I wish I could say that the reason I’ve read thousands of hotel reviews on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and other sites this last month was research for planning to follow the next Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour. However, there isn’t even news of any such tour at the moment.
The reasons for my survey aren’t important. What I do want to bring up is how clear it is that the interactions guests have with hotel staff make and break reviews. Guests will accept hotel imperfections rather gracefully if treated well. On the other hand, any staff response to complaints, requests, needs, etc. that falls short of expectations… and no mercy will be shown.
Which is why I think MobileSuites is a brilliant app concept, and have chosen the startup as this week’s Best In Beta.
MobileSuites is a guest services app. It works like a virtual concierge, helping guests to do things like order room service and taxis. At the same time, the app provides businesses with cloud-based software for managing and processing requests.
This tool enables staff to interact with guests without face to face contact, which, although more personable, is more time consuming and often unnecessary. In the case of boutique hotels or independently owned establishment that have minimal staff, MobileSuites lets owners take care of their guests appropriately – without even being on the property.
Basically, MobileSuites frees staff to deal with more difficult and urgent tasks by processing basic work more quickly and efficiently. Everybody wins.
Coordinating shuttle rides, for example, is one area that MobileSuites could do a bang up job of simplifying matters. Guests could submit their request, see availability in advance, have rides confirmed and be done with the matter. No more waiting while the front desk and driver talk to each other, frequently at inopportune moments – the three parties creating a conversation loop that becomes a whirlpool devouring everyone’s time.
MobileSuites also gives hotels a much more reliable way of measuring how their staff performs. Reviews aren’t flawless. One person’s “I waited forever” check-in is another’s “I was brought to my room in no time.” With MobileSuite, it’s much easier to track how many requests staff receives, how quickly they address issues, etc. On-demand reports will help spot strengths and weaknesses, and to extract the most value from guest feedback.
Lots of potential here for guest engagement and improving staff efficiency. MobileSuites has built a database of over 1200 hotels across North America, including many hotels from the major hotel chains, and they’re adding new hotels every day. Through their app, they help facilitate the interaction between guests and hotels, even though they are not yet partnered with the major hotel chains (Starwood, Hyatt, Hilton, and Marriott). My guess is that it’s not long before we see guest reviews mentioning whether or not accommodations offer MobileSuites service.
Which startup is going to be the next big thing?
Investors, bloggers, job seekers, and inspiring entrepreneurs everywhere are dying to know. Hundreds of startups enter private beta each month, and that’s far too many for any one person to keep up with. Fret not! Each week, I share one of the hottest new startups in this column, Best In Beta. Let’s discover the next big thing together! To submit your startup for Best In Beta, please comment below or email us at [email protected].