Technology has taken over the world and is transforming the way humans live, breathe, and exist. The revolution has impacted several sectors, and the hospitality industry is no exception to this trend. Guest engagement and experience are of utmost importance for any hotelier. That is the reason why modern, ingenious, and smart technologies have taken the hotel industry by storm.
Today, customer's expectations have increased with emphasis on the search for convenience. The increasingly competitive markets require organizations to utilize advanced technological innovations for customer satisfaction and retention. This blog discusses some of the cutting-edge technologies revamping the hospitality industry.
In recent times, self-service has come in style and growing popular continuously. Instead of calling for staff, guests prefer self-service, which is more convenient and saves time. Technology has advanced enough to enable this service, ranging from check-in and check out to contactless payments and room service, these menial tasks can be streamlined easily. Automation is helpful to guests and staff alike, providing them time to focus their efforts on their work and activities.
Smart Room Keys
Gone are the days for room keys and card entries. Nowadays, more and more hotels are offering guests access to their rooms via mobile phones. This personalized device helps keep unauthorized personnel out of the room, increasing guest security. Another advantage is it makes it easier and more convenient for the guests to keep track of their room keys, i.e. mobile phones.
Automated Check-in & Check-out
Gone are the days when guests had to go to the reception to check in at a hotel. With the latest smart technology, guests can remotely check in through their mobile, significantly saving time for themselves and the concierge. This technology also alerts the hotel when the guests are arriving, providing them with an opportunity to personalize the customer experience. Guests can check out their suitability using this app.
Recognition technology is another emerging trend, where a fingerprint or facial scanner can be used for check-in, check-out, unlocking the doors, as well as seamless payments and purchases within the hotel.
In modern times, guests expect to be able to interact with hospitality companies over digital channels and receive immediate responses to their queries. Physically having staff monitor the questions and respond to them can be a challenging and tedious task. This is where chatbots and artificial intelligence come into the picture.
Chatbots are the latest buzz in hotel technology. This artificial intelligence-enabled service allows you to interact with a computer via a chat interface. They can understand simple questions and provide answers instantaneously, reducing the burden of the hotel staff, and improving customer experience. Artificial intelligence has other uses as well, such as data analysis, efficient operations, etc., and is definitely a trend to watch out for!
Internet of Things
Another trend in the hotel industry is the Internet of Things or IoT, which provides internet connectivity to everyday devices and appliances. These devices can then interact with one another, share information, and transfer data over the internet, turning them into smart devices.
An already applicable example is internet-enabled thermostats, which automatically adjust room temperature at check-in or check-out times. The concept also helps in energy efficiency and saving costs for the hotel.
Virtual & Augmented Reality
Virtual Reality can provide customers with a holistic, 360-degree tour of the hotel prior to booking. This video-game-like computer-generated simulation enables people to interact via a headset. It helps people attain a first-person experience of the hotel property and feel what it's like.
Similar to the VR trend, Augmented Reality has exploded as well, but is much more accessible, requiring only a smartphone and internet connection. Unlike VR, which provides a video-game-like environment, AR enhances the real-world environment by overlaying information. The applications of this technology are limitless. A simplistic example is transforming the room wall into a map by pointing a phone, which thereby provides you with all necessary information about specific locations or an app that allows you to see local reviews and customer ratings simply by pointing the phone at the building.
One of the most exciting technological trends, which are already being utilized in several industries, is robotics and the use of robots to carry out ordinary tasks. Robots can substitute humans in several roles such as concierge, welcoming guests, and providing them with the necessary information. These technological marvels can also be used for cleaning purposes, a practice that is being replicated across the hospitality industry, in restaurants and hotels alike. However, this technology has downsides when considered for India, as it replaces human-centric jobs in a country where there is already a dearth of employment opportunities.
While working in the hospitality industry, keeping up-to-date with the latest technological trends is extremely important. Understand how guests utilize technology at home and thereby try to make the hotel experience as comfortable as possible. The result is increased guest satisfaction, hotel reputation building, lower costs, more bookings, and increased efficiency of the hotel staff!
The Future is here, where are you?