Your guests want technology to be a part of their hotel stay. Technology is no longer a luxury or an amusing diversion from everyday life; on the contrary, it’s inextricably twined with everyday life. When your guests set foot on your property, they want access to technology that can make their stay more comfortable and homey.
Keep in mind, however, that some members of older generations may not be as tech-savvy as Millennials and Gen Z. In other cases, overly complicated technology may frustrate guests who have difficulty using it, which has the potential to sour their experience. That’s why it’s important to keep your technology easy for guests.
BYOD (bring-your-own-device, for those not in the know) has been a common phenomenon in the business world since mobile devices became ubiquitous. Why not in hospitality, too? According to Ipsos, 75 percent of travelers would rather bring their smartphone on vacation than their toothbrush or their camera, so most of them are guaranteed to have a personal device on them when they arrive at your hotel.
On top of that, your guests already know how to navigate their own devices; it makes sense to offer them access to services and amenities through them. There are many ways to take advantage of this trend and make technology easy for guests — you can let them check in using their mobile devices, for example, or set them up with keyless guestroom entry. They can even use their devices to cast Netflix and YouTube onto their in-room television, if such technology is available at your hotel. It can also be a helpful communication tool between the guest and the brand.
Make it accessible
Not all technology is easy for guests. For example, many brands use apps to give their guests a convenient way to manage their relationship, whether it’s to keep track of points, book travel, or look for information about their destination. Before you make the leap and invest in an app, however, keep in mind that according to QZ, most smartphone users download an average of zero apps every month, so getting them to use yours could be a tall order.
Asking your guests to work too hard to use your technology means they may decide not to bother with it at all, and even if they do jump over the hurdles to give it a shot, that still doesn’t mean they’ll continue to use it. To increase adoption and engagement, remove as many barriers as you can and make your technology accessible and your technology easy for guests. The mobile web is one alternative to apps that can help you connect with your guests and keep them loyal.
Hoteliers must take care of how they integrate automation into their properties. Some hotels have begun to experiment with guest-facing chatbots and robots, but removing the human aspect from customer service has the potential to backfire. That said, there’s no reason automation can’t be used to simplify other aspects of the guest experience.
Automation can be used to regulate lighting and room temperature, for example. It means less work for the guest and they don’t have to spend their precious time figuring out which switches control which lights. We’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that there are financial bonuses to automation as well — automating the lights to turn off and the temperature to lower itself when the guest leaves the room can result in significant savings in energy costs. On top of that, Neilsen reports that 66 percent of hotel guests are willing to pay more to stay in a hotel that demonstrates a commitment to environmental values. So keep it simple and make technology easy for guests.