Hotel operators are eyeing recovery as occupancy numbers begin to grow and restrictions begin to ease across the US. There are however strict SOPs that hospitality providers must adhere to in the wake of the pandemic. Hotel stays are going to be much more different from what they used to be two years ago.
Hoteliers have increased investment in technology to keep their guests & staff safe while minimizing the capital investment to mitigate against the coronavirus threat. Fewer avenues of revenue have left hoteliers with the difficult choice to do more with less.
Contactless Guest Experiences/Service
Contactless guest service is defined as “a set of standards and technologies adopted to minimize the risks of transmitting COVID-19 while offering guests the same premium quality services they love.” A contactless guest service experience entails completely revising and renovating the hotel guest service design.
This includes looking into all the guest-staff interaction points, guest room services, and service delivery mechanisms. Contactless guest service is nothing in itself but built around the standards and technologies put together to create a contactless experience.
Smartphone apps and websites are two of the most popular integrations of contactless tech in hotels. Guests can book rooms, check-in & out, order food, chat with the concierge, order room service, and request items directly through these platforms.
Many hotel franchises are also using mobile apps and websites to enhance their marketing efforts, even making revenue generation a contactless strategy. The contactless experience actually begins before the guest has even stepped inside the hotel, so it’s essential to remember that contactless service begins from the time the guest has interacted with the platform.
Keyless entry is trending as one of the most essential contactless technologies that hotels are deploying to enhance guests & staff safety. One of the most low-cost elements of contactless services, the website or smartphone-based Bluetooth room key is quickly becoming a leading feature in hotels.
Touchless and digital payments are quickly becoming a leading norm in the US with the transfer of currency notes becoming dangerous. The induction of contactless service in hotels has already introduced digital payments in several brands across the country.
Cashless, touchless, or digital payments bring about a selection of benefits for hotels including:
- Health safety
- Contactless payment
- Eliminates the need for physical interaction
- Smartphone or Computer-based
- Easier refund policies
- Reduces chances of errors
Technology Management and Compliance Policies
As more technology features in hotels, it is critical for the hotels to maintain and document their strategies. Technology management is no more a mere concept from academics but has become an essential field for research in hospitality.
Hoteliers need to document and strategize crucial elements including maintenance, upgrades, compliance, cybersecurity, and monitoring of guest technology. Hotel technology management providers usually recommend a comprehensive technology GAP assessment to gauge the efficiency, security, and reliability of hotel technology systems.
Since various guest technology will operate 24 hours to deliver a seamless and safe experience to guests, it is essential to keep it maintained. The Maintenance Policy governs how often the hotel technology system will require check-ups and upgrades.
Hotel managers and staff must always be aware of the state of technology health and security. As privacy and data management become essential across the world, hoteliers must have a dedicated data management professional to handle storage, use, and access to guest data.
Guest technology experience management has become a core element of hospitality today. Managing the privacy of guests, security of guest devices, and the overall guest technology service experience requires hands-on management of the entire journey. Like we mentioned earlier, the guest technology experience begins even before the guest has stepped into the hotel.