It’s no doubt that the hospitality industry thrives on innovative customer experience. And as digital innovation continues to transform almost every sector, customers in the hotel sector are getting their share of the emerging technologies such as facial recognition, chatbots, and many others.
According to statistics, digital innovations can lead to a greater customer experience. There is a growing need for personalization in the hospitality industry. A survey by Deloitte on hotel guest experience indicated that only 65% of respondents felt that a hotel truly knew them.
Personalization helps hotel owners to build brand loyalty. When hotels understand their guests better, they are likely to increase their stay frequency by a significant margin. Consequently, the hospitality sector needs to embrace emerging technologies to offer a seamless customer experience. Here are amazing customer experience innovations that hotel owners need to implement.
Facial recognition is one of the emerging technologies in the hospitality industry. This technology enables customers to check into their rooms after a facial recognition scan without having to wait in line at the front desk. Consequently, it shortens check-in time from an average of three minutes to less than a minute.
How does it work? Upon arrival at the facility, guests simply have their faces scanned at a kiosk to verify their identity. They scan their IDs, take a photo, and give their contact details to a self-help machine. The machine finally dispenses room key cards to each guest after proper identity and booking verification. The entire process is quick, efficient, and convenient. It takes less than a minute.
Robotic technology is an effective way to cut down extensive back-office operations that often take a big chunk of hotel budget and resources. This technology allows hotel service providers to ‘hand over’ some of their routine tasks to robots. These machines can deliver amenities and give guests prompt services at any time of the day or night.
Robots can clean guest rooms and common places at the touch of a button. Some hotels already use the technology to staff their front desk. While they aren’t entirely replacing human staff, robots exist to improve efficiency and help human staff focus on more demanding duties.
For example, instead of spending time delivering towels and toothbrushes to guest rooms, human staff can spend time on more demanding activities as robots perform those menial routine tasks. This eventually saves time and resources.
‘Smart rooms’ is another trending concept in the hospitality industry. This technology integrates Artificial Intelligence (AI) and voice recognition concepts to incorporate virtual assistants into the rooms. Such rooms allow guests to get personalized assistance by simply speaking naturally.
With this technology, guests can easily change settings between leisure and work modes. They can draw hotel curtains or switch off lights when away. In the end, it leads to a redefined room service, which is more empathetic, personalized, and convenient.
Chatbots are an excellent application of AI technology, which allows guests to connect with their service providers on a deeper and personalized level. Some hotels already use the technology to offer a wide range of services such as spa booking, restaurant booking, and even getting secret menu items, which are not ordinarily accessible.
Chatbots combine a unique voice with more than 1000 conversation threads. Guests can utilize this technology to book event tickets and self-guided tours among others.
Smart Amenities for Flexible Customer Experience
Every hotel aims to provide guests with a comfortable, customized experience. Hoteliers can achieve this objective by integrating ‘smart amenities’ into the guest rooms. For instance, some hotels already use smart tablets in guest rooms, which allow customers to perform several activities such as regulating room temperature, operating the TV, and controlling window blinds and lights from a central point.
Some hotels have even installed smart shower doors, which allow guests to jot their ideas while they shower and send the image to their emails for future reference.
The RFID technology is a wristband that carries information regarding a guest’s room, ticket, and credit card. This technology is a shift from the traditional concept where guests used to carry around room keys. The wristband is scannable for users to access their rooms and other areas.
They can also use it to make payments. This technology allows users to have all information with them, eliminates chances of forgetting, and facilitates a hands-free experience.
Mobile Room Keys
This technology allows guests to self-check-in through an integrated hotel app, which they can download on their smartphones. Guests simply use the hotel’s app to check-in and get information about their rooms handy.
They can choose their rooms, check-in seamlessly, and unlock their doors by using their smart devices like smartphones or smart watches. This concept eliminates the need to queue at the front desk.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
These two technologies somehow operate side by side to give hotel guests anew experience. Hotels attract both local and international customers, some of whom it’s their first time to visit the destination. Virtual reality technology allows guests to get a clear layout, view, and amenities of a facility even before their actual visit.
Besides, visitors can tour a hotel, choose a room, and seamlessly book it online. They can also view local attractions. This boosts their confidence in the facility and the location even before they arrive. Augmented reality, on the other hand, works nearly the same way.
However, AR offers detailed information about a facility and provides the ability to share it across various platforms. Visitors can tour the hotel and have a detailed view of both the interior and exterior layouts.
Some hotels already use this technology by including a scannable map of the local area on their walls. Guests can simply point their smart phones at the map and unveil more information regarding local attractions. They can also get push notifications about the best things to do and see while there.
Modern hotels are using location-based technology to help them offer their customers more personalized service. For instance, a guest in the hotel bar can receive a push notification regarding a deal on drinks. The technology also alerts hotel staff about guests’ preferences, founded on where they spend their time. Some hotels already utilize the technology to inform their guests of the upcoming location-specific events and activities that may interest them.
Hotels depend on the guest experience to retain their customers and keep them coming back. The technologies mentioned here can help hoteliers offer improved and personalized experiences that their guests desire.