The technological landscape is always changing — and the hospitality industry has to pay close attention in order to keep up. Hotel technology, in particular, creates a lot of excitement for both business owners and guests alike. After all, 53% of people use their mobile devices to find travel-related information, and hoteliers all across the country (and the world!) are embracing more tech-savvy methods for marketing, customer service, and more. But in a sector that’s evolving so rapidly, exactly which trends should you follow? Here are a few of our favorite hotel trends in technology that will likely continue to expand in 2019.
IoT: Interconnected Devices
Although technology in hotel rooms was once limited to the television and the wireless internet, there are many more gadgets and services that come into play these days. There are now “smart” hotel rooms that contain interconnected systems that allow the guest to control their preferences and actually store them for the future. It’s a way for your guests to instantly streamline their stay to fit their needs without ever requiring staff members to lift a finger. In that sense, it’s a highly effective option that can boost customer satisfaction and even client loyalty. IoT (Internet of Things)-equipped hotel rooms can allow the guest to instantly adjust the room temperature, unlock their room, dim the lights, turn on the shower, or watch their favorite show with a tap of their smartphone screen. Not only are these hotel trends digitally exciting, but they can also allow the hotel to become more environmentally friendly; no longer will you have to waste energy on lighting or cooling a room that doesn’t need it!
Guest and Housekeeping Tracking
When you invest in PMS software for hotels, you obtain access to a certain amount of tracking capabilities. But if you really want to amp up your ability to keep track of important information, you may want to prioritize guest tracking or housekeeping tracking. Guest tracking systems allow you to keep tabs on the whereabouts of your guests, which can ultimately allow for better peace of mind in many situations. For example, in the event of an emergency or for families traveling with young children, this option will be much-appreciated. There are also systems that can promote customer satisfaction by zeroing in on check-in and check-out flexibility. Housekeeping tracking systems can focus on cleaning staff members and ensure that as soon as a room has been turned over, it can be designated as available for check-in. In the end, this can often mean guests are able to check in earlier or check out later, at their leisure, rather than being rushed or restricted. Little adjustments like this can really go a long way to improve your reviews and return guest rates.
Having stellar customer service isn’t among one of the passing trends in the hospitality industry. But the means by which you provide that service may be subject to change. In the digital age, customers want to be able to book their stay whenever — even in the middle of the night. Of course, your hotel may not have anyone available to answer questions at 3 AM. But implementing a chatbot assistant system on your site can allow potential guests to obtain the information they need, no matter what time it is. That can have a significant impact on your consumer leads and on your booking rates. Even if a guest chooses not to book (or engage) with the service assistant at that time, they’ll still be impressed by how invested you are in helping them. In many cases, they might choose to come back at another time simply because they remembered your hotel’s responsiveness.
It can be tough to keep up with all the latest hotel trends, especially where technology is concerned. But our hotel trends predictions for 2019 should keep you ahead of the curve and allow you to investigate the areas in which your organization can improve.