Published on May 3rd, 2019
In these times when customer expectations are changing, technology can help the businesses in the hospitality sector to stay competitive and relevant, while saving money time and increasing customer satisfaction.
From operations to guest experience to marketing, technology is enabling hotel owners to reach new levels of profitability.
Here are some of the best technologies that are shaping the hospitality sector:
1. Mobile Device As Door Key
It’s fascinating to think that today our mobile devices have become so advanced that they can be used as digitized room keys. There was a time when hotel guests had to be issued duplicate keys because they misplaced it.
Moreover, it was annoying for the guests to prove their identity every time. But today, swipe cards have been replaced with smartphones and apps to ease check-ins and make things easier for both guests and hotel staff.
This works with the help of hotel apps which come with highly advanced security features. The guests get their room keys through the app. The hotel can control the IMEI and help out the guests in case they lose their phone. Guests can even share their room keys with fellow travelers.
2. Smart Energy Management
Smart Energy management systems are not just making hotels smarter but also helping them save a lot of money and energy.
For example smart occupancy sensors and thermostats can monitor and respond to fluctuations in occupancy.
Similarly, sophisticated machine-learning algorithms can be used by smart energy management systems to continuously analyze local weather patterns, historical thermodynamics, and peak demand loads to optimize energy consumption in real-time. Such systems can reduce hotel energy costs by up to 20% and generate great returns.
Today IOT technology is not just limited to air conditioning, heating, and ventilation. It has found various uses in the hospitality sector which has enabled hoteliers to better understand their energy needs, automate the consumption & adapt to real-time changes in occupancy.
3. Predictive Maintenance
Just as smart energy management systems enable those in the hospitality sector to monitor, track and optimize their energy consumption, predictive maintenance allows them to identify hazardous or wasteful trends and alert maintenance staff before an issue becomes too big or costly to repair.
In simple words, instead of waiting for a component to break down, IoT technologies help engineering staff to predict maintenance needs much in advance based on system usage, thus saving money, time and efforts.
A single leaky tap can cost a lot of money every year. Add to that the cost of water damage, mold, and fungus damage that occurs until the leak is detected. By using IOT enabled water leakage monitoring systems, hotels can save a lot of money, time, headaches and efforts.
4. Guest Apps
The idea behind such apps is to enhance the guest experience. Guest apps for personal mobile devices serve as the natural place to host all the functions to enhance the guest experience.
A well-designed guest app combines everything from hotel services to deal with notifications to loyalty programs. If a conference is being organized in a hotel, the app could be used to electronically send the guests the event itinerary, along with a map of meeting spaces where meetings will be held.
New capabilities are being added to guest apps every day. The app developers are working every day to make the apps even better and user friendly.
These apps enhance the experience of the visitors and the hotel with a truly connected experience will always have happy and empowered guests.
Today, hotels are leveraging custom applications to provide their guests with a more personalized stay without exhausting staff resources. With the help of these apps, guests can do everything – from making dinner reservations to requesting drinking water on a phone app.
5. Remote Check-In/Check-Out
Today, many hotels allow their guests to check-in and check-out remotely through their mobile device. This enables hotel owners to better predict and manage their staffing needs and save time and efforts.
Using this technology, hotel staff can also be alerted when guests arrive so that they can provide their guests with a more personalized guest experience, even on their first visit.
Seamless check-out will allow the guests to arrange for their preferred transportation to their next destination, further saving their time and money.
Only very recently have natural language and voice processing technologies have become advanced enough to truly understand the voice commands and deliver intelligent answers.
Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence has allowed Siri and other voice assistants to become smarter and understand human language.
Custom voice programs, which have become smarter and more intuitive, are demonstrating great potential for the hospitality sector.
Although human resource in the hospitality sector won’t be fully replaced, AI and machine learning can surely make their operations a lot easier. Today, virtual assistants are capable enough to manage everyday mundane tasks, like – taking simple food orders, provide order estimates and confirmation to the customers.
As a result, the human staff can dedicate more of their precious time towards tackling more complex issues with guests and engaging in meaningful customer service interactions.
7. Biometric Authentication
Biometrics is another key technology that is consistently finding its place in the hospitality sector. Many companies like – Facebook and Apple have already successfully executed biometric authentication and shown that biometrics have proven consumer benefits.
But, in the hospitality sector, the use of biometrics is relatively new. Biometric Authentication is particularly useful at the places where a lot of members, visitors or customers enter or exit a facility, or require identification.
The innovators are getting closer to seamless processes where the customers can authenticate a hotel booking without a phone or digital wallet.
Biometric authentication allows for seamless and hassle-free customer transactions that enable faster check-ins and check-outs for customers and less manual work for the hotel staff.
We are in 2019, and with so many technologies emerging every year, the future of the hotel industry looks brighter than ever.
Today, there are many high-tech innovative solutions present before the hospitality sector that are full of innovation and transformative solutions. As a result, those in hotel business are able to make their services better to surpass guest expectations and stand out from the competition.