Hotel tech: improving the guest experience

With today’s hotel guests very much used to the latest tech at their fingertips at home, it follows that their expectations of technology use while away have risen. To meet this demand from the customer, hospitality businesses are raising their game when it comes to tech solutions. 

When you’re used to streaming your favourite series, working or surfing the net over superfast broadband, and wirelessly charging your phone at home, staying in a hotel can sometimes make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, and not in a good way. Although making guests feel at home is a key part of every hotel experience, sadly when it comes to technology many are currently falling short. 

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With some foresight and a little investment, hoteliers can leverage technology to improve the guest experience, and along the way improve security, free up staff from repetitive tasks to focus on quality interactions with guests, and also glean feedback data that can inform business decision making.  

There are various technologies that can help elevate experiences all round, including guests and staff: 

Contactless check in and check out 
Hastily brought in by many during the pandemic, hoteliers and guests alike appreciate the ease and convenience that is achieved by checking in or out using a mobile device, rather than having to queue to pick up or drop off a key or keycard. As well as reducing wait times, it also frees up front desk staff to provide a personalised service to guests with more complex queries or problems, which significantly improves customer service while also reducing pressure on reception staff. 

In-room technology 
At the simplest level, control of the heating and cooling systems ensures the best air quality and comfort levels for each room’s occupant, while energy savings can be made through systems which automatically turn down when the room has not been checked into. Digital assistants can be a good addition, with the option to control in-room technology as well as responding to requests for information, or automate aspects of hotel service such as ordering drinks or booking in spa appointments. 

Entertainment technology is often a significant part of the experience for guests, especially solo travellers. HD TVs and surround sound, with the option to cast from a device or log into personal streaming services, will help to provide a home-from-home-cinema experience, and save guests from the frustration of scheduled television or pay-per-view when they’d rather be continuing to watch their favourite box set. 

Wi-fi and charging facilities 
One of the biggest priorities of both leisure and business guests is fast, secure broadband, and average expectations of speed hover around 100 megabytes per second, according to a 2022 survey. Given the rise in internet-based entertainment, and also in virtual events and video calls, this sort of bandwidth demand isn’t surprising, it’s simply what guests are used to in their day-to-day lives.  

As well as enabling secure connectivity in every space, it’s worth considering providing wireless charging facilities, or offering a selection of cables in case guests have forgotten their own (a common traveller error!). It’s also worth considering whether short-term device rental is a worthwhile add-on, perhaps offering laptops or tablets to guests who find themselves staying without their own devices. 

Wayfinding and advertising 
Hotels with conference centres or an active events programme will find digital signage highly useful for indicating to guests where and when particular events are happening, and also reap the rewards that these systems can offer in terms of advertising content.  

Personalised guest experience 
One of the biggest opportunities technology can offer is in personalising the guest experience. With the right hotel management software it’s possible to track guests’ preferences, and offer customisation – say, setting the room temperature to their liking, or providing their favourite brand of coffee, before they arrive. Tech can also create easy and convenient ways for guests to get what they want, and also for hoteliers to use the power of suggestion to upsell. Instant messaging services can connect guests with staff for speedy concierge services or problem solving, while automated upselling can offer guests add-ons such as a late check-out, wellbeing services, dining offers and the like, just at the right moment to nudge them into action. 

By leveraging technology, hotels can enhance operational efficiency, increase guest satisfaction, and deliver a more personalized and seamless guest experience. If you’re interested in finding out more about how this can be tailored for your hospitality brand, please do contact us. 

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