Incorporating cutting edge technology into your hotel is no longer an option. It is an absolute necessity to stay competitive.
Whether it be your day-to-day business operations, bettering your guest experience, or improving the effectiveness of your marketing – ever-evolving technology can improve your hotel’s performance.
It does not matter if you are running a large chain establishment, a boutique hotel, a bed and breakfast operation, or even a glamping location.
These four ways to make the most of technology for your hotel will completely revolutionize how you run your business. Most importantly, they will enhance your guest’s experience.
What Guests Want
Observe the people who walk into your lobby or office. You will likely see that they use a smartphone, carry a tablet, and have a laptop.
We’re not talking about people traveling for business or young professionals. We’re talking about everyone.
According to the Pew Research Center, 81% of all adults in the US own a smartphone. That statistic jumps up to 96% when we look at adults aged 18 – 36.
The fact is we live in a connected world, and when people travel, they want to stay connected. And they want to interact with connected businesses.
Incorporate the following technology into your guest’s experience. Making the most of the latest advancements will leave your customers saying “wow”.
1. Develop an App for Your Hotel
An app will allow your customers to interact with your hotel in countless practical ways. Some of the most popular trends in hotel technology require an integrated app for your business. These include:
Automated Check-in and Check-Out
This lets a guest sign into the app and check in to their room. They can verify personal information, authorize payment, and receive their key code to access their room.
They could even pre-order room service. A tired traveler can go straight to their room without ever passing by the front desk.
This is incredibly convenient for guests. It eliminates the need to keep track of a key. Most guests carry their phones with them at all times, meaning they will likely not forget the key.
There is also an added level of security. Key codes will only work for the authorized user.
Interaction with a chatbot
Letting a customer chat with an AI chatbot through an app lets them forgo the trip (or a phone call) to the front desk. If they need to order room service, forgot a toothbrush, or need some other information they can do so with the help of integrated AI.
A user-friendly app that works specifically for your hotel is a fundamental part of any comprehensive Property Management System (PMS). Well designed apps provide your guests with a convenient and practical way to communicate with your company.
At the same time, an app will allow you to collect invaluable data about your customers and their needs.
With this information, you can customize your guest’s experience. The app can provide personalized ads, traveler tips, and relevant information about the services your hotel may offer.
Having an app is a win-win investment in technology for your hotel. Customers enjoy a seamless and efficient way to interact with your establishment. You can provide a responsive and personalized service. Additionally, your business gains valuable insight into your guest’s interests, needs, and consumer habits.
Consider collaborating with professionals when designing the Chabot with your user. There are plenty of reliable writing services that can help you achieve a frictionless interaction, which is going to increase the efficiency of your bot.
2. Offer High-Density WiFi Throughout Your Entire Establishment
While guests will most likely have a data plan for their smartphone, they are counting on WiFi for their laptops or tablets.
WiFi is no longer a perk that certain customers will pay extra for.
It is a must-have. Nearly 50% of business travelers will choose a different hotel if free WiFi is not included in the booking. 55% of all guests will log into the WiFi network within 7 minutes of checking in!
While you’re at it, invest in creating high-tech spaces for your clients.
Create a conference room or meeting facilities.
If your hotel strives to provide top-notch connectivity, consider creating spaces where the professional community can gather.
Fully equipped conference and meeting rooms are attractive for businesses of all kinds. Even if your space is small, you can become a valuable host and destination for meetings in your community.
Some mid to large size hotels have seen their events revenue climb over the last five years – up to 25%!
Develop a high-tech lounge or game room
Consider incorporating technology into your lounges and common areas. Common areas where people can work or relax outside of their room without leaving their entertainment behind is attractive to younger travelers.
Incorporate gaming systems, large screen internet-connected TVs, and quality sound systems for enjoying music can all enhance your guest’s experience.
Investing in the WiFi infrastructure and developing comfortable, hi-tech facilities will benefit your hotel. New sources of revenue will become available to you by creating tech-attractive environments that leave your guests impressed.
3. Invest in a Cloud-Based Property Management System (PMS)
Even if you are a mid-sized or smaller operation, having the right PMS is key for streamlining the customer experience with your hotel.
Why? The right PMS system will include interfaces for every aspect of your operations.
Most importantly, it will have the guest interface (app and online accessibility) that allow your customers to interact with the hotel exactly how they want to.
Switching over to the right PMS will have a snowball effect. All the suggestions listed above can become a reality only with the right technology that integrates it all.
Here are some other ways that a good PMS will make the most of technology for your hotel:
Staff can provide a flawless customer experience
With constantly updated check-in/check-out information, the housekeeping staff will never unintentionally disturb a guest again. Real-time information can be provided to staff on any connected device.
This eliminates trips or phone calls to the front desk. Managers are freed up to deal with in-person customer interactions away from the front desk.
Integrate property infrastructure devices
Many upgrades in infrastructure for commercial properties come with some kind of “smart” capability. These let you track performance and receive alerts remotely.
Water use and monitoring devices, HVAC systems, security monitoring, and lighting infrastructure can all be monitored from a cell phone.
Manage all your accounting in one place
Besides managing accounts payable and accounts receivable, you can also manage accounts with affiliate partners. You can easily set pricing structures and commission agreements in one convenient setting.
Generate reports on guest behavior
Allowing your guests to be fully integrated into their experience is an invaluable opportunity for your hotel to gather data. Use this information to create special promotions or packages. You will be able to more effectively market your hotel and generate increases in revenue.
4. Upgrade your Property Infrastructure.
Not all technological advances are happening on our phones. The internet is being put to use in novel ways. Be sure to make the most of new technology to help you lower operating costs.
“Smart,” internet-connected devices can help your hotel be more energy efficient. This translates into increased savings for your business.
Use smart thermostats and energy sensors
These devices reduce energy costs by minimizing unnecessary heating and cooling when rooms are unoccupied. More advanced options allow for the tracking of customer preferences.
Imagine a repeat guest checking into a room to find the temperature and lighting exactly as they like it.
Install smart sensors for predictive maintenance
Modern technology and “smart” devices are revolutionizing the way maintenance is handled.
It is no longer necessary to wait for a pipe to burst or a fan to blow out. Flaws in your systems are detected before they become a problem. With smart sensors, you can monitor the functioning of all your major infrastructure systems. Alerts are sent to your mobile device through your PMS.
This lets you know when you have a maintenance issue on hand before it becomes a problem. You can avoid interrupting operations, incurring unexpected expenses or cause a guest any unfortunate discomfort.
Install lighting sensors
Retrofit your entire hotel with responsive sensors that allow you to remotely control the lighting of an area. Using motion sensors and dimming technology you can significantly reduce your energy consumption.
This will result in significant savings over a relatively short time. Some hotels have seen savings of up to 90%!
Technology is constantly evolving. Hotels of all sizes must adapt to the changing needs of their customer base. It is only normal, considering the costs of investment, that hotel owners are hesitant to jump on every new technology bandwagon. Some recent innovations making headlines in the hospitality industry have yet to be proven over the long term. Others are proving to be unpopular.
All the technological advancements discussed in this article, however, are tried and true. If you want to make the most of technology for your hotel, invest in the strategic upgrades discussed. You will improve not only the guest experience but the efficiency of your entire operation.