Hilton Rolls Out Digital Check-in/out, Room Selection and Customization Across 4,000 Properties" - this news went viral and got shared by multiple media recently. Is this such a big news and great innovation, actually?
Hilton is a giant hotel chain with enormous budget, that will develop their own app to provide the services in question, based on their research among 40 million HHonors members, showing that 84% of travellers prefer to choose their room via their mobile device. Other sources point out that the hotel chain is going to spend about $500 million for the project that also includes the usage of mobile phones as room keys. It will also take until 2016 to implement the technology and install it in the doors to enable the phone-as-a-key functionality, tnooz reported.
"... fortunately, there is a cheap and easy way to offer digital check-in and room selection, plus some other advanced options, starting as soon as tomorrow and without spending a fortune. It's called Clock PMS."Discover Clock PMS
To spend freely or to choose smartly?
It's always a good thing to keep an eye on what the big guys in business are planning and doing. Yet the reasonable question arises: If I don't have the budget of Hilton, does it mean I will never be able to offer such great services? No, it does not! The great money Hilton will spend are not even thinkable for independent accommodation providers. But fortunately, there is a cheap and easy way to offer digital check-in and room selection, plus some other advanced options, starting as soon as tomorrow and without spending a fortune. It's called Clock PMS.
The good news for modern hoteliers is that the above mentioned digital services are not unprecedented, as they say, but already available as one of the features of the hotel management system Clock PMS. Clock Software has introduced a guest mobile self-service functionality in the system to help client hotels to stay at the forefront without raising funds for adopting modern technology and developing major IT projects.
Same innovation for a fraction of the money
The Self Service Portal works on the guests' mobile devices through Internet access - there is nothing to develop and nothing to be downloaded by the customer. The feature is offered as an add-on to the hotel management system functionality against a small flat monthly charge. Besides digital check-in/out and room selection, guests can benefit from other options: to fill in their registration cards and sign them digitally, to inform the hotel about reaching a nearby location and their soon arrival, to preview their bill, pay it online and check out by themselves, to request a change of their booking or order room service. The room choice option is personalised, which means that the guests is recognized by the system, greeted personally and shown the rooms they have already stayed in before. And all this is available to each and everyone of your guests. The self service portal was launched in January 2014 and successfully used by many properties ever since.
As a smaller yet innovative hotel software developer, we are ready to admit that Hilton have more resources to conduct а reliable and accurate survey of hotel guest wishes. However, we are also happy to find that what they are identifying as missing aspects of hotel service, we have already implemented as a standard functionality in Clock PMS. And while big chains can spend the time and money to develop their branded apps, independent hotels can have for peanuts what Hilton pays a fortune for.