How to achieve a fine balance between guest experience and technology? A 2017 study by Oracle Hospitality surveying around 3000 U.S and European travelers, found out that 2/3 of U.S guests see the continuous investment of hotels in technology to enhance their experience, “very or extremely important’’. Furthermore, keeping up with latest trends has its perks as well. Instead of being changed by the future of the industry, to shape it.
Currently the landscape of the life of a hotel looks like a “bombardment” from different commitments. Be it on managing bookings, cancellations and rates in different channels, arrivals, departures, guests’ peculiar requests, accepting all types of payment and keeping track of analytics, graphs and taxes. Such overwhelming from tasks and the rush to solve them, have in a considerable percentage hindered the guest experience. The solution was of course to turn at technology and find there the answer to the problem.
There have been different approaches on technology’s implementation with the aim of improving the guest experience. One thing is absolutely clear and certain, in today’s day and age, customers want things to be done quickly. The execution has naturally been different from property to property.
Some hotels have introduces keyless entry to one’s room, like Hilton. There is no longer a need for unpredictable swipe cards, but just for a phone and an app inside it, which now takes over the role of the key. Down the line this technology can even evolve to the unlocking of a room by finger ID or facial recognition.
Robotics is emerging as a trend in hospitality as well. On your next visit on a hotel it might not be surprising to see a Maidbot cleaning your room and bringing guest amenities instead of a human. This process has been fueled by a decrease in technological costs, which can easy be translated to a reduction of operating costs as well for the hotel. You don’t need to wonder at the future of this one, take a trip to Japan and witness the change already in motion.
Prediction & personalization
Hotels were expected to exceed guests’ expectations in the past, today the mindset of the client has changed track. Customers now expect businesses to go one step further and foresee and predict their needs in advance. Customization and personalization on products and services have been “the thing’’ in the hotel industry for some time now. This permitted by an incredible amount of data, which make possible numerous insights that were invisible in the past. Making sure that hotels know their guests’ needs and deliver. Anything from their preferences in music to room temperature and eating hours.
All the above mentioned trends are truly exciting when read about and even experienced, yet above all there are a few things which hit gold when it comes to customer satisfaction. When speaking about the experience of 20 or 30 years ago in a hotel, you hear much more positive comments, why? The one prime reason is the time dedicated to one guest. The commitment of the hotel’s staff to make his stay truly unique and worth remembering.
As the study by Oracle shows, “60% of guests still prefer talking in person with hotel staff.” There is nothing wrong in investing in technology, it definitely make things nicer, yet unfortunately in the process the ‘’human touch’’ was lost. That balance which we are looking for must combine both technology and the right way to harvest its benefits.
“Humanizing technology’’ is the term we framed during the work of building our software. Not just for the sake of solving an issue, but providing an overall better guest experience. Softmogul’s approach is to make sure that the bundle of applications that we provide reduce unnecessary loss in time and increase mobility.
Let’s take a look at one example for each of them and what impact they have on the bettering of the guest experience. By using Reception our PMS, the receptionist can instantly check-in and out any customer, simple as that. Accept any kind of payment in just a few taps, move reservations just by dragging and dropping, easily keep track of notes and reminders and dedicate the rest of his time to any need or questions the client has.
Cashier facilitates the work of all the service of your hotel, bars, restaurants, shops, etc. Always integrated with Reception, to make sure that you can take an order in one area of your property and the guest can pay in another. Empowering mobility to its bests.
With Housekeeping no room will be left unclean or not supplied, because the maintenance process will be fully automated. The inner function of all our products is well connected. They remove the need for other third-party integrations to connect them together. Out of the box they are designed to work seamlessly and form a robust platform.
The hassle is gone and the working procedure becomes more enjoyable for the employees, and an happy employee means an happy clientele. Strong data can be generated by the platform, to provide detailed analytics of your business performance, guests demographics and much more which in the hands of a good manager, the benefits will be in abundance.
Borrowing the words of one of our clients:
“Softmogul has helped us focus more on hospitality and less on formality”
The rise of technology had undoubtedly changed the way our lives function. Powered by this surge in innovation so have customer’s expectations grown. Be it in any kind of business or venture, especially in hospitality, where at the end of the day what you are truly selling is an experience. Technology has made the impossible possible, setting customer expectations one step further, hence it is of significant importance to look at the relation on how technology is changing the guest experience.