In recent years, hospitality companies have transformed the way they communicate with guests, with mobile apps frequently the main source of contact. Check-ins are often online, doors are opened with phones -- and even planning activities for a stay are built around the app.
It makes sense, then, for lodging brands to tell guests that their technology is superior to that of competitors in their efforts to maximize a stay.
One source of sophisticated hospitality solutions for hotels is a Germany-based company called Apaleo that provides behind-scenes property management systems (PM). According to Florian Montag, vice president of business development, clients frequently come to his team and ask how they can offer more personal services to guests.
Once they grasp the possibilities, many hotel operators use Apaleo’s technology to market themselves to customers as being contactless, tech-enabled and digital-first. For example, using the various hotel apps available on Apaleo, hoteliers can dispense with the front desk, offer digital concierge services, provide heightened conveniences and more.
These tools might also involve having better information about guest preferences. That might mean that on a fifth visit to a hotel, a loyal customer automatically receives a special offer or a thank-you gift, rather than the guest having to ask the front desk for that benefit.
These capabilities are all enabled by Apaleo as a platform linking with the right apps -- just as an iPhone does with its App Store, said Montag. The company’s mission is “to enable every hospitality company to provide an open platform that in turn delivers welcome experiences to guests.”
Montag stressed that this kind of technology is a bright shiny object, but it has to work -- if it only works eight out of 10 times, that will cause greater frustration than if the technology is not offered at all. He said Apaleo works with partners that offer the best connectivity, ensuring consistency in providing services.
“It’s really about being able to support a generation of guests who want to be flexible,” said Montag. “We don’t want to take away personal services with our technology, but in fact add a level of personal services that didn’t exist before.”
Founded in 2017, Apaleo now works with over 1,000 properties -- from apartment hotels to full-service lodging -- in more than 20 countries..
Whatever technology a hotel operator deploys, it’s appropriate to highlight the customer-facing capabilities those tools provide, as long as they are relevant to guests -- and they work all the time.