How technology is rapidly optimizing hotels’ guest experience
In today’s world of hospitality, there is no doubt that, while some aspects of guest experience are timeless, guests’ expectations change over time. Inspired by the technological advances and the immense power of the Internet of Things (IoT), guests’ expectations are growing big.
Hoteliers tend to invest more than ever on new technology in order to optimize the guest experience, within the guest rooms themselves and even behind the scenes, for backend operations. New technology is being widely used, therefore allowing hotels to provide quicker and more qualitative services, or even more personalized experiences to their guests.
The emergence of more and more online booking web platforms has made it easier for travelers to find the best deals, the best adventures and the greatest experiences. Hoteliers can benefit from such platforms, as long as they are ready to embrace them and leverage their advantages to upgrade their services. First of all, in this way, language is no longer a problem, as online booking engines are available in multiple languages and guests from any country can make bookings with no barriers.
Also, online booking provides hoteliers with 24/7 online reservation system; this maximizes their sales and increases the number of hotel bookings, because they are not limited to their working hours. Moreover, something that’s really important, especially for small hotels, is that online reservation systems reduce workload for a hotel’s staff and optimize guest service. This will make the hotel’s staff more efficient, as employees won’t be tied to a phone waiting for guest calls.
Instant messaging for quicker service
Hotels are taking an increasingly mobile approach to the guest experience and instant messaging in the industry is considered to be the next big communication trend. Through messaging apps, in the blink of an eye, guests can easily check themselves in and out, order breakfast or lunch, make a reservation for a dinner in the hotel’s restaurant or book a therapy in the spa, ask to have their room cleaned, while they are not even in the hotel’s facilities, and buy any other services at the hotel.
Such apps, which connect each hotel staff with its guests really fast through (mainly) text messaging, have already become very popular. In addition, the establishments themselves also contact guests via the app to inquire about arrival times and any other needs guests may have prior to their arrival.
Chatbots for personalized experiences
Apart from the instant messaging, hoteliers all over the world have also begun to tailor guest experiences with chatbots and virtual assistants, like Alexa. On the one hand, chatbots allow hotels to respond to more visitors at once and can automate more repetitive tasks to help hotel employees focus on other operations, instead. In this way, hotels achieve a greater profitability and engage more visitors.
In addition to productivity, chatbots also gather insights into the preferences and habits of guests. Hotels can then send tailored suggestions and promotions, instead of overburdening prospective clients with irrelevant messages (spamming).
Hotel management ‘goes big’!
Speaking of chatbots and their insights, inevitably we end up talking about the revolution of big data. There are numerous ways big data can help hoteliers generate more revenue and deliver a better experience for their guests. Among others, as we mentioned above, big data can help those working in the hotel industry promote more effectively their marketing content, by providing the ability to identify the best opportunities for their particular business and target key demographics much more specifically.
Moreover, big data can help hotel owners and customer service teams to identify significant trends regarding the guest opinions, learning about their strengths and weaknesses in the process. Of course, this requires the gathering of service usage data, feedback from customers on social media, reviews posted on websites, and other related information.
Last but not least, through a combination of the data they gather themselves, and information available online, hotels can use big data to assist them with a revenue management strategy. In particular, it allows them to carry out predictive analysis, allowing hotel owners to more accurately anticipate levels of demand for hotel rooms.