Technology and hotels are the perfect match. You could say they aretwo things which work well in trying to accomplish the following things:
a – Enhancing the guest experience
b – Increasing productivity and efficiency.
From the simple functionality of a smartphone app where guests are ablue to view resort information, to the clever way of “chatting with a host” just like you would do with your friends when sending an SMS… there are no boundaries.
For the millennial traveller who can do almost everything on their smartphone; the ability to order additional amenities or to inform housekeeping that your room can be serviced takes just a few precious seconds and is perfect for those who are always on the go. I’m a huge fan of hotel mobile applications who offer this service as I simply cannot stand having to dial on the in-room telephones and wait ages for someone on the other end to answer. I used to just walk down to the front desk as it was quicker. No joke.
Companies have been slowly working on technology like this for a number of years, and it looks as though almost every major hotel chain may now have their own mobile-app or even offer keyless entry to guest rooms (your phone is your key). From quirky things like a TV in the bathroom mirror, to guest rooms being equipped with their very own iPad which is like “mission control”; the potential is huge.
Technology can have such a positive impact, that some hotels actually issue their staff members with earpieces; so they can receive requests on-the-go.
Another example of this would be so the valet and discreetly inform the front desk that “Mr Montgomery” has arrived, so by the time I walk into the lobby and approach the desk, I am greeted by name. I actually experienced just that at the Four Seasons Resort in Orlando; and I was beyond impressed. Little details like that make the guest feel special and can really enhance their experience and potentially contribute to repeat business.
There is still a little way to go before we might be able to use our own smartphones to order room-service for a particular time and customise the meal, but I’d say we are pretty close.
What do you think about hotels embracing technology? Is it a step forward for the customer experience? Or do you prefer the times when you simply had to go to the front desk to speak to someone?