Gone are those days when hotels used to hand over metal room keys to guests and maintain a guest register to record guest information and assign rooms. Technology has been ever booming in the hospitality industry with new innovations coming up every year. Did you ever imagine your hotel would have a self check-in kiosk? Or even a dumbwaiter facility? Quite a shift has happened from the previous hotel practices and what is followed now. The hotel industry that is built on the ground work of customer service, guest expectations have been growing by the day.
Technological advancement should be aligned with guest expectations to stand out from your competitors.
Watch out for these new technological developments and implement those that appeal the most to you.
1. Automated Check-ins & Check-outs
Hotels have brought about a different outlook to check-ins and check-outs. Long queues at the front desk during peak seasons are quite distressing for guests.Would you like to wait for a room key when you’re all jet lagged? That’s when innovation can really do wonders. Digital check-ins and check outs along with initiating special requests in your hotel are now possible for guests on their mobile, tablets or computers. Hilton Worldwide enabled this feature for enhancing guest experience by allowing them to select rooms according to their preference.
Mobile applications have also come up with this facet to provide convenience and choice to guests. Guests are updated when their room is ready, allowing them to bypass the front desk. Marriott.Inc introduced their mobile app, empowering guests to check-in after 4pm, a day prior to their check-in date. Leveraging this innovation, your staff can focus on delivering high level of service that guests are always looking for.
2. Digitized Room Key
How many times have you had to issue a duplicate room key to guests who have misplaced it? Ever thought how annoying it could get for guests to prove their identity every time? Well, digitized room keys are a saviour here. Swipe cards have been replaced with smartphones and apps to ease check-ins and reduce loss of key. Hilton has introduced this component with the vision to install keyless entry in 2,500 hotels by the end of 2017.
So how does it work? First, you create an app for your hotel with a level of security. Guests receive the room key through the app and the room appears only when they request for it. You can control the IMEI and help out guests in case guest’s phone battery dies or losses the phone. Additionally, guests can share the room key with their fellow travelers.
How would it be if your staff could focus on creating long lasting relationship with guests? Should they be focusing on low touch points or on matters that involve personalized solutions? Making you stay connected with guests in all the stages of the guest cycle, chatbots can initiate conversations with them right on their smartphones. With the emergence of thousands of apps, due to space constraints, guests are reluctant to download an individual brand app.
TrilyoBot in action
Built on messenger apps like Facebook, Slack, Kik, amongst others, chatbots are an automated response system, which through machine learning can be trained and made to perform specific tasks. Trilyo, launched this element for hotels to ease customer engagement and create more loyal customers.
Introducing this feature in your hotel will help your guests in interacting with your hotel than calling the operator or dialing a number of extensions. Furthermore, chatbots enable remote check-ins and check-outs and creates WOW moments for guests. Request from Room №401 for an extra towel? Car booking request from room no. 305? Wake up call reminder from room no. 519? The bot can take all of these requests for you.
4. Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology
NFC has been here for over a decade now. But what is NFC? NFC enables seamless transmission of data from compatible devices over a short range with the help of radio waves. It is widely used commonly for payments, sharing media files, or any other form of data by a single tap. All that’s required is this little device we know as smartphones that enable NFC.
So how can NFC work for a hotel? Well to begin with, NFC can reduce the load of work at the front desk by enabling faster check-ins and check-outs. Moreover, it provides the function of making secure payments and shields against theft or loss. As discussed earlier, digitized room keys can be shared over this technology ensuring safety and misplacement of keys.
You can focus on providing a personalized experience to your guests by advertising to them based on their demographics and further track or make them earn loyalty points.
NFC provides you an option for cross-branding and increase your offerings. A single NFC card or device can be configured a number of times allowing you to add features as and when required. You can further partner with other vendors like local restaurants, shops, amusement parks, etc to give a seamless experience to customers while they are visiting, thereby increasing guest loyalty. NFC is an effective way for reducing costs and opens up opportunities for you to attend to your customer’s needs and increase guest satisfaction.
5. Infrared Sensors
Ever heard your guests complaining about disturbances from the housekeeping staff? The traditional method of knocking and announcing the arrival of the staff or waiting for 10 seconds before the second knock, has become out of date. Infrared sensors allow you to know about the surroundings by detecting and emitting infrared radiation. The LED light notifies you whenever an object is near the sensor by automatically bouncing back into the light sensor.
If you’re looking to install infrared sensors in your hotel, think no further. These can also detect body heat and thereby alert you whether or not a room is occupied. Instead of having ‘Do Not Disturb’ door cards or disturbing jet lagged guests, these help your staff know if they need to come back later to clean the room.
While these are just a few of the latest technologies that have been listed out, they have surely brought about a different outlook to the hospitality industry. These will not only provide a brilliant guest experience but also give you a competitive edge.
If this interests you and if you want to explore one of these technologies, click here to get one for yourself today!