The hospitality industry is all about experience. For decades, “experience” has been a very elusive concept.
How can someone methodically describe, classify and measure experience? How can hotel executives assign metrics that can truly gauge what their guests think about the hotel and its amenities, their staff and the quality of their service, and more? With recent advancements in technology that have reshaped how people connect and purchase, and have accelerated the growth of multifarious industries, can the hospitality industry reap the same rewards? This digest will tackle just that.
Cutting-edge technology for hospitality institutions is becoming more available and reasonably priced. So in essence, the biggest question is: When will adoption and implementation ratings reach a tipping point? The succeeding paragraphs will discuss three pillars that hotel executives must strive to achieve and comprehensively maintain in order to generate world-class customer experience, happy return guests and maximized profits.
While “sales” is often coined as the lifeblood of business, it can be argued that in the hospitality industry, “people” is the heart that pumps that lifeblood. Without superior front- and back-office staff, any hotel will slowly perish. This is because any luxurious hotel property can only draw major distinction from another five-star chain through its brand. And future-ready hotels understand that to cultivate its distinctive brand, consistent service delivery is a must.
Several hospitality audit firms have identified in detail what a perfect check-in experience should be like. Five-star, world-class expectations dictate that check-in or check-out should be complete in two minutes. Just to point out how these agencies can be so elaborate, there are also standards on how a guest should be led from the fine dining restaurant entrance until he is seated and presented the menu.
But the problem here lies in the fact that no matter how scholarly these benchmarks may appear, it remains a checklist. And worse, every time the hotel reaches peak activity, there is nothing on that checklist that can equip the staff in making his work more efficient whilst preserving service quality.
To empower hotel staff, simplified digital and integration-ready platforms must be put in place, especially in functions that deal with reservations, check-in and check-out, POS, revenue management, and CRM.
smart, actionable data
The most dreadful notice for any hotel property is one where a hired “mystery guest” may come over and stay anytime soon. (Will the mystery guest arrive a month from now? A few weeks from today? Or perhaps he is already on his way! Nobody knows.) Results from this mystery guest audit, as well as the short surveys sent to guests a few days after check-out, comprise a huge chunk of how hotels traditionally measure their service quality. Unfortunately, these data are static and not representative of the actual pulse of their clientele. Worse, it cannot intuitively collect customer insights that can be used in the future.
Below are two ways hotels can get smart, actionable data:
1) Rely less on online travel agencies to sell rooms. Hotels should strengthen the direct booking engine of their respective websites, and have this accurately integrated with their CRM platform.
2) Install facial recognition kiosks at the front and concierge desks, and POS stations to verify not just the identity of the guest, but intelligently conjecture (and respond to) his actual emotions using machine learning.
Ultimately, these smart and actionable data result to a personalized guest experience.
passion for limitless technology: AI & VR
One of the largest hesitations in implementing technology is that it can dilute the quality of guest experience because the transaction will now be “less human”. On the contrary, many hotel executives fail to recognize that today’s technology enabled many CMOs from other industries to build personalized and tailor-made experiences.
Here are two of the most promising technologies that will further reshape guest experience:
1) Artificial intelligence (AI) will be embedded in almost the entirety of hotel operations, from getting hotel information through a chatbot, to using voice-controlled guest rooms. Siri- and Alexa- like conversations with your “smart bedroom”, anyone?
2) Virtual reality (VR) will reshape how hotels sell their rooms. This is especially significant for resort hotels. A budding number of use cases about interactive and multi-sensory experiences are now on the works. Embracing the warm summer heat of Boracay or Bali, while situated in chilly San Francisco? Definitely possible with VR.
With technological advancements here and there, which of these opportunities will actually best-fit your hotel? Any of them could, all of them could. But the harmonious blend of these available and game-changing technologies will set your hotel apart from the others. Design Prodigy can make that happen for you.
Hotels of today look at their brands as a prized possession solely dependent on their rooms, amenities and services. But the hotels of the future? They will make masterful integration of their every resource and capability—human capital, business models, operations and technology—to create personalized, world-class experiences that will make their guests raving fans and patronize them for life.
If you’d like to have a chat about how we make this happen at Design Prodigy, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our growth marketers look forward to hearing from you.