Today’s modern, tech-savvy, and well-informed guests are a difficult lot to satisfy. Their expectations are rapidly changing, they need value for their money, and they won’t accept anything less than “top-notch” when staying at hotels. Thus, sometimes it becomes a little difficult for you to anticipate and understand what they want. How about putting yourself in your guest’s shoes to do it? It will help you comprehend their expectations from you. However, without the right set of hospitality technology solutions, you may not be able to take the next step forward. Let’s explore areas where technology can help the hospitality industry enhance the guest experience at various stages.
The rising influence of technology/digitization in guest experience
It looks like they are in love with technology. According to the 8th Annual Customer Engagement Technology Study, 2019 – around 72% of guests would return to a property when the hotel has all the technology they want.
See hoteliers’ side of the story
Hoteliers across the globe are making a significant investment in smart technology solutions for offering high-quality guest experiences. As of February 2021, below are some of the major aspects of operations that hoteliers worldwide were looking to digitize to serve guests better :-
- Replacing in-room handbook with digitized hotel information – 70%
- Check-in/out – 57%
- Room service requests/room keys – 38%
Offer mobile booking/reservation: Enough has been said about it. Around 54% of guests state mobile reservation as one of the top priorities that they expect from hotels. And why not? In this era of extreme mobility, everybody wants to book accommodation on the go. Ensure that you have the right technology in place to offer a seamless booking experience to your guests. This is the first step towards establishing the fact that you understand them.
Mobile check-in/out: For 57% of guests, mobile check-in/out matters significantly. This saves their time as they don’t have to wait near your lobby/front desk to fill out their details, and it immensely adds to their satisfaction. Another 53% of them like it when you offer them a check-in/out facility via a kiosk. Plus, for 54% of them, it will add immense value when you allow them to unlock their rooms using their mobile phones.
Choice of content streaming: This is quite important for around 60% of guests. Yes, we are talking about in-room entertainment. Empower your guests to stream whatever they want to watch during their stay. Nobody would like to miss their favorite TV show or a match while staying with you. Additionally, invest in intelligent digital controls to help guests regulate temperature and lights from their smartphones.
Fully equipped conference halls: This is mainly for your corporate guests. Let them know that they can use your high-speed and reliable Wi-Fi for free – by the way, 80% of guests like free Wi-Fi. Now coming back to your corporate guests – inform them that you have all the high-tech equipment in place to match their pace and requirements.
The list doesn’t end here. You may look at many other emerging technologies that are driving guest experiences. For example – Beacon, a location-based sensor. With this, you can streamline check-in/out and offer guidance to your guests to explore the property. Most importantly, you can let them know about special offers/discounts at your POS outlets like restaurants and bars.
Hold on. How can we not talk about a cloud-based hotel property management system when discussing improving guest experience? Carefully choose one that comes with the guest history module. You could be a chain hotel or independent hotel; you can access all your guest data from a single/central point. This will help you know their preference from their past stays – what food/drink they ordered, kind of room they selected, many more. Such information empowers you to offer them personalized services the next time they book with you. Look at these statistics – 50% of guests consider it essential and expect hotels to provide customized services based on their past purchases. And one more thing – let your guests know that your Hotel PMS is PCI Certified/Compliant. Thus, they will see that you have taken all necessary steps to keep their personal and sensitive data safe. This also matters a lot when we talk about leveraging technology to drive guest experience in the hospitality industry.