The quality of your high-touch guest services is a key part of your hotel’s quality as a brand overall. The better the experience you can create for your guests, delivering seamless comfort and convenience, the more likely they are to choose your hotel the next time they visit the area.
Have you considered the role your IT is playing in your high-touch service efforts? The IT solutions you have in place, and how well supported they are, can have a direct effect on the quality of your guests’ experience at your hotel.
The Role Of Technology In The Hospitality Industry
The foundation of a guest’s experience at a hotel is their comfort, right? And what makes today’s guest most comfortable? Doing things the way they like to do them. That means online, with their phone, remotely and automatically – that’s why your IT is so important.
According to the latest study conducted by Hospitality Technology, 72% of surveyed guests stated they’re likely to return to a property where the technology they want is available. And what technology do they want?
- Free Wi-Fi (84%)
- A simple online booking process (61%)
- The ability to clearly view photos or video of the property (59%)
The old ways of approaching high-quality customer service — in person, attentively, and consistently — are over. Today, it’s important to meet the guest where they are in this increasingly tech-based world.
The question is – are you keeping up with the latest trends in hotel technology? Do you even know what they are?
What Trends In Hotel Technology Do You Need To Keep Up With?
Members of the hospitality industry would be wise to keep track of these trends to help keep the guest experience ideal:
- Room Access With Your Mobile Device: By the time you get to the bottom of this list, you’ll realize a majority of these trends have to do with how the guest’s mobile device is being integrated into the hospitality experience. First on the list? It’s becoming more and more common for hotels to provide digital room keys, accessed and used on a mobile device. This is a vast improvement from the often unreliable and easily lost plastic key card.
- Automation Of Service And Amenities: In line with the rapidly growing global trend of replacing human interaction with a self-serve alternative, many hotel services can now be ordered remotely, online and on the mobile platform. Guests can check-in and out remotely (made possible in part by the elimination of the key card that would have to be returned otherwise), order room service, schedule a wake-up call, book a car or shuttle, control room media and climate, etc., all on their mobile phone.
- Smartphones As Room Phones: Another key integration of mobile technology and hotel services is the convergence of the room’s fixed phone, and the guest’s mobile phone. This allows hotel staff to, when necessary, call the client directly on their mobile phone instead of the room phone to inform them of any necessary developments (i.e. that their dry cleaning is ready for pickup).
- Branded Apps For The Guest Experience: Possibly incorporating many of the above trends, hotels are now exploring the benefits of having their own apps. These apps can bring together a number of Customer Relationship Management initiatives, from experience reviews and feedback to loyalty rewards and deal notifications.
- Better And Better Wi-Fi: Let’s be honest – hotel Wi-Fi doesn’t have the best reputation. Depending on who you’re staying with, the available bandwidth may be based on the expectation that guests just need it for email – but today’s reality is a little different. Today’s guest wants to stream HD video without having to buffer. A truly comfortable stay at a hotel means not having to worry about slow Wi-Fi – which is why hotels are racing to invest in stronger Wi-Fi solutions, without spending too much on them.
- Tech Optimized Workspaces: Also known as tech lounges, these are areas where guests can get out of their rooms, enjoy powerful Wi-Fi and get some work done. Almost like a collaborative workspace, this type of service recognizes that many traveling guests have to do work, but would rather not do so from their hotel bed.
- Smart Conference Rooms: It’s no longer enough for a hotel’s conference room to just have a couple of outlets and a projector. The modern business world more relies on smart technology, and more modern solutions to facilitate video conferencing and casting software.
- Virtual Property Tours: Some hotels are offering 360-degree, virtual reality tours of their hotel rooms. This gives potential guests a better idea of what the space is like and what they are paying for.
Hotels and other members of the hospitality industry need to get on board and adopt new technology. Or else, they may be left behind.
Your first step is to recognize that you need to take technology seriously if you want to enhance the high-touch nature of your services. The next step is to know that you don’t have to do it alone. Hampton Road Communication Technologies can assist you in finding the right IT solutions to enhance the quality of your guests’ experiences at your property.