We work with a lot of hotels whom by nature are a very customer-centric industry; the most successful hotels tend to be those with the best customer experience in mind.
With that in mind, there are three pieces of technology that all hotels should consider to ensure their guests stay is a positive experience.
Free Wi-Fi is pretty common in most hotels but it must supply a good quality connection throughout the building. It’s one of the most common things people can complain about. Have you ever had a TripAdvisor review that said, “They have free Wi-Fi but it was shocking, I could never use it”?
You need to see Wi-Fi as a marketing tool for the business. Good Wi-Fi results in good reviews (or less negative reviews) and you can use it to collect data (of course, following GDPR and other data protection laws.) You could collect email addresses, or build an idea about your customer base so you can target them further e.g. Are they there for business or pleasure? What age are they? Etc.
Most people would react with well, that doesn’t affect me.
Let me put it simply; more information about the customer means more chance of targeting them to come back for repeat visits which means more money for the hotel, which means any technology costs achieve a high return on investment.
With most people owning mobiles, it has become less of a requirement to have a phone in the room. Why would someone usually need a phone in a hotel room? Usually to contact reception or to put in an order for room service.
With a tablet installed in each room (in a fixed location, of course) it can be a great marketing tool as it will be branded completely to the hotel with only a hotel app on it.
The type of apps you could have on them:
- Wifi – to pay for the internet
- Menus – to look at the menus
- Ordering system – to place an order for room service
- Safety information
- Local information
- Latest offers
- Book your next stay – linked to the website so they can book again
- Chat facility – to talk to reception if you have a special request
The list is pretty endless. Not only could it save you money on printing menus, safety information etc and having them in a nice folder in the room, but it is also branded to your hotel and you could even turn it into a money-making tool. You could do this by charging your preferred partners a fee for having their app on there, for instances – taxi services. You could then get a commission for every booking.
You need to consider a couple of security measures and I don’t mean the safe in the room.
From a customer point of view – keys are very much an out-dated conception in a hotel; unless you own a quirky little boutique hotel. You need access control keys that allow access to the room with a swipe or a code. It is also a good security measure for you because you can tell what time the room was accessed if something was to happens and by who (the guest or a member of staff.)
The system you use needs to be a good system because how many times have you had a guest walk down and say, “My swipe card isn’t working” then, subsequently be annoyed about having to go all the way back to the room to try it again and hope that it works. Most people are pretty forgiving after that one technology error but repetitive technology errors will result in bad reviews.
You also need to strongly consider CCTV in your hotel.
We all want to be trusting individuals but you are a hotel with not only the businesses own assets to consider but other people’s, too.
How does this fit in with the customer-centric theme? Imagine you had a customer whose valuables had been stolen. It doesn’t mean you are liable but if you have CCTV they will be so pleased if it highlighted the culprit that they could notify the police. Likewise, if you had assets stolen, you’d want to be able to prove who it was.
You just need to consider the CCTV rules (see our blog here) and ensure your CCTV is top-notch.