Concierge App Development For Hospitality: A Guide To Deliver Luxury
Mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives after food, shelter, and clothing. And an amazing fact is, even these essential items are also now availed through handy devices. This is how technology has evolved fascinatingly.
According to recent market studies, consumers spend more on mobile applications due to its diverse role in saving time and making human life easier. The graph below shows an estimated spend of $ 23 Bn across all platforms.
The increase in consumer spending shows the interest and demand of mobile apps. The on-demand services and digitizing the businesses have turned the tables. Also, the handling of multiple tasks on behalf of users and minimizing the turnaround time is one of the advantages one can ponder upon.
With this, let’s discuss the vertical that can be more advanced if transformed digitally. The hospitality sector often faces manpower challenges and that needs to be taken care of.
Concierge services that are traditionally executed by humans should be transformed digitally. It will not only streamline the tasks but also is affordable and time-efficient. Many big sharks have already begun to leverage technology by building concierge applications.
Now before diving deep into concierge application development, let’s understand concierge services.
What Are Concierge Services?
Concierge services are a set of services that are offered by experts, who are responsible for running errands on behalf of the travelers. For instance, reserving dinner tables at the restaurants, booking hotel rooms, arranging check-in and check-out, arranging spa-services, etc.
These are certain duties performed by hotel concierges, but it is not limited to the hotel industry. With time, the concierge services have stepped into different verticals and have gained momentum and embrace the technologies.
Now that we have enough understanding about concierge services, let’s understand the On-demand Concierge app development in detail.
On-Demand Concierge Services App Development Guide
On-demand economy apps have taken over many traditional concepts, and building mobile apps have become a universal trend. Similarly, you could welcome the digital transformation and plan to build a mobile app to deliver an unmatched experience to travelers.
Building concierge apps for guests or travelers could be a worthy investment. It could simplify complex tasks and save a lot of time for both the traveler and hotelier.
Simply constructing a concierge app without any research is bad planning, you should be knowing the nitty-gritty of the development.
Why Are Concierge Apps Worth An Investment?
Traditionally, telephones were the only medium of communication between guests and concierges, and that has become an obsolete technology. Hoteliers tend to brainstorm to facilitate effective services but are left with no option than accepting modern technology.
The concierge app has upfront challenged the status quo and stepped into the sector advancing the delivery of services. As the app penetration was increasing, it has proven to be worth an investment.
It makes the guests completely independent and moves freely. They don’t have to wait for room service, meals, or table reservations. Everything is done by themselves with just a few clicks This independence makes them loyal towards brands and helps you earn revenue.
This gives surety of success in building concierge apps.
According to market analysis by IBIS World the market size of the Business Concierge service in the US market is about $3.4 Bn in 2020.
Few Reasons Why Concierge Apps Are Really Worth Investing:
- Enhance Customer Experience
Customers raise queries whenever they feel hassle and an immediate resolution or attention to their query would strongly build relationships. Building a concierge app automates the queries and you can resolve it within no time.
Traditionally, hotels have to hire, train and pay remunerations to the employees who specifically provide concierge services every month. Now with the innovation of mobile apps, a one-time investment could turn out to be economically worth against a traditional pattern.
- Branding & Customer Engagement
Branding and advertising play a major role in the success of the applications. Delivering effective on-time and hassle-free services could boost and uplift the brand stake and help in better customer engagement.
- Luring Millennial
Most of the travelers are millennials and they are frequent as well. You can grab attention by integrating chat-bots in the concierge apps. With the help of Chatbots, smart and effective communication takes place which will positively impact mobile apps users.
- Money Making App
Apart from offering unmatched classic concierge service, you can also monetize the concierge app by collaborating it with third-party vendors (cab booking service, food delivery, etc).
Guests would prefer a single app rather than multiple apps for different purposes. Also, you can opt for paid subscriptions to advertise your apps. This will attract a horde of guests to your concierge apps.
Concierge apps are counterparts of humans employed at the hotel receptions. And humans have limitations at certain points of time, while apps can be built using numerous technologies. This includes cognitive, tool stack, and many more.
The integration of cognitive technologies in concierge apps can collect and process requests at a much faster pace. Besides, you can smartly allocate your resources on handling feedback and preparing effective strategies.
Key Features Of Concierge Applications
- Sign Up
The registration of users to the applications will ensure a first step towards building a long-term relationship. The sign-up process should be precise and straight-forward. It should have a proper storing of vital information filled by guests. Also, you can integrate social media for a quick sign up process.
Hotels must be having multiple facilities categorized uniformly. Now guests should not face hassle while looking for a specific service. Searching out features with few clicks on their handy device could prove to be a boon to the guests.
Booking a table, accommodation, or flight right from your handy device is a primary objective of concierge application. This is one of the mandatory features of concierge apps where users would be booking through their apps.
While booking, you can show them additional benefits they would be getting with a room(s). Also, you can lure them by showing them your hotel’s USPs such as gym, swimming pool, mini theater, indoor games, etc.
- Payment Gateway Integration
In the world of digitization and on-demand economy, paying through in-app systems has become a trend, nowadays. There are various types of payment gateway such as Debit/Credit card, Net Banking, Amazon Pay, PayPal, etc.
- Customized Suggestions
This can be an outstanding feature wherein with the help of Big Data, you can track the guests’ behavior and activities and offer them suggestions. It will make the relationships stronger and healthier.
Traditionally, it was a tiresome process of check-in and check out in hotels. You need to stand in a queue, make an entry in the register, collect keys, and whatnot, but with the inception of technology, the process has become hassle-free.
You can leverage NFC technology for easy check-in as most 5-star hotels are equipped with NFC locks. It will not only enhance customer service but will also save a lot of time and manpower.
- Third-party Integration
As discussed earlier, the integration of third-party vendors will attract users to concierge apps. It will benefit them as they don’t need to install other applications and can operate from a single app. This makes the concierge app different from others and successful in the market.
Another excellent feature that you can integrate into your app using cutting-edge technology is Navigation. The hotel must be having multiple floors, hundreds of rooms, banquets, restaurants, and many other facilities.
Now that becomes an arduous task to find out all at once but with the help of concierge application, you can use iBeacon, geofencing, or any other technology to easily look for places without the help of a hotel personnel.
Effective communication can positively impact the business. Nobody would want to wait for a longer period. If you offer a quick solution or service at a much faster pace, then users would love to engage.
Similarly, if you integrate a chatbot in your application, then it would offer on-time service and solutions to any queries raised by guests. The integration of Chatbot is possible with AI apps and also you need to feed in different languages that can enable the bot to understand the problems or concerns.
As you have seen the must-have features, there are a few advantages and disadvantages as well. As an app owner, it becomes your priority to overcome challenges and enhance customer services. If you are interested in building one such app, then you must look at the benefits.
Benefits Of Concierge Apps
- Eliminate Human Errors
Many times it is found that mistakes happen either by housekeeping or front-desk reception or managerial level in one or the other services, which leaves a negative impression in the minds of guests/customers.
Building concierge apps could lessen or eliminate human interaction and resolve the guests’ queries in no time. There is a famous saying –
“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the customer gets out of it.” — Peter Drucker
It exactly resembles the situation where customers expect an agile and immediate resolution.
- Competitive Benefit
Building concierge apps is still a plan for many of the hoteliers, and this can be advantageous when you build your mobile app that facilitates travel, accommodation, booking and ordering food from their pocket device.
If you go with the above-mentioned market analysis by IBIS World, then about 3.4% growth is recorded in Business Concierge apps in 2020. So, it is the right time to build a one-stop solution for your guests and offer them nascent services.
- Employee Productivity
As an app owner, you should take into consideration how effectively and quickly the queries or concerns are resolved. And for that, you can build your concierge apps with reporting functions through which you can see when and at what time your staff is looking into the matter.
This will enhance customer service as well as the productivity of the employees. Also, you can retain existing customers and gain new customers by resolving the guests’ problems within the time-frame.
- Strengthening Brand
Building a concierge application for your customer indicates care and concern for them. With a single app, they can plan their trip, book hotel, cab, table, and explore many places.
Moreover, you can reward them with stay points through Guest Loyalty Programs, wherein a guest is awarded a stay point that can be used later on for reservations. This will ultimately uplift the brand stake and increase the market visibility of your hotel.
- Guest Feedback
Guest feedback is as important as the guests for hoteliers. Feedback section in the concierge apps could enhance the experience of users as it will make them feel important and special.
- Direct Reservation
Users book hotels or flights through OTAs (Online Travel Agency), but this habit should be replaced with concierge apps. You can provide reservations with various discounts, offers and reward points that could attract the guests for using concierge apps.
- Additional Benefits
Concierge app should become a one-stop solution for all your guests’ requirements. As an app owner, you should build your app in such a way that it caters to all the requirements.
If you will show what additional benefits your guest would be able to leverage at the hotel, then it will increase the conversion rate.
Limitation Of Concierge Apps
- Not Ideal For Independent Hotels
People consider installing such applications that they use very often, and hotel apps are rarely used, only when traveling. Also, it is not considered an ideal option for independent hotels or standalone hotels as people would rather go, stay, and avail of the amenities.
- Guest Preference
Another major drawback is the guests’ preference — they prefer to use websites than mobile apps. As mobile apps require downloading, websites are easily accessible without much effort.
Users prefer to just have a glance over the website through Google from their handy device and personally visit the hotel.
Mobile concierge apps need to be constructed keeping in mind different operating systems, devices, compatible, and many more things. As discussed in Guest preference, it becomes another hurdle for the app owners as they need to consider all the pain points collectively.
- “NO” To Mobile Apps
There is a large group of hoteliers who choose not to build mobile concierge apps as they feel that in the midst of competition, it won’t be easier for them to stay visible on the digital platform. Many big brands are still missing their spot in the Google Play Store or App Store.
The features, benefits, and pitfalls are enough to make up your mind for building concierge apps. And still, if you are confused about what types of concierge apps to build, then we will help you with that, too.
Types Of Concierge Applications
- Front-Desk Operation
Mobile concierge apps are replicas for humans operating at the front desk of the hotel. From check-in and out to prices for various rooms, to table booking, to avail of the services such as spa, gym, swimming pool, and mini-theater, all these services are leveraged with just a few clicks.
- Travel Assistant
Users traveling to different places with a plan to explore and unveil the beauty. For them, travel concierge apps can play a very crucial role in guiding, booking flight tickets, providing information about nearby places, etc.
You can build such a travel concierge application and win the hearts of users by offering them a wide range of services.
- Entertainment Apps
Building concierge apps for entertainment could gain more attention as users tend to spend on leisure activities such as movie ticket booking, parties, concerts, events exhibitions, and many more things.
- Conference Managers
Building concierge apps for conference managers would be useful to the officials by reminding them of the meeting, preparing agenda, setting up AC temperature, and also beverages.
- Concierge Apps For Resorts
Undoubtedly, concierge apps are built for offering exclusive services to the guests who want to spend leisure time and also replaces the traditional method of appointing human personnel at the reception.
Apart from the types, you should also know how the concierge application works and what are the requirements to function it.
How Does The Concierge Services Apps Work?
The concierge application should function seamlessly and straightforward. In today’s time, your prime focus should be leveraging technology, building robust apps and delivering optimum service.
As you are ready with the plan of building a concierge application, you should know how it works and what are the steps involved in it?
It would be easier for users/guests to book a hotel, room, flight tickets, or reserving table directly from an application.
Reserving a room on the arrival of requests is how the app works, and that depends on the availability of the rooms. With the help of cutting-edge technology and regular updating of the app with the available rooms, you can ensure the correct number of rooms available to the customers.
As an app owner, you should build an application in such a way that every time the user checks-out, it asks for feedback. It will not only positively build the relationship but will also allow you to understand the areas of improvement.
Feedback, suggestions, queries, and concerns from different customers can be a collection of a wealth of information. This information should be analyzed and evaluated and based on that you should take necessary steps.
Now that you know how it works, the next step comes how to develop? And here the tech professionals play a major role in converting your ideas into a virtual platform.
How To Develop The Concierge Applications?
This is a technical question but as you have almost completed reading this article, it seems you are interested in building a concierge application or are convinced with the wealth of information provided in the article.
Well, not taking your too much time, let’s directly jump onto some technicality:
This is the first and foremost criteria for building an app. Understand the importance of functions.
For example, a concierge app for hotels should have features related to hotels, i.e., booking rooms, restaurant tables, and other facilities provided by the hotel.
It would be totally a waste of investment if you built a hotel concierge app with different functions other than the hotel.
- Gathering Information
The concierge app is built with an aim to deliver comfort and luxury by providing personal pocket assistants to the guests. This requires information from various sources — internal & external.
You can always integrate APIs for collecting external sources of information. For instance, if your concierge app has a feature of booking flights, then you need to check the availability, arrival/departure time, and many more things.
Flightstats.com is an API that you can integrate to your concierge app, which will give you detailed information about flights (status, schedules, terminals, lookup, delay index, weather, etc)
Likewise, developer.ean.com, an API for hotel search and booking services would become your helping hand.
- AI-featured Applications
Concierge apps are built integrating different APIs for several functions that enhance the journey of users to hotels or restaurants. Traditionally, at the time of the inception of Artificial Intelligence, it tended to be costly, but now it is a must and every app owner has started integrating it.
AI bots are effective as they can work for an indefinite time, store ample information, and deliver efficient services. But that becomes defunct when left unoptimized or not maintained.
Here, the human person has to constantly update the AI apps with the activity. Without them, the AI bots are function-less. The combination of AI bots and humans would be a fantastic innovation to mankind.
- Design of Applications
UI/UX plays a significant role in pleasing users. Along with the primary objective of delivering service, the design also plays an important role in retaining existing customers and bringing in new and potential users.
Well, the technicality may sound crazy but you don’t need to worry at all. Just get in touch with a prominent Mobile App Development Company and share your ideas with the team.
Not only technicality but we will also help you in building your mobile apps from scratch. From product ideation to testing & launching, we would be glad to become your helping hand. Apart from it, the journey consists:
- Developing road-map of the project with a detailed scope
- Planning and allotment of work
- Testing the waters by preparing prototypes
- Upgradation & Maintenance of the project
So, this way the application will be constructed and delivered to you.
Concierge Services App Development For Other Industries
As mentioned earlier, the definition of the concierge is not only limited to the hospitality sector but is a wide concept that different other industries can also think about.
Below is the list of verticals for which a concierge application can be developed:
- Medical Concierge
It depends upon you on which vertical to invest and brainstorm but with the increasing mobile app penetration, one thing is sure that building any type of concierge application would definitely disrupt the market and grow vividly.
Future Of Concierge Services
After going through the article, you might be well-acquainted with what concierge services apps are? Now, it’s time to understand the market potentials and future of concierge apps.
Till now we have seen demand for mobile applications is exponentially growing and is never going to stop. Numerous apps are ruling the market by offering various and exclusive services, and users are readily accepting it.
Similarly, the demand for concierge applications is growing at a steeping rate. Millennials are a large number of users of concierge apps to facilitate their stay or visit hassle-free.
According to market insight, it is expected that the global concierge market size would expand up to $773 million by the end of 2025. A projected CAGR of 5.3% is expected from 2020–2025.
The tourism industry will also witness a gradual upward spike in the coming years, which indicates a huge success for concierge applications. So, there is always a win-win situation in creating a mobile concierge application for your target audience.
Moreover, the recent boom of cognitive technology is also expected to give more strength to concierge services. Google assistance, Alexa, Siri are some of the Artificial Intelligence wonders that have boosted the catering of the client’s requirement.
This ensures that the future of concierge apps tremendously going to reach the peak. And with the increase in demand, there is going to be a tough competition. Therefore, sooner the better and later the worst could be the scenario in terms of concierge app development.
In a nutshell, the hotel industry could be driven if necessary actions are taken timely. As you know demand is a driving factor of supply and that seems to be relatable to hotel verticals.
In the technology dominant sphere, you should be ready to opt for building cutting-edge technology-driven Hospitality IT solutions. We are all accustomed to the various technology-based mobile apps and the penetration is so high that we cannot overcome it.
Similarly, building concierge apps for hotels, travel, and restaurants will replace the concierge and grow the demand for mobile apps. It is effective and agile.
Also, the concierges can be allotted with back-office work like handling mobile apps operations, send deals, offers, discounts, and rewards points via push notifications and regularly update the mobile concierge apps.
Note: This post was previously published on SPEC INDIA’s Blog