Hospitality businesses including hotels, resorts, and country clubs are highly reliant on technology to gain a competitive edge. From self-check-in machines to advanced room service robots, the hotelier seeks to create an experience from every aspect of technology.
Not even the greatest hospitality technologies can succeed without having the needs & desires of the guest in mind. Technology has one unique purpose, deliver the “WOW!” factor while assisting guests.
Yes, it’s great to have a mobile app for your hotel. But, have you ever considered the overall experience of the app, its interface, its design, its security, etc. As we dwell deep in technology hoteliers will begin to understand how important the management of the guest technology experience is for their assets.
Factoring in the needs & desires of guests across their journey is essential to ensure they trust in your brand, and obviously give them a reason to come back again. Consider Botlr, the aLoft Hotels official room service robot:
What most people will see is a highly techtastic robot butler being unbelievable at its job making deliveries. The seasoned hotelier will notice the highly innovative pathways designed to conveniently let the robot roam around, the highly personalized messages displayed on the screen, and the guest experience survey right at the end … a unique guest technology experience!
This is just one example of how technology is assisting the hospitality industry to enact the concept of total quality management. Consider the Marriott Hotels BonVoy app, formerly its loyalty rewards program, now merged into a leading-edge smartphone app.
The breakthrough app from Marriott not only allows booking hotel stays from anywhere in the world but also offers some cutting edge guest features. The conventional concierge chat is now bundled together with a Bluetooth Room Key, Mobile Check-In, Local Guide, Room Service, and much more … another unique guest technology experience.
A case study on the Marriott Mobile app by MMA Global analyzes the apps creative strategy as follows:
“The creative strategy involved highlighting the app’s new user experience and design. It had a very distinctive look and feel, and the brand wanted the creative to illustrate that by using the same fonts, imagery, and overall design style of the app.
The creative teams developed standardized iconography, the nomenclature of all features, translations, logos, and imagery to produce a guide that was utilized by the global marketing team and in the field to maintain a consistent marketing message.”
The case study’s conclusion noted that Marriott’s newly launched mobile app received great success. Courtesy its highly guest-centric design, features, and usability the app achieved well over 2.8 million users shortly after release. Marriott has also claimed in 2016 that the mobile app has provided new opportunities to grow revenue and elevated guest experiences across different brands.
Technology management professionals have identified that “unique hospitality experiences” are a trending theme in the industry. M.S. Ziaee, Director of Information technology commented in a call with us:
“Technology has endless possibilities in hospitality given it is designed, developed, and implemented in a guest-centric environment. Technology must be consistent, simple, and secure to ensure a reliable guest satisfaction rating.”
A crucial aspect of managing the guest experience through technology today is to have a capable and highly trained staff. IBM identified in their 2018 research that employee error was the leading factor that led to data breaches in organizations.
Breaches in hospitality can be devastating for the owners leading to not just a loss of trust from guests, but also significant fines & legal fees. Having a trained and skilled team is central to the success of the overall guest technology experience.
In the modern digital economy, BIG DATA management is increasingly becoming a central part of any business that requests people’s sensitive information. The modern hotel staff must be equipped with the necessary knowledge of in-house technology, payment & data privacy, and executing a disaster recovery plan.
Considering the current global situation, technology will prove to be a brilliant trust builder in the coming year. As travel slowly begins, hotels will have to invest into the guest technology experience once more.