Hotel Technology – Strategic or Problem Solving
Strategy, the wonderfully exciting term which influences all decision making throughout a hotel, is crucial. It sets your property apart, allows you to hold true to your vision and inspires your team. Problems, on the other hand, often appear as the micro details that pop up on a daily basis, like the long queue at Reception or the phone ringing off the hook with guests requesting breakfast in bed. Fortunately, with technology as a strategic pillar, properties are able to easily employ software designed to enhance both the guest and the team’s experience, solving operational problems and implementing hotel strategy all in one.
The trials and tribulations of operations
A recent example is one brought on by the peaks and troughs of the current pandemic. Many operators have experienced near silence in the lobbies and corridors of their hotels, in turn reducing staffing levels to appease the pressures of reduced revenue. A few weeks later, guests are packing their bags, are back on the road and arriving to check in to hotels. With the increase in arrivals (but not necessarily the staff available to support) managers need to look to alternative solutions. Applications like a Kiosk or Guest Mobile App, not only allow hotel teams to manage increases in occupancy and government health and safety guidelines with ease, but also allow guests to choose their own experience.
Let your guests create their experience
Guest experience, at the heart of hotel strategy in one form or another, is number one. LittleHotelier reports that now approximately 45% of travellers now use mobile apps to book direct with hotels and one in three travellers are more likely to book direct through mobile if the property has an app available. As these trends increase and traveller behaviour evolves, hotel operators are provided with a unique opportunity to generate loyalty and engage with guests earlier in the booking journey.
Industry-wide, teams continuously strive to create a personalised, unique and streamlined experience for guests. When this is done well, guests often transform into advocates for the property. Technology is a wonderful iteration of this, where by offering guests options like a Guest Mobile App, you are placing their experience, quite literally, in the palm of their hand. Guests are able to customise their preferences, check in, check out, use keyless entry to their door, order room service and interact with all of your property features, right from their phone. To have convenience is now something travellers expect and are comfortable with as more industries move to app-based tools. It is significantly more approachable than you may think.
Do it for the planet
An ongoing topic in the realm of hotels is also the environmental impact that a property has. When setting targets for reduction in environmental impact and sustainable resource management, properties are able to see significant and tangible results through the use of technology. If you scrap legacy systems holding you back, printing your registration cards, your housekeeping reports and to do lists and decide to save the trees, technology is your way forward. By digitising anything from in room compendiums, to signage, reports and registration cards, hotels can comfortably commit to a reduction in paper as part of their wider environmental goals.
If you haven’t got the gist by now…
Technology isn’t just a problem solver, it’s a strategic function and one that encourages real-time information, automation, communication and agility within hotels. Team members are able to let the technology do the manual tasks, and are free to engage with guests and use analytics to refine their guest service.
Not only are you streamlining your internal processes, you are also providing guests with a platform to streamline their own experience and, as we all know, a great experience has a guest returning.