Digitization in the hospitality industry is on the rise due to technological advancements and, in part, due to the pandemic. As the public has become accustomed to contactless services, guests’ expectations have changed. The pandemic has given them a taste of the convenience that digitization brings.
Contactless also reduces the variation of service standards among employees – guests get a smooth-running experience no matter what.
Below, we will look at some of the simple changes that can be made (such as digital registration) through to the more futuristic advancements, such as VR and AR.
Controlling the Guest Experience
Many processes involved in managing the guest experience can benefit from digitization, from booking to check-out.
A 2021 survey of hoteliers in Asia, Europe, and North America revealed that 70% of respondents were looking to digitalize hotel information and 57% wanted to digitize the check-in and check-out process.
Digital registration and check-out procedures mean guests no longer have to fill in forms when they arrive, and they may settle their bill online when they check-out.
For check-in, some properties opt for a process where guests receive an email that links them to a registration form they can complete at their convenience prior to check-in. An added benefit is that your property improves its sustainability.
With digital registration, all guests need to do when they arrive is collect their keys – unless you provide keyless entry. Keyless entry means guests can use digital keys to access their rooms which is possible thanks to cryptography. Digital keys can be managed within your app.
After your guest’s keyless entry, they can view essential information via a digital folder – another paper-saving opportunity. Instead of providing menus, spa information, local information and other helpful details using flyers, guests can view this in your app. If any changes are needed, updates are implemented quickly – no need to re-print anything.
For managing customer experience from pre-booking to checkout, it is crucial to provide a method of contact where they receive a quick response. For that reason, having a live chat service on your website or app is essential. To automate responses, include a chatbot.
The Importance of Apps
A survey conducted in 2020 revealed that 73% of respondents would prefer to use an app for unlocking their hotel rooms.
Apps provide customer support and allow guests to easily make changes to their stay, such as requesting late checkout, purchasing spa treatments, making restaurant bookings, and so on. Apps provide guests with the ultimate convenience – no more queuing or phoning down to reception to make these changes.
Our QuickInn mobile app offers:
- Mobile bookings
- Contactless check in
- Keyless entry
- Personalized guest communications
- On-demand concierge providing guests with hotel information
Into the Future
The digitization methods above are commonplace but in the near future, more advanced technological developments will be implemented in hospitality.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has made its way into the industry already, with leading hotels implementing smart home technology. Guests can control lighting, air conditioning, and other facilities through voice assistant technology such as Amazon’s Alexa. As the public adapt to using these technologies in their own homes, they expect it to be available when they travel.
These features also enhance accessibility for guests with mobility issues and can even be used in larger accommodation such as suites and villas – guests can control amenities throughout the property from one location.
AI improves personalization. For example, chatbots can provide translation in real-time, making it easier to answer customer queries in any language. Due to the vast wealth of data available, chatbots can make personalized recommendations by analyzing interactions with other guests, purchase history, and many other factors.
Other technologies making their way into hospitality are Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). One way in which VR is used is for guests to have virtual tours of a property before booking.
AR adds digital elements to reality, instead of replacing reality like VR. Hotel information can be displayed this way, making the experience more interactive. One example is scanning a map with a mobile app to explore the local area.
It may be some time before these futuristic developments become commonplace in hospitality. However, digitizing the guest experience in simple ways such as digital registration and contactless services has become the norm.
The QuickInn app integrates with RoomMaster Anywhere for seamless functionality. Find out more here about how you can customize it for your property.