Over 75 million strong, the Millennial generation is currently America’s largest and, estimated to account for over 50% of the global workforce by next year, they represent a significant chunk of consumer spend. Having grown up surrounded by technological advancements, the Millennial population is constantly connected. Technology influences how they work, shop and travel…and the hospitality industry is becoming more aware of this as these new generations account for 50% of travelers worldwide.
Case in point: the annual Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC), showcasing the latest trends in hospitality technology. This year’s conference just wrapped up at the end of June, after four days of exhibitor demonstrations, educational sessions and Tech Talks, all focused on the future of hospitality and how to manage the needs of both hoteliers and their guests (of all generations!) as physical and digital worlds collide.
Evolving technology is becoming an essential part of the hospitality industry. Here are three functions that we think will be the most impacted.
All hoteliers have a similar main goal: to provide the highest level of service to their guests. And part of providing that level of service is being able to anticipate their guests’ needs.
Today’s consumers are used to instant gratification: they have an expectation of being able to get what they want at the click of a button. They are looking for effortless, personalized experiences, and the convenience of technology in order for their hotel stay to be a positive one.
For example, a hotel PMS can record guest information and preferences to help personalize the guest experience from check-in to check-out. The ability to track guests and their preferences make it possible for you to be proactive and really elevate the guest experience. If you have a regular guest who eats a bag of M&Ms from the mini-bar every time he stays at your hotel, you can use the notes from the PMS to have a complimentary bag waiting for him in his room when he arrives. It’s a small touch but an easy way to make a guest feel valued.
The Marriot Bonvoy app allows tech-savvy guests to check-in, unlock their room door, and send a request for toiletries or services via their smartphone. Guests can even real-time text message the front desk with questions or requests before, during, or after their stay. This allows Marriot to fully cater to the wants and needs of their guests, at the guest’s convenience.
Hotel and Employee Management
The use of technology for hotel and employee management can help optimize everyday procedures and render them more efficient.
For example, tracking housekeeping tasks through your hotel PMS tool allows you to manage daily room statuses, ad-hoc tasks, or maintenance requirements on a mobile device or tablet. You can assign hourly, daily or weekly priorities for your cleaning staff, and track room updates in real-time – allowing you to avoid check-in delays for newly arriving guests.
The ability to maintain single guest profiles is another huge benefit of technology at the front desk. Instead of spending hours manually sorting through records, RoomKeyPMS’ Profile Match & Merge feature helps you identify duplicates in a matter of seconds — saving you time and improving your ability to deliver great guest experiences.
Reporting & Analysis
From operations to guest experience, smart hotel technology can also offer a variety of cost saving and revenue generating opportunities. A hotel’s reputation also relies heavily on its ability to collect, interpret, and respond to guest information and feedback. Here are some examples of how technology can help with your hotel’s reporting and analysis:
- Eliminate the process of manual rate shopping with a Rate Shopper tool, which allows you to receive daily reports that outline competitor rates, demand forecasts, and OTA rankings
- Smart thermostats can sense fluctuations in occupancy and respond accordingly to help save on energy costs; they can also track historical temperature settings to determine the room temperature that the majority of guests prefer
- Integrations with survey tools like Revinate encourage guests to publish reviews to TripAdvisor or Google to help increase review volume and ranking, and collect feedback and improve the guest experience
How do you know which new tech is right for your hotel? A good first step is analyzing all of your current systems, manual or automated processes, and guest feedback, and determine which can be fixed or improved through the use of technology. You can then use those findings to help you search for the right solution.
Technology offers many benefits to those in the hospitality industry, but it’s important to remember that it’s still no match to the above-and-beyond human interactions that guests have with their favourite hotel staff. If implemented correctly, technology can help your hotel run more smoothly and more efficiently, allowing your employees to still focus on what matters most: your guests.
RoomKeyPMS gives hotels the tools they need to excel online and in person. Put your property in the best position possible. Contact our team today.
Photo Credit: Timothy Muza on Unsplash