Hotel technology is fast evolving and of late has become integral in the ever-changing hospitality industry landscape. Just as Artificial Intelligence is touted to be the future of customer care and services, there are many technologies that have paved the way into the hotel industry.
For instance, guest experience management has evolved with the rapid adoption of technology to meet the demands of the well-read and updated travellers. Every time guest checks in, he/she has a different set of expectations. When a hotel meets those expectations or possibly goes the extra mile, it acts as the sole motivator for choosing the same property for their next stay or referring it to their friends and families.
To put it simply, with technology at its core, hoteliers can work towards enhancing the guest experience in hotels. To make the choice easier for hoteliers, here are six technologies that can improve guest experience in hotels-
Mobile Technology and Communication
Mobile technology is here to stay and it’s time you take the advantage if you haven’t already. Take a look around and almost everyone is glued to their mobile screens. Today, travelers or anyone for that matter, carry a smartphone, laptop, or tablet during their excursions.
Guests prefer a smooth experience even if it comes to simple tasks such as ordering their favorite food or a fresh set of bed sheets. It’s no longer about calling the front desk with requests and waiting for them to be fulfilled. A mobile application that allows a guest to send requests and includes useful features help to enhance the guest experience.
Guests prefer to send requests instantly with the touch of a button. Therefore, smartphones that can be swiped to open doors and a system to keep a tab on their expenditures are some of the many things that can improve the overall experience. Make the change now to stay ahead of the game.
Artificial Intelligence is one of the various ways to improve hotel guest satisfaction. A lot of leading hotel groups have been using some form of artificial intelligence technology and concepts such as AI Concierge are slowly becoming the new best friend of travelers and hoteliers alike.
These services are not only successfully handling all guest requests but are also giving advice and ensuring an out of the world experience to guests. Today, hotels such as the Hilton Worldwide (Connie) and the Edwardian Hotels (Edward) have already gained popularity amongst guests because of their AI integrations. These voice-activated assistants are taking the guest experience management to a higher level altogether by offering future-facing experiences.
The Internet of Things
A smart room in a hotel could be a norm in the coming years. Guests expect automation to enhance their stay and IoT are delivering the same. Today, IoT products such as an LED lighting that detects natural light in the room and adjusts the brightness accordingly are some of the many smart products that make a guest’s stay worthwhile. Guests can open curtains or adjust lighting using a single remote. They can create an at-home feel, connect with the concierge, modify room functions, order movies and do much more without budging an inch from their hotel room. IoT solutions can be used to bring the highest level of comfort and convenience for guests. Content personalization via alerts devised as per the interests of the guests goes a long way in establishing a relationship. Adding this kind of personal touch – before, during, and after the stay makes a guest feel special.
Additionally, IoT in the hospitality industry helps hotels to cut down costs and adds an innovative touch to the overall guest experience.
Big Data and Analytics
The moment a guest books an accommodation, there comes a long trail of data to be utilized. Leading groups of hotels are already making huge investments in Big Data and Analytics. Every guest is unique and has a different set of requirements. What is attractive for a business traveler is different from what attracts a guest who is out to splurge on a leisure trip. Devising strategies to provide value-based experiences using advanced analytics’ solutions will be the key to enhance the guest experience. Data analytics also helps predict trends throughout the year, take weather updates for instance. Using data, you can price your room accordingly, understand the peak periods, monitor local events that attract customers across the globe and influences a number of visitors, and other strategies can be devised to attract guests. Thanks to the wired world we all live in, each and every hotel have massive amounts of data. The trick, however, lies in learning how to use it to improve hotel guest experience.
If you haven’t embraced virtual reality for your hotel yet, you’ll need to think again. While virtual reality grew in leaps and bounds in the gaming industry, many hotels worldwide have employed the use of this technology. This is the future of information as well as entertainment that gives a completely immersive experience. Guests can step into a VR video booth to understand attractions around the hotel and what is aligned to their interests. Large resorts and hotel chains such as Marriott Hotels and Resorts, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and many others have implemented a VR-based guest service. Any guest can use this service to emulate the VR experience in the rooms. Properties can show their amenities through VR that gives guests an idea of the room and other details. Virtual reality in the hospitality industry gives an opportunity for every hotelier to utilize this technology and build a brand that sets them apart.
Working on the Cloud
Cloud technology is one of the most important hotel technology you can use to improve the way your hotel functions and work towards creating a better guest experience. A large number of hotels have already migrated to the cloud. If you haven’t already, you need to take that step much faster or be left behind.
Working in the cloud is preferred by all leading names because it has larger benefits as compared to on-premise or manual updates of a hotel’s day-to-day tasks. Besides, it offers a personalized hotel experience. Here is why every hotel must think of adopting cloud sooner than later:
It saves times and allows employees to focus on important things such as guest experience management
- It cuts down on cost spent otherwise on IT maintenance and staff
- Pay-as-you-go service makes it easy to implement
- Access the dashboard from anywhere across the world
- Run the hotel in an automated mode
- Upgrade easily once your business expands
- Provide guests with a smart, convenient and seamless experience
- Stay in tune with the needs of the modern traveler
The article was originally published in Entrepreneur India.