At a recent UKHospitality event, I asked one of the panel participants, a leader in a major hotel chain: “Do you think hotels should consider in part, becoming more of a technology company? Do you think hotels should place technology higher on their strategic agenda?”
He said “No, hotels should keep on doing what they do best - delivering great hospitality experiences.” and I agree.
Great customer experiences are at the core of the hotel business, but what if technology can improve upon the greatness of experiences provided at every level?
Why, what exactly do you mean Wes?
I mean, what if you could know a lot more about your guest at every step of their experience?
Learn what they like, what is important to them - and I do not mean THEM as a busload, but rather them as a couple, or even a single person.
The What Ifs
What if they could order on the premises or on their way to your place using a mobile phone? Order automatically delivered to the right kitchen station or bar station, and you (or the shift manager) can see it was prepared and delivered on your phone.
What if your customers could not just post on your social media channels, but have a positive interactive experience in doing so. They share a photo on Instagram of their squad enjoying drinks at your hotel. The hotel immediately comments on their post, saying they’ve applied a 10% discount to their open tab. And what if that experience was completely automated so your staff didn’t have to do a thing. Pretty cool, right?
What if your guests didn’t have to call down to reception to order room service, but ordered on their smartphones. Or in a luxury boutique hotel, what if they ordered from a self-service kiosk on the wall.
What if you wanted to reward loyal customers, but remove the manual sign-up processes, completely automated. Just by tapping their card, the guests’ reward is applied.
Connect hotel inventory to the menu and the ordering system down to every ingredient or combination of toppings. When someone makes an order in person, via your website menu or app, inventory is updated. Low on rice? Your technology partner could order it from your preferred vendor automatically.
What if all this could scale from one boutique hotel to hundreds of locations around the world from a single, connected, omni-channel platform.
Here and now…
Advancing technology means these interaction experiences can be created NOW. Furthermore, Generation Z and Millennials expect them. New indie hotels are on the rise and enjoying great success, as they provide them already.
So I guess, I agree. Hotels should focus on what they do best – “providing great hospitality experience”. But technology is not only useful so much as critical to enabling hotels to future-proof their business in the evolving customer expectations of interaction experience.
Read Bizzon's latest case study from a partnership with AccorHotels here.
For more information on Bizzon please visit their website here.