Can you think of an industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hospitality industry? I can’t! For the majority of hotels, the process of interacting and communicating with guests has remained unaltered for decades. Mainly because it’s thought that guests feel more comfortable with face-to-face interactions.
However, as technology and communication continue to advance the landscape of hotel-guest relations has changed! As a result of the proliferation of mobile devices, nowadays, customers have the freedom to choose how they prefer to interact with your hotel. Tech-savvy, mobile-first travellers want more personalised services that can keep up with their on-the-go lifestyle.
With the appearance of these modern consumers, the pressure to deliver a customer care service that is not only flexible but also convenient and personal is now even higher! The competition is fierce with rising customer-acquisition costs, price-sensitive travellers and decreasing brand loyalty. So, no wonder that hotels are under a lot of pressure to own the customer.
In the highly competitive hospitality world, hoteliers are constantly looking to improve the guest journey experience (pre-arrival, during and after stay) with innovative solutions aimed at creating and sustaining meaningful relationships with their clients.
Today, I am going to highlight 4 technologies that are forever changing the relationship between guests and hotels:
Cloud-Based Technology (PMS)
Using a cloud-based property management system (PMS) enables hotel staff to easily access data in real-time and from anywhere.
With this tech, the staff can conveniently update guests’ profiles and quickly check relevant details and information, such as room preferences, food restrictions, among others. Cloud-based solutions help hoteliers deliver personalised guest experiences, improve customer’s satisfaction and increase operational efficiency.
What’s more, PMS can also be integrated with other add-ons like payment technologies or marketing automation – creating an even more powerful system! With a customised experience, guest loyalty can be enhanced, bringing in more memberships to loyalty programmes.
According to Travel Weekly’s predictions, there will be a growth of hotel robots whose main job will be to deliver guest amenities and clean rooms. If these predictions become reality, in the next 5 years, a Maidbot is going to clean hotel rooms.
Investment in these types of technological innovations is fuelled by decreasing technological costs, which at the same time gives hotels the opportunity to reduce operational costs.
Why robotic maids? Room cleanliness is still very important for overall guest satisfaction, in fact, according to Oracle Hospitality, 35% of guests say they would like to have the ability to schedule a room cleaning.
Furthermore, 26% said they would also like to receive a notification to show if their room was being cleaned. Whilst robots may be a novelty in high-end hotels such as Marriott. They will undoubtedly become common in hotels. As a matter of fact, in Japan, robots are not just a novelty but a reality!
VR-Influenced Guest Profiles
Normally, OTAs do not allow hotels to access guest data, consequently, hotels are trying to hold on to customers by giving tailormade offers on their websites based on their clients’ individual needs and preferences.
To incorporate these customized offers into Virtual Reality pre-arrival experience will permit the traveller to see how the hotel can customize their future room according to their personal needs. In the highly competitive hospitality world, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the competition. By having your guests logged in their VR profile, you will be able to garner and store necessary guest information and continue to tailor their service accordingly.
Hoteliers who incorporate this new tech trend, will improve the guest life cycle and encourage them to become loyal life-long customers.
Messaging and Automation
With the emergence of new technologies, hotels cannot afford to sit on the sidelines! In a world where a new technology pops up almost every day, hotels that satisfy guest’s needs first are in a position to win. There is no doubt that, mobile devices are an essential part of the guest journey. In fact, sixty percent of all travel-related searches begin from a mobile device.
From research and booking to checking in and ordering services while on the property, mobile devices are becoming the preferred method of engagement for most travellers!
Chat offers huge benefits when it’s done correctly. Your clients get answers immediately, rather than having to wait 24 hours or more. Not to mention the fact that chat allows your customers to ask follow-up questions in real time, while an email conversation could take days. Furthermore, messaging presents a great opportunity to close direct bookings.
But, in my opinion, the biggest benefit messaging apps have for your hotel is the fact that they give you the ability to launch chatbots! Some experts predict that 80% of companies will use artificial intelligence in customer service by 2020.
There is absolutely no doubt that technology is improving the off- and online experience of staying at a hotel, which is a win-win situation for everyone!