat them to it, and they may be stuck in the back row – or on a blanket in the sand. Most properties have staff members at the beach to help guests reserve chairs, paddleboards and other water equipment, but guests do not want to wait in long lines for service.
By implementing technology that allows guests to reserve the specific beach chair of their choice when they book their room, as well as any water sports equipment they may want to use throughout their stay, resorts deliver a better guest experience even before arrival, and guests start having fun the moment they arrive. Vacations are supposed to be easy, and these solutions were designed to help the guest create a personalized experience, and the staff elevate service levels. Instead of the staff having guest information on a clipboard and risking double-booking a chair or paddleboard, mobile booking solutions deliver the ability to monitor selections, confirm seat choices, and send guests to the fun part of their vacation faster and with no stress.
Just like poolside, integrating a mobile point-of-sale that keeps your servers on the beach instead of running back and forth between your guests and your fixed POS terminal means another round of drinks or lunch by the water is an easy decision. Your guests will be happier, and happy guests are the best reviewers… and the best tippers.
At Outdoor Event Spaces
Whether an outdoor banquet space, a concert venue or an area reserved for tailgating, properties can help elevate guest service during open-air events as well. Resorts now have the ability to set up satellite bars or F&B outlets without dragging fixed terminals to outdoor areas or being limited by spotty internet service in remote spaces. Today’s open-air venue solutions communicate directly with existing POS systems and the kitchen just like a fixed terminal would, but with the ability to move around areas that may normally not be accessible for F&B service. Utilizing light, flexible, sunlight-friendly tablets, servers and bartenders have more time to spend with guests, order accuracy improves, and speed of service goes from in the weeds to in the zone.
Keeping the Dream Team
To say staffing in hospitality has been a challenge is a profound understatement. The most successful properties are finding that staff members who spend time around happy guests and are given the tools and opportunity to increase their earnings are staying. The best of the best know they are in high demand and are following the money – and the job satisfaction – this is the loyalty part I mentioned at the beginning of this piece. When hoteliers invest in technologies that can reach the guest wherever they are on the property, they are also investing in their team members.
By providing them with easy-to-use technology solutions like those above to help boost productivity and allow them more time to focus on service levels, hotels are able to attract and retain the most talented team members – all of which leads to one less headache for your F&B management, happier guests and more revenue (I guess technically, that’s three fewer headaches).
Keeping Guests on Property
Slow service typically results in lost revenue as guests decide not to order an additional round of drinks or dessert, and they may even post a bad review. Resorts can’t afford negative reviews, which is why many today are implementing mobile POS solutions that have the ability to cover their entire property and ensure they can reach the guest wherever they are. By integrating mobile solutions that complement their current technology and business practices, resort properties are finding they can reach more guests, and create more service options to boost revenue.
These resorts are seeing the positive reviews that result from serving guests wherever they are on the property and are creating new revenue streams by optimizing outdoor spaces. Staff members are able to focus more time on their guests through mobile solutions that improve communication between servers and kitchen staff, order accuracy, and speed of service. When servers are able to be more attentive and helpful to their guests, satisfaction levels go up (both your guests and your team’s), and revenue can increase dramatically.
By deploying technology solutions that can reach the guests wherever they are, guests can truly enjoy your whole property. As technology providers and hoteliers, we are partners in the hospitality industry, and that’s what we all strive to do: provide the best guest experience possible so guests will want to return.
Remind your guests of the many amazing outdoor activities, services and amenities your hotel or resort has available at their disposal. And then implement technology solutions to help create exceptional experiences and exceed guest expectations at every corner of your resort. You’ll attract the best team, earn five-star reviews, and increase revenue.