Automation is both a blessing and a curse for hotels. While automation reduces staffing costs, it also eliminates the human interaction hospitality guests love. So what’s the key to merging technology with customer expectations and personalized service? Using technology to enhance staff-guest interactions, rather than replacing them.
According to Sabre President, Francisco Pérez-Lozao Rüter, “Equipping hotel staff with the insight to deliver richer, more informed interactions with guests is what makes for truly special hotel experiences.”
Each guest has unique needs and preferences, technology makes it easier to recognize and adjust processes for these needs. With some care and consideration, hotels can use a set of tools to personalize guest experiences before, during, and after their stays.
Introduce rich, personalized experiences before guests arrive.
Technology leaves room for personalization that makes an impact—all before guests wander through your hotel doors. Here are some of the best hotel automation technologies available today:
Webchat: The ability for guests to reach out quickly and easily online
Before their arrival, guests may have questions or special requests. Allowing guests to ask these questions through your website provides them with a convenient option to get the information or services they need. Having a real person respond directly via chat can provide an additional layer of personalization and make guests feel truly welcome at your hotel.
Texting has become one of the most popular ways to communicate. That’s why it’s no surprise that 77 percent of people say they’ve texted somebody in the same room. Given the popularity of texting, providing texting options to your guests before, during, and after their stay can personalize the experience and further enhance customer loyalty.
Use automation to augment human messaging capabilities for a scalable, real-time solution. Schedule a text message to send to your future guest within a few days of their stay, showing guests you truly care about their well-being. Then, assign a staff member to respond to any pressing questions or concerns that arise after that initial text-message. Guests will feel prepared and excited for their stay.
How to deliver rich, personalized experiences during their stay.
Now that you know what kinds of techniques exist for the hospitality industry, it’s time to apply them to your hotels.
Introduce Guests to a Digital Concierge
Employing a digital concierge provides guests with a go-to solution for their most pressing questions and concerns. Podium’s Messaging Platform can help guests connect with the digital concierge, allowing them to text questions and requests directly through their phones. Guests can then receive an immediate response from a real person, providing next-level personalization that can make a guest’s stay more comfortable and more memorable.
Smart rooms with mobile apps
Personalization doesn’t always require a personal touch. Smart rooms with mobile apps enable each guest to customize the room to meet their needs—from the room’s temperature to the brightness of the lights. It’s these little touches that make hotels stand out from the rest.
Mobile alerts and texts
By referring to existing data on customers, hotels can send personalized mobile alerts and texts to guests. For instance, if you know a guest loves going to the pool, you might offer a special promotion on a poolside cabana. When done right, personalization makes your sales and upsells seem like favors and pampering to your guest. It’s a win-win for everyone.
When guests order room service, they are looking for a quick and convenient meal in the comfort of their room. Providing the option to order and pay for room service directly through their phones makes enjoying room service even easier.
Continuing to Provide Rich, Personalized Experiences After their Stay with Cutting-Edge Tools
A seamless follow-up process gives you insight into your guest’s stay within moments of check-out.
Ask for Feedback
With a guest feedback tool, you’re able to instantly get a pulse on your guest’s stay. Customize the tool to ask about key touch-points such as guest experience. If a guest is unhappy with their stay, resolve their issue with efficiency—this could be your last time to provide a positive guest experience.
Get a Review
Do you look at reviews before booking a hotel? Most people do. Podium’s Reviews feature enables you to both solicit and respond to reviews, boosting your online profile and credibility with future guests. Plus, it’s a great way to respond to guests’ complaints, concerns, or praise to show the world wide web that you truly care about your guests.
Provide more than fresh linens.
There’s no question that hospitality tech is transforming the hotel experience for you and your guests. But you don’t have to be an expert in AR, VR, automation, or chatbots to take advantage of these new tools. And you no longer have to be a five-star resort to afford the luxury of using new technology.
According to the TSA, 2019 will be the “busiest summer travel season ever.” In order to provide guests the best possible service in the shortest amount of time, your staff needs more than fresh linens. By giving them the tools and technology to succeed, you’re not just investing in your hotel, but you’re also creating a five-star experience.
Podium is redefining the way guests interact with hotels. Through its Interaction Management platform, hotels can message leads and guests, get reviews and feedback, and communicate easily with their teams. Podium was named as one of Forbes’ Next Billion-Dollar Startups and powers over 30,000 businesses.