In this post we take a look at some of the top technology trends in hospitality for 2018. The hotel industry is having a banner year and with that is implementing technologies designed to deliver a better customer experience.
Hotel General Managers need to ensure that all decisions are made in the best interest of the hotel and management. At the same time, you need to ensure that the customer experience is a satisfying one. Keeping up with the latest technology trends in hospitality could be quite a balancing act and today is a major key element to success in the hospitality industry.
Smartwatch Solutions as the Latest Technology Trends in Hospitality
Mobile is one of the top technology trends in hospitality and is finally making inroads in the industry, allowing hotels to handle requests as well as manage the customer experience, in order to deliver a seamless and connected customer experience.
The hotel industry along with electronics giant Samsung is introducing a smartwatch solution. With the ALICE (A Life Improving Customer Experience) app embedded, Samsung Gear smartwatches will drastically improve communications among hotel staff. This will lead to a speedier response to guest requests and greatly enhance customer service. It is making its debut with a luxury hotelier, the Viceroy Hotel Group.
The Samsung solution along with the ALICE app is being rolled out on the wrists of hotel staff at the L’Ermitage Beverly Hills hotel. This is quite compelling for the hotel industry, with mostly mobile hotel staff who are in need of a hands-free durable solution for completing daily tasks.
Keeping employees connected, while securely managing the process, can help them meet the specific needs of the business. The staff wearing the watches work in key operational areas such a housekeeping, bellman and maintenance services.
For instance, if a guest is requesting extra towels, valet service or has other needs, hotel personnel receive silent vibrating alerts that they can respond to with one finger on their watches. The appropriate personnel will respond and accept the task, allowing the other staff members to see that someone is attending to the guests’ request.
Hotel managers can track tasks in real time via a dashboard, and let them know that all requests are being tended to in a timely fashion. This is a far cry from the annoying sounds made by walkie talkies. It also does away with broken devices such as smartphones and tablets that can be dropped and usually require the use of both hands and enables the staff members to keep eye contact with the guest, ensuring a more pleasant experience and improved hospitality.
Sustainability as the leading trend in Hospitality
This last April, Booking.com’s ‘Global Sustainable Travel report was published and it showed that sixty five percent of travelers strongly preferred eco-friendly accomodations. Harnessing the power of technology, hotel operators and owners can utilize this strategy to not only market, but increase revenue for their brand while adopting practices deemed energy efficient.
Via the use of technology, hotel General Managers can save a lot on water, food waste and energy. Via the use of devices such as LED lighting, smart thermostats, and linenless buffet tables, Hotel Managers are able to maintain a high level of customer experience while providing options that are eco-friendly. By utilizing ozone-powered water treatment, motion sensitive lighting systems, General Managers can cut down on electric bills without compromising their guests’ comfort. Electric bills are just one example of an expense that need to be monitored closely to effectively manage profits and losses.
Installation of technologies can help hotel owners save, while delivering an experience that is appreciated by their guests.
Robots are the new butlers
While this is one of the latest technology trends in Hospitality. Some hoteliers have been experimenting with AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered customer service, with some even using it on a daily basis. AI is becoming more and more a part of all our lives, even if we don’t realize it.
The use of Robotics is powered by AI.This is it can take customer service to next level:
Room service, for instance can be performed by utilizing robots. Butler service can be handled by robots. Hotel guests can see more of this in 2018 and beyond. There are quite a few players in this area, and we can see more in the future as we see a move from general robotics to more specific robots built for the hospitality industry.
See this great post on how the leading hotel chains are using robots.
Chatbots to facilitate in-house communication with guests
“Instead of the automated e-mails that hotels typically send guests to suggest amenities – such as spa treatments, airport transfers and dinner reservations – chatbots in 2025 might suggest these offers themselves, increasing offer relevance by asking guests questions.” – Hospitality in the Digital Era – Cognizant
AI also drives chatbots that can greatly heighten the guest experience and customer service in the hospitality arena. Hotels that use chatbots as virtual hosts, greatly increase the friendliness for guests making a purchase. Post purchase, the chatbot can greatly enhance the customer experience, as it can deliver high level quality interaction with the guest 24×7 via the channel which the guest is most comfortable with. For this reason, it is one of the most popular technology trends in hospitality.
For the hospitality industry to realize the most value for their guests, they must ensure that their bots are intuitive enough to give the guest access to what they need. Quickly.
Some ways the hospitality industry is providing value to their guest via the use of chatbots are:
- Offer recommendations to guests based on their preferences before they make a purchase
- Check guest itineraries in order to make the purchase more tailored during the booking process
- Provide customer support to ensure that the guest’s stay will be an enjoyable one, as well as answer any questions regarding the destination
Check-In/Check-Out has never been more convenient
Hotel mobile apps are offering their guests a better experience with the check-in and check-out process. By empowering guests to check in via their mobile devices, it empowers hotels to instantly determine room availability and squeeze the most revenue out of the rooms available.
Additional fees could be tacked on for those guests that want to check in early as well as those who want a late check out. Hotel chains like Hilton and Starwood are just a few of the large chains offering their guests the ability to utilize their mobile devices to check in, check out and also to unlock their rooms.
The technology trends in Hospitality are providing more ways to improve the guest experience. You might want to check into some of these we mentioned, which will allow you to conquer the new challenges as well as get a leg up on your competition. The key to getting ahead with technology is to invest in the latest innovations and testing them out.
2018 is your opportunity to embrace these new challenges, invest in innovation and start testing.