To run a hotel is anything but easy. The long list of daily tasks and the need to ensure that the services and facilities of a hotel are always up to date means that a good hotelier always keeps an eye on his facility and the entire industry.
Making use of technological advances is a crucial part of this and is absolutely necessary to keep a hotel up to date. An entire industry thrives on improving our hotels with the help of Tech. Innovative products are being developed to streamline management processes, attract potential guests and make our hotels' daily operations smoother and more efficient.
But in the long run, these shiny tech products are just fads or real and important changes that will irrevocably change the hotel business for the better.
One such change, which is hugely popular among hotel owners and managers, is the adoption of cloud-based management software. This type of technology has gained popularity over the last decade and it is not difficult to understand why. With remote access and instant exchange of information and data, the right cloud-based management system can make processes for managers and employees infinitely more efficient, significantly improving the guest experience.
Not only that, but also the clever new management software can automate a number of trivialities that give employees time to adjust to the needs of paying guests and ensure that they receive the highest level of customer service throughout their stay. There is little doubt that cloud-based management systems are the way for hotels and that they will be around for a while as they constantly improve their technology to meet the evolving needs of hotels.
Another technical product that is taking the hotel industry by storm is the personal hotel app. Many hotels do not have their own apps, but work with aggregators such as Booking.com or Trivago, while larger hotel chains and some boutique hotels have introduced tailored mobile apps that allow guests to book rooms, discover deals, and browse the offerings offered rooms and services.
In some hotels, the effort of creating a custom app is simply not worth it. For many, however, this is justified as it represents an interesting new approach to hotel operation. The main argument for hotel-specific apps is consumer convenience: it allows them to make or change bookings, access information quickly, ask questions and easily make inquiries from their phone or tablet. A customized app also means that no services are needed by mid-sized companies, so hotels can maximize revenue and benefits themselves.
Whether you're building a custom hotel app or working with a larger industrial company, there's no question that mobile convenience and improved accessibility are a critical technology element that hotels need to look out for. Hotels of all sizes need to make the customer experience as easy as possible before, during and after their stay. And as speed and accessibility are becoming more and more important in our daily lives, hotels have to put themselves in the hands of people or risk to be left out altogether.
Another technology that is adopted by a number of hotels is the "chatbot" technology, similar (and in places including) Google's "Echo" and Amazon "Alexa". At the hotel, these artificial intelligence "chatbots" can be used to ask questions and make inquiries or increase the comfort and convenience of the guest, such as: By changing the room temperature, turning the lights on and off, and controlling television and speaker systems.
This type of technology is an integral part of many of our everyday lives, and it is only logical to expect that we will see more of it in our hotels. But if the technology goes so far that guests can control small elements in their rooms, is the investment really worthwhile? What is a voice-controlled light switch that changes fundamentally? It's going to be exciting to see where the AI can go, and hopefully it will have a deeper impact on the guest experience, which not only eliminates the need for TV remote controls and volume controls.
After all, hotel rewards programs are not newcomers, but always adapt to the changing needs of consumers (much like the hotels themselves). Of course, when it comes to securing recurring customers, are rewards programs helpful in attracting new guests?
There is a balance in designing a reward scheme. If you give too little, it is completely ineffective. but give too much and you work against your own interests. With more competition in the market than ever before, last minute deals could undercut prices, and introduce incredibly effective marketing tools that are available in many hotels, a simple but rewarding reward program and available online and through social media Technologies use Pip your competitors on the post.
While it's important not to go for any trend that seems to be making waves, it's even more important for hoteliers to be open-minded about the kinds of things that can boost their hotel's revenue and reputation. Above all, hotel managers need to be aware of market changes, research new products as they become available, and consider what processes their hotel could improve before making rash purchases. Hotel technicians could change your hotel for the better; But if it is not applied in the right place at the right time, it could also be bad.
By Simon Botto, CEO of DayBreakHotels