Here are five reasons why you should be using technology in hotel management.
This is a guest post from Shoes for Crews (Europe), one of the world's leading manufacturers of slip resistant and safety footwear.
Whether we like it or not, technology plays a huge role in our lives. And it’s for that reason that technology has changed the landscape of the hospitality and tourism industry. Here are five reasons why you should be using technology in hotel management.
1. People Want a Seamless Experience
Most airports allow you to either check in online or go to kiosks where passengers can do it themselves and print out baggage tags without needing staff help. In many restaurants, from high-end to fast food like McDonald’s, you can place your orders and pay via a tablet or kiosk. In cinemas, you can buy or collect tickets at a digital kiosk. The truth is, technology has developed so we don’t need to queue to talk to a person anymore.
Guests want that same kind of seamless, technology-driven check-in at hotels - staff should be there for rapport and relationship building. Guests want the check-in experience to be quick and painless. Whether it’s checking in at an automated kiosk by scanning a QR code or ordering room service on a tablet, there’s no need to stand in a queue or have to leave your room to order food. People want an easy and smooth experience. Tech allows this to happen.
2. It’s More Convenient
People crave convenience. They want everything to be easy and within a metaphorical arm’s reach. For example, many hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept where guests are provided with useful information such as nearby entertainment venues, restaurants, bars, medical facilities and more inside an app.
It’s not just helpful concepts like this. More and more hotels are replacing their key cards with smart room access systems where guests can unlock their doors by swiping their phones across a pad on the door. In 2014, Starwood Hotels & Resorts swapped room keys for this system which allow guests to bypass the front desk and enter their rooms using an app on their phones. The Nine Zero Hotel in Boston has an iris scan system instead of key cards for their presidential suites.
These concepts are highly convenient and time-saving for both guests and hotel staff. Guests no longer need to queue to pick up keys and front desk staff don’t have to issue new keys if a guest loses theirs.
3. It Improves Communications - with Staff as Well as Customers
Technology is essential for facilitating communication - especially within the hospitality and tourism industry where many businesses are large and dispersed. Sophisticated communication platforms are used by many hotels to allow different departments and members of staff to stay connected and respond to guest requests more efficiently.
For example, ALICE allows all of your hotel’s departments and operations to stay connected with a single platform. By providing a way for all of your staff to stay on the same page as each other and be able to track guest requests, your hotel can run a lot more smoothly.
And it’s not just for communication between your team either. Platforms like ALICE can help improve the guest experience too, by making it easier to access all of the information they might need. For example, guests can access reservation details, restaurant and bar opening times and room service via text message or by app - which is easier and saves time.
4. It Makes For a Better Guest Experience and it’s More Effortless
You'll already know why guest experience is so important. A great one keeps customers coming back and a bad one deters them for life. Technology can help improve guest experience with arguably less effort on your part.
For example, some hotels have systems where a guest’s room service order preferences have been automatically saved so when guests stay at the same hotel and go to order food, items can be recommended to them. It’s touches of personalization like this that make the experience much better for guests. Plus, you don’t have to manually search through guest records to find out what they ordered in the past. The machine does it for you.
In 2014, Boutique hotel Aloft Cupertino launched a robot butler called Botlr. Botlr can move between the different floors of the hotels to deliver items to guests. Not only is it highly convenient but it’s a unique and memorable experience for guests which can only make them want to return.
5. People Just Expect It
Unless your hotel is supposed to be a remote getaway perfect for people just wanting to take a break from always-connected-society, technology is essential. People walk into hotels and expect it to at least have free WiFi. If you can offer something that can make their stay more convenient, seamless and effortless, then even better. You’re sure to greatly boost their guest experience, make them want to return and/or recommend you to the world - which is exactly what you should aim for.
Hotel management and developers need to be embracing new and interesting technological ideas if they want to stay relevant. Technology has opened up a world of opportunities that hotels can take advantage of to make their brand really stick in consumers’ minds and forge paths that can lead to positive growth in the industry.
Shoes For Crews (Europe) are one of the world's leading manufacturers of slip resistant and safety footwear. They are an industry leader in safety for over three decades and to date have kept over 100,000 workplaces safe worldwide. Shoes for Crews unique slip-resistant outsoles are developed with the distinct mission of keeping workers safe across multiple industries. A recent relaunch of its brand has seen more stylish and comfortable shoes being introduced, including new innovative features such as spill and trip resistance. www.sfceurope.com