Using Technology to Gain a Competitive Advantage in the Hotel Industry

As all hospitality professionals would agree, the hotel industry has always been extremely competitive. That’s why keeping up with the latest trends in technology is essential for hospitality management teams.

Businesses unable to quickly adapt to new technologies face the  risk of falling behind the competition. New technologies can help hotels and travel companies add value to their guests’ experiences, and this opportunity should not be missed.

But the advantages of technology for the hotel industry are not just limited to the guest experience. Technology can also enhance operational efficiency and help hotel management to reduce costs by replacing expensive human labour. In additions, it will improve customer service by facilitating smooth staff engagement and communication.

With today’s travellers embracing a “digital-first” approach, hotels can gain a competitive advantage by implementing the right trendy technologies to exceed guest expectations.

Today, the average guest staying at a hotel  carries at least three mobile devices. They are used to getting information fast, reaching anything with just a click, and being the first to experience and share new experiences and innovation.

All these factors point to mobile technology as one of the most essential technological areas for hotel businesses to improve their services. Let’s review some trending new mobile technologies in the hospitality industry to help your business adapt and stay relevant in the digital age:

Digital And Mobile Technology Trends in the Hospitality Industry

Remote Check-In

Today’s guests enjoy self-service technology. Mobile check-ins can give guests the chance to skip the traditional front desk procedures and instead start enjoying the facilities immediately.

According to hotelmanagement.net, more than 68% of hotel guests find it unacceptable to wait in line at reception for longer than five minutes. This means mobile check-in should be a priority for hotel management.

Mobile check-ins provide a smooth start to a positive guest experience and also decreases the need for large amounts of staff to manage the front desk. As a result, the hotel staff can better distribute their resources and dedicate their time to providing more personalised services.  

In addition, providing mobile check-in to guests encourages them to download the branded app of the property. This allows hotels to communicate with guests before, during and after their stay, as well as upsell or cross-promote products and services.

Mobile Keys And Keyless Entry

A mobile key is a digitally encrypted “key” on a guest’s mobile device. The mobile key offers authorised users with digital access to specific secured doors in the property.

By using a mobile key, the guests can directly access their room. That means the need for visiting the front desk to pick up their key is eliminated. Digital keys play a major role in providing a more convenient and improved guest experience.

In addition, neither the guests nor the hotel staff has to worry about losing a key or replacing a lost one. This not only reduces money loss but also provides added security to the property. A guest is much less likely to lose their own mobile device than a tiny plastic keycard.

The convenience and accessibility of mobile keys has ensured the “keyless entry” trend has become an indispensable part of the modern hotel industry.

Voice-Activated Guest Rooms

Earlier this year, Amazon released Alexa for Hospitality, a hospitality-focused offshoot of its popular virtual assistant Alexa. Through a pair of smart speakers, Alexa for Hospitality is a virtual assistant for guests that simplifies tasks like ordering towels, controlling in-room temperature or TV, turning on the lights, and much more.  

Voice technology can act like a virtual butler, offering to make reservations or provide information about the local area. On the other hand, voice recognition technologies can also be used as an effective method for assisting hospitality staff.

There are many benefits associated with voice-activated guest rooms, and the hotel industry should leverage this technology as soon as possible.

Branded Guest Engagement Apps

Guest engagement apps provide hospitality professionals with the ability to manage their hotel operations, content, and marketing efforts through one platform.

They can send mid-stay surveys to check in on their guests and ensure they’re enjoying their experience. If a customer is not satisfied with their stay, hotel managers can immediately make amends to turn around their experience, and ensure they leave the hotel with positive feelings.

To do this, hotel managers can use a guest engagement app to identify and send notifications to guests. Guests can be easily segmented by their previous actions or duration of stay; for example, managers can send separate messages to guests on the day of their check-in or to guests who have used the spa. There are many opportunities to also offer personalised promotions and targeted campaigns.

As the Oracle Hospitality report mentions, 35% of guests prefer the ability to schedule room cleaning and 26% said they would like to receive a smartphone notification to show if their room was being cleaned.

Guest engagement apps are the perfect way to build relationships with guests before, during and after their stay, as well as learn meaningful insights about their preferences satisfaction levels. Hotel management teams can use these insights to improve overall guest services.

Guest Room Tablets

Guests often don’t have visibility over a hotel’s entire suite of services and facilities. That’s why hotels place advertising brochures in every single room. However, if there are tablets displaying this information instead, hotel managers will no longer need to print paper brochures.

Today, hospitality professionals can provide information about their hotel via a single tablet. They can promote their services to guests instantly. For example, if someone cancels their reservation in the spa, other guests who are interested in attending can be easily informed instead. In-room tablets can also be used to create upselling opportunities  and promote special offers and upgrades.

Although the ROI depends on the services and the size of the hotel, nearly every hotel that uses guest room tablets have experienced positive feedback from guests. In fact, the average ROI is 300% in sales.

Staff Apps

The most important benefit of a staff app is the improvement of internal staff communication. Staff management apps are like the back-end version of a guest engagement platform. They connect guests and their demands directly to the staff servicing them.

Staff apps provide real-time communication between hotel staff, guests, HR, and operations. Guests can communicate with hotel staff directly, which encourages personalised guest engagement.

In addition, real-time demands and responses make it easier for hotel management to manage workflows. Complaints can be instantly tracked and resolved with a quick swipe on the app.

As a result, there are many positive effects on  hotel staff productivity, as well as overall guest satisfaction.

Conclusion

As you can see, technology plays a big role in the hospitality management industry for guests, management teams and staff. Technology helps process and speed up operations, which has a direct effect on guest satisfaction.

Hotel managers need to be aware of new technological capabilities and keep up with ever-evolving customer needs. Otherwise, they will find themselves quickly outpaced by the competition.  

If you want to adapt your hotel business to the digital world by building your own branded app, you can request a demo or contact us. At WeBee, we create branded apps so your hotel to increase guest engagement and staff productivity.

See WeBee’s Related Case Studies

2019-06-11T08:13:12+00:00June 11th, 2019|Blog Posts|0 Comments