The hospitality industry has been on a path of innovation and transformation in recent years thanks to technology. The hotels that we are witnessing today are a lot more different than the hotels of the past decade, with technology integrated into almost all of the hotel operations. As hotel technology progresses leaps and bounds the guest experience and expectations are also changing. Gone are the days when simple amenities and a well-stocked mini bar would suffice for a good guest experience, now the guests are tech-savvy, and their expectations reflect that. Hotels need to adapt and incorporate more technology-based services to provide excellent guest experience.
Mobile Check-ins / Checkouts
After their travel most guests would just want to go directly to their room instead of waiting at the front desk to be checked in. The hotels have understood the need for mobile check-ins so the guests can save themselves from this hassle. Mobile check-in is now a pretty basic requirement for hotels with easy to install and implement tech available on the market. Guests can now enter the hotel and their room simply with their mobile phones and don’t have to keep track of their keycards. Similarly, contactless checkout allows guests to complete final formalities on their own time.
In Room Digital Assistants
Households across the US are getting equipped with some kind of smart voice-activated home system such as Google Home etc. The only logical course of action seems to be to include these in guest technology experience. Installing a system like Amazon Echo is very easy and it provides guests with a home experience. This in-room digital assistant can allow guests to control room control and room entertainment system through voice control. To avoid any privacy concerns a speaker system can be installed that allows a user to plug in their own mobile and mobile assistant like Siri can be used to control many features like voice-controlled thermostat or blinds.
Personalized Guest Experience
Hospitality is all about providing the best experience to the guests, and there is no better way to provide an amazing guest experience than to provide a personalized experience. With big data now such an important thing, guest technology now includes software that keeps the information regarding guest’s preferences during the guest’s stay. And when the guest visits the property or any other property of the same chain the guest can find the room prepared according to their preference that includes temperature setting, light setting, food preference or any other special request etc. Tracking of guest activities may raise some privacy concerns and hotels must need take their guest’s consent for that. However, 83% of Millennials surveyed by American Express say they welcome hotels tracking their preferences in order to provide a more personalized experience.
High Tech Amenities
Old school concept of amenities may fade in the background as guest expectations shift towards technology-based services. Wi-Fi is a prerequisite for any hotel, but providing Wi-Fi is not enough anymore, the speed and quality of the Wi-Fi is becoming the primary factor for potential guests while selecting a hotel. Wi-Fi service can be the number one reason for 5-star or 1-star reviews. Similarly, guests expect to be able to use their own streaming service while staying at a hotel by logging into their own account or to be able to cast their content onto the screen.
People nowadays, especially youngsters, like to text instead of calling. Same goes for the hotel stays, rather than calling to communicate with the guest to ensure that their stay is going well hotels can use guest messaging service to enquire that. Similarly, guests can just text the front desk instead of calling. These messaging services can automate some of their responses to reduce the workload on the front desk and provide an easy way for the guest to communicate.
The success in the hospitality industry is dependent on great guest service. But now technology has become essential for an amazing guest experience. The guest expectations have also shifted in recent times and have become more tech centric. To keep up to date with changing guest expectations and provide top class guest service hotels need to rely on new guest experience technologies.
Kazim Raza Ahmed is Research Analyst and Content Strategist at Advanced Hospitality Technologies, A pioneering IT Solutions partner in the hospitality industry. Being a content creator Kazim is dedicated to publishing material keeping pace with the rapid technological developments in the hospitality industry.