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How the Hospitality Industry Leverages Hotel API Integration

This article was published on September 20, 2021

Hospitality industry professionals know the importance of improving the customer experience — it's their job, and leveraging a hotel API integration is a fast way to get the job done. Indeed, new technology in the hospitality industry helps the field's leaders separate themselves from the pack, with the front-runners using APIs to create memorable customer experiences.

With its ability to provide numerous services all within a central hub, hotel API integration can transform the hospitality industry.

More specifically, hotel API integration helps both the customer and the industry by eliminating pain points on both sides of the counter. Technology that helps locations update pricing across major travel portals is one common example of this idea. Looking further, however, new technology in the hospitality industry — particularly that powered by communications APIs — offers substantial benefits once guests have booked a room, as the following examples show.

Addressing Pain Points Before — and After — Check-In

Hospitality industry participants are more open than ever to API integration, a change that allows various stops in the customer journey to connect and create a great experience. For example, an airline may open its API to enable ride-hailing companies to get automatic updates about airport gate changes when flights arrive. When the travelers get to the curb with their luggage, drivers will know almost immediately and can quickly arrive for a pickup instead of wasting time waiting at the previously announced gate.

The customers benefits don't stop there, however. Hotel API integration can allow them to send a real-time, two-way SMS message, all from the same app, to see if they can check in early, and the hotel can message back to confirm or deny the request. The ability to communicate with every stop on the travel chain is considerably easier than juggling a slate of phone numbers for every business a traveler relies on, including the travel agency, taxi service, airline, and hotel. Hotel API integration allows cross-talk between the various businesses' systems.

Moreover, APIs cover the full slate of things customers can currently do with hotel apps, including checking in, unlocking their door, ordering room service, leaving feedback, and carrying out numerous other tasks. By further squeezing these features into a single point of access — the hotel app — everyone benefits: The customer gets a tool that eliminates pain points, while the hotel gets automated core services and happier guests. It's a win-win, and new technology in the hospitality industry drives the change.

Eliminating No-Shows

Sending reminders to customers about previously arranged bookings is not a new concept, as SMS messages about upcoming dental appointments and hair stylings have been in use since at least the mid-2000s. Hospitality industry travel apps, however, are now using hotel APIs to stay in even closer contact with customers wherever they are by using a variety of real-time communications channels, such as in-app messaging, voice calls, video chats, and auto updates.

Additionally, businesses can send reminders to customers about hotel bookings, car rental reservations, upcoming flights, and other pending travel events. If the customer needs to make changes, providers can get their updated information in the same or a different channel to more quickly accommodate the requests.

Even better, once at the hotel, guests can use their hospitality app to send messages to have the housekeeper bring more towels, request the valet to bring their car to the front door, or get room service for a late-night snack. When it comes to improving the customer experience, almost anything is possible via a hospitality industry mobile app powered by hotel API integration.

Whether the individual organization wishes to streamline operations, improve the customer experience, or some combination thereof, technology offers a way to improve efficiency.

Integrating Core Channels With UCaaS

This level of interplay between services would be extremely challenging, if not impossible, to implement without communications APIs. Using the technology as a common core, the customer can access every important business in their travel plans through a single point of contact, the benefits of which are especially clear when considering the alternative: It's far easier for an app to alert a hotel to a possible flight delay then it is to wait on the customer — who may or may not have access to their phone in the moment — to look up the number, find a quiet space to make the call, and so on. Similarly, customers are more likely to see a direct SMS message from a taxi driver than a form-generated email.

Back-end integrations with UCaaS and third-party business systems can improve hospitality operations by more quickly updating and streamlining the resource-planning process, putting customer data at business analysts' fingertips from within their office productivity suites, and even responding to workforce shortages with connected recruiting applications. Just as importantly, a cloud-based business communications platform can offer disaster recovery, records backup, collaboration tools, and mobility features.

When it comes to communications, new technology in the hospitality industry has something to offer every organization. This distinction particularly matters in an industry known for its thin margins and high competition. Whether the individual organization wishes to streamline operations, improve the customer experience, or some combination thereof, technology offers a way to improve efficiency — making it a can't-miss at every rung of the industry.

Written by Vonage Staff

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