The hotel business is a highly competitive environment, and it’s not so easy to win your place in the sun. You need to use all possible and available resources to achieve this very aim, and creating hotel apps is one of them. In the end, our world is becoming more mobile day by day, and everyone who wants to succeed must meet the latest demands of our time. It’s definitely not enough to have only a website today! So, you should adapt in order to get ahead of all the others.
The challenge/objective for a hotel application, is to present all the necessary information in the right way, so as to approach the appropriate audience and principally enable an online booking.The main goal is to create revenue via direct online bookings or, indeed, by stimulating bookings via email, as well as, to the projection of the hotel brand identity.
Approximately 80% of internet users are using their smartphone to browse so the market is there to be leveraged. In an industry where service is king, an app will greatly help you perfect this. Even if you’re a smaller hotel, the option is still viable and will make things easier for both parties.
But what does a good hotel app do? What features should it include? It always depends from situation to situation – the best app, after all, is the one custom-developed with the needs and identity of each brand in mind – but here are the main features you should take into account if you wish to develop the best hotel app for your guests:
1. In-app booking
We started this article by mentioning how most consumers use a mobile device for booking. Therefore, your application should have the option to book through the app itself. Even if new guests use more general services such as Booking to find and book your hotel, loyal guests that know and appreciate your application would rather book directly through it.
2. Hotel Information:
location, level, rating, etc. Offer your users the opportunity to build an optimal route to the place of their temporary residence.
Something that doesn’t directly impact your guests, but essential because it’ll make all the difference for your hotel. Your app’s analytics will allow you to gather, organize and analyze data on the way your app is being used. This means not only can you find out the features that add the most value to your user’s experience, but also learn which services are most important, the number of reservations and profit your app is bringing you and the right way to improve your app even further.
Users of your hotel application software should be the first to know about seasonal discounts and special offers. Among examples of such news are a new season-opening, the emergence of a new service, the upcoming celebration, etc.
5. Image Gallery and Interactive floor plan
An image gallery gives an idea of how the exterior and interior of your hotel look. Also, you could be able to create several galleries for photo reports, menus, hotel presentations, etc.
The interactive floor plan provides an opportunity to present the layout of the hotel, including rooms, facilities inside and outside the hotel, as well as its attractions.
6. Dining in and out of the hotel
Just as the application should present in-hotel activities, providing information about the hotel’s dining area, from the menus to the day’s specials, is another important feature that adds a lot of value for your guests. Furthermore, if you have any partnerships with local restaurants, you should include them in your application as well and provide relevant information – this adds a lot of value for the end user, given that they’ll learn of points of interest besides your hotel, but which have your seal of approval.
7. Room layouts
Room information is extremely important for potential guests, which is why your app should present layouts and high-quality content (photos and copy) to showcase and highlight your rooms’ quality. Only include relevant information so that interested parties can make an informed decision and afterwards be satisfied with the transparency and objectivity of your service.
8. Amenities and Events
Inform your guests of amenities available in the hotel through a section of the app with that purpose. The fact that you make your list of amenities available in such a simple and practical way – and, preferably, allowing in-app booking – will be an advantage for your current clients and a way to attract new clients by showcasing the services that differentiate and distinguish your hotel.
Also, let your users, whether they are guests or still deciding, check your available event space options and book them directly through the app. Create a calendar of your hotel events, so that a guest could view photos and learn information about upcoming social occasions.
9. Maintaining communication
Online chat is an instant messaging feature built into your hospitality app. It provides communication between guests and a hotel manager. Online chat can be used by those who plan to visit the hotel or who live here and need your staff assistance. This module allows you to help your guests in real-time through other means besides phone calls, website, email, etc.
It’s also very useful to add a feature that collects the opinions of the guests. Feedback Forms will help us to do that. Asking clients to evaluate the quality of your service, you’ll gather the information your marketing department would find useful.
10. Interactive map of the city
Besides getting hotel information, your guests will most likely look for points of interest on their smartphones, as previously established. Instead of letting your users’ attentions wander towards other apps, have an interactive map available in your mobile app that shows the location of nearby points of interest and the route there from the hotel. Not only does this mean your guests will spend more time in your app, but they’ll also be happy and grateful for the additional service you provided them.
11. Loyalty system
A good option is a policy of loyalty towards app users. Imagine: a guest fills out a questionnaire in a smartphone, the hotel receives a request and full information about a potential client. The hotel manager allows a discount for this guest. In addition, you can configure the automatic granting of a discount.
12. Frequently Asked Questions
The feature provides clients with answers to the most popular questions of your guests, which means it can save you a lot of your precious time.
13. Flight Information
Such a module is pretty useful. It could provide your guests with full information about flights anywhere in the world.
14. In-hotel shopping
If your hotel has places to shop, use the app to guide your guests to them or, better yet, include an e-commerce feature in your app, so that your guests can easily shop in the app itself and have the products delivered in their room or pick them up directly in the shop.
15. Room control
As we mentioned in the previous article, a hotel room control feature that allows guests to, through their smartphone, control all smart devices in the room, from the TV to the air conditioner and others. Although more complex and requiring greater investment, this feature makes all the difference between a high-quality hotel and one that is absolutely unforgettable and cutting-edge. If you really want to impress your guests, this is a safe bet.
16. Adapt to any language
Travelers will be able to set the app to the language they’re most comfortable with and any communication between guests and hotel will automatically translate back and forth so there is no misunderstanding, leading to a more enjoyable experience for both parties.
17. Social networks
Just like every area these days, a social network presence is essential for your business. Ensure that your guests have easy access to all your social news and your various profiles, centering access to them in your app and letting users follow and like them through the application itself.
The difference between a good hotel app and an unforgettable hotel app is simple: bet on the features that really matter and take into account quality in everything, from the initial planning and native Android/iOS development to the content itself – the quality of image and video representing your hotel, in particular, is crucial.
As we’ve already mentioned, the app can become a very profitable investment in the future of your hotel business. So, If you’re looking for a qualified team with experience in this field and the dedication to create the best hotel app possible, get in touch!