Technology is advancing at a faster pace than ever before, and this is changing both the expectations of customers’ and how businesses interact with their customers. The hospitality industry is no exception and, even though it is often viewed as a slower adopter of technology, hoteliers continuously look for the latest innovations, which would enable them to improve operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction.
Truth is that innovations in technology have touched many facets of the hotel business – include in-room hotel technologies. With guest profiles range from techno-yuppies to seasoned veteran travellers who despise remote controls, rooms now need to be user-friendly and accessible for multiple digital devices and expectations.
Recently Hospitalitynet.org featured a brief rundown of 10 somewhat new room technologies and why they matter to hoteliers. Some of our favorites include:
Keyless entry: Mobile room keys are much more superior to magnetic swipe cards. It allows the savvy traveller to bypass that final wait and complete their trip in the most expedient fashion. On a practical level, and realistically, it’s much harder to lose your smartphone and at the same time your phone has the handy advantage of not being demagnetized by other things in your pocket! And it’s not surprising, due to boasting increased guest satisfaction, that several major hotel brands, such as Marriott, Hyatt, Intercontinental Group have begun rolling out smartphone keys, via their branded mobile apps – and with much success.
We definitely like this one!
Texting Concierge: Messaging and chat services are rapidly becoming another way that technology is transforming what is thought of as a good service experience and how it is delivered. For hoteliers, messaging is a ready-made engagement channel that millions of people are already very comfortable using. It’s a versatile, effective way to ‘chat’ to guests in a place they are already conversing and in a way that feels personal and not too invasive or pushy. At many hotels, guest can now communicate their needs to the staff through a smartphone, hotel in a live and contextual way enhancing their overall guest experience and satisfaction.
Mobile at the Forefront of Hotel Technology
Streaming devices: Gone are the days when guests sit down to a set-list of channels with the latest foreign-language soap operas or an endless choice of news channels on sometimes out of tune in-room TVs. With the availability of many streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, guests now want to stream content from their own devices directly to the large, high definition televisions in their rooms
Some hotels are now beginning to offer this service; Marriott was the first to debut its partnership with Netflix last year allowing guests to stream their own content simply by logging into their account on a Wi-Fi enabled widescreen HDTV and Starwood alternately experimented with AppleTV and Amazon services!
At the end of day – no matter what hoteliers choose to invest in, the key is to focus on hotel technologies that make the travel experience easier and more personal for guests. In-room technology is not about filling a hotel room with all possible gadgets; it is about enhancing the guest experience and especially simplifying the stay at the hotel.
To see the full list, check out the article on Hospitalitynet.org.