Technology permeates our everyday lives and it has become integrated into the daily business operations within many industries, including hospitality and hotel management.
Amidst the pandemic situation, technology has become even more important than ever and it will play a key role in the recovery of the tourism industry.
Hotel industry can implement technology across all departments to improve guest experience, streamline their business operations, manage post-covid protocols and improve the overall communication between your employees and guests.
Hospitality and tourism industries were the most affected by the recent pandemic – such events showed the necessity for digital transformation in every industry.
Although technology is present within the hospitality sector (computerized booking system, etc.), it still has not been properly exploited.
Technology facilitates easy connection and communication across borders and continents. This enabled fast transfer of information helping the hospitality industry in terms of higher number of bookings, easier communication with the customers and more.
Hospitality businesses market their services and products through the Internet where people can interact from different locations in real time.
The Internet enabled businesses to market their products/services with ease at low costs and globally. The end result was that businesses were able to tailor the needs of the customer accordingly.
With technology today, consumers are able to do their own research on destinations, accommodation facilities, schedules or the money needed for a tour. These are available on the Internet and it has become essential for budget and decision making.
More Efficient Service
Today’s touristic businesses are faced with many demands and they must meet those needs and requirements. However, it is not only the customers but also the workforce and other employees that they must take care of. Besides this, hotel management has to manage inventory, purchases and human resources as well.
The technology response to such issues would be the ERP system which is basically a suite of software applications that organizations use to manage daily activities including accounting, project or workforce management as well as supply chain.
ERP systems help hospitality managers to handle all the vital functions ensuring their business performs at its full capacity, allowing managers to consistently review crucial business information and reports. For example, if you use ERP to manage inventory, you can enable your managers to compare financial data, billing schedules and other types of analytics.
Such features enable management to reach data-driven decisions which they can further report to the relevant stakeholders.
Customers aka guests want their experience to be quick and hassle free – they want a seamless, tech driven and contactless experience in the hotel industry. No matter if it is ordering a room service from a smartphone or scanning QR code, they do not want to queue or leave your hotel room – guests expect an easy and smooth experience.
Guests want to be provided with the connection so to be able to book, check and compare prices and schedule their traveling to various tourist destinations.
Technology has eased globalization making the world a small global village. People are connected via the Internet and social media and information is transmitted quickly with just a tap.
Technology has added a boost as people are able to access information about the locations they want to visit and get more insight into additional activities that can be.
No Repetitive Tasks
The recent pandemic stressed out the need for automation across many industries thus its popularity is growing.
Even though your business does not have to jump into the usage of robots, there are many automated solutions available that can ensure a seamless integration and simplified daily tasks of your work staff.
Introducing automation will help the hospitality business to lower the time-consuming and repetitive tasks allowing companies to be more productive on a day to day basis. For example, hotels can automatically send notifications (or emails) to their guests offering coupons or special promotions hence gathering customer feedback.
Find a suitable tool for automation of email marketing campaigns as it will be easier for your team to efficiently send those emails. You can help your workforce to use their time for more complicated tasks (researching and preparing new marketing strategies etc.) by automating certain processes.
Technology has become an important cornerstone in the modern hospitality industry since many customers expect streamlined services.
That is the very reason why more and more hospitality businesses adopt technology to improve customer experience and keep their business running smoothly.
Easy Access to Information
Nowadays, guests want convenience – every service to be within their reach.
Hotels can create their own apps where guests can find useful information such as nearby venues, restaurants, sightseeing sites and more. Having a mobile app can allow hotel staff to connect with the guest via messages (sms, viber, whatsapp etc.), send them personalized offers or promotions and much more.
Another good choice can be chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) that can help hotel staff to keep up with the customer’s demands and take off certain burdens from their plate.
Chatbots can carry out many tasks like responding to FAQs, making reservations, ordering food or processing payment – chatbots offer timely service that makes customers happy and willing to return to your hotel.
Hospitality places (hotels, motels etc.) that already utilize chatbots have reported benefits like increase in direct bookings, streamlined check in/out service and 24-hour reception.
Customer retention and loyalty is the most important part of any service-based business – it is vital that you fulfill customers’ expectations related to their guest service.
In the hospitality industry, no matter if guests order food, make reservations or ask for recommendations, it can be difficult for your employees to meet everyone’s requirements consistently and maintain communication. Unless this problem is solved, it can negatively impact your brand reputation.
Technology has greatly affected the way of communication – especially with the hospitality and tourism industry where many businesses are dispersed. Today, many hotels use communication platforms to enable cross department communication in order to respond to the guests’ requests more efficiently.
Such platforms can help improve guest experience by making it easier to access all the information they might need like reservation details, nearby restaurants opening time or ordering room service via an app.
Provide Better Customer Experience
If you want to retain your guests, you must pay attention to having a great customer experience. That is the place where technology comes in and helps to improve guest experience by enabling your hotel staff to deliver exceptional service.
Many hotels have systems that automatically save guests’ preferences and notes (their preferences during their last stay, extra pillows or not, etc.) so in case the same guests return, the hotel staff can accommodate them adequately. Such a personalized approach is necessary as it makes the experience much better for your guests.
Another strategy can be via social media which is one of the most popular methods today as it is estimated that there are over 3 billion social media users currently.
Many of these social media users display their thoughts and opinions to their online followers or friends. This is the very reason why social listening methods are essential for brands in today’s digital society.
Social listening is a strategy including monitoring digital comments or statements in order to understand what customers say about your brand. Social listening enables companies to determine customer sentiment and collect feedback on the customers’ preferences.
There are many social listening tools for you to choose and implement this strategy successfully – ‘word-of-mouth’ in online society is still the most valuable type of recommendation since it comes from real people.
Such an approach enables brands to reach more informed decisions based on the feedback of their customers.
Technology is Expected
Unless your hotel is solely for people to run away from technology nowadays, technology within the hospitality industry is expected.
Guests expect to have strong and reliable WiFi and to be able to connect to the internet no matter their physical location.
Hotel management companies need to embrace new technological ideas if they wish to stay relevant and operate efficiently.
People that travel always like to stay in touch with their family or friends and that is where technology opens up a world of opportunities that the hospitality industry can take advantage of.
If brands take this opportunity, it can make them really stand out leading to greater growth within the hospitality industry.
The meaning of ‘business as usual’ within the hotel industry is quickly evolving. Guests nowadays demand more personalized options so that accommodation can meet their requirements.
Some of the trends in this industry lead to improvements and savings for the hospitality sector, while others change how hotel owners plan their management structure and workforce requirements.
Since the digital community grows, hotel management needs to leverage the resources and systems at their disposal if they want to retain their clients.
Technology provides the opportunities, tools and solutions that hospitality needs to create memorable experiences and lead to positive growth in the industry.