Modern hotel technology and innovative room facilities have always been crucial in the hotel business for attracting and keeping guests. In days gone by, amenities were just a warm place at the fire and, later on, running water; these have now expanded into a phone connection, satellite TV, free Wifi and, finally, futuristic high tech gadgets.
But which amenities actually entice guests to book a room? Which justify raising room prices? And which are merely a waste of money?
There is also a huge variety of hotel technologies that facilitate day to day business operations. Every day, new tools and software solutions promising to increase company success spring up like mushrooms after the rain . It is important to estimate as accurately as possible which solutions really lead to success and which may entail more costs than benefits. Of course, this can vary from hotel to hotel depending on location, target group and market density.
21st century hoteliers are faced with the demanding task of deciding which technologies are necessary for serving their target group as well as for managing their business as efficiently as possible. It goes without saying that knowledge and understanding of their own hotel as well as of their guests’ needs is of prime importance.
In the hospitality industry, technical innovations are pushed at a fast pace. The gastronomic sector often pioneers the testing of technological innovations on consumers. It is important to be in the forefront of innovation and to always surprise the guest with new ideas.
These are three technology trends that generated buzz in 2016:
Opening the door to the room, changing temperature or light settings with a smartphone or using a hotel tablet to call room service and operate the television are technological innovations that are easily implemented with manageable expenditures. Introduction of such guest-controlled technology makes sense in the long term; by using such gadgets, you may well distinguish your hotel from other establishments and, at the same time, fulfil your guests’ expectations of a modern hotel.
The future is now! Some hotels, most prominently in Asia and the USA, have already unleashed robots on their guests. At the Marriott hotel, Mario greets the guests, concierge Connie takes care of guests at Hilton hotels and Dash is the roomboy at InterContinental properties. This is definitely cute marketing, but currently only feasible for hotels with large budgets.
Messaging apps, on the other hand, can be more broadly used; in fact, their use has been on the rise for some time now. In June 2016, Booking.com installed a chatbot that makes it possible for guests and hotels to communicate with each other. This type of hotel technology is both easy and affordable for any hotel to install.
We have already covered the possibility of using messaging apps such as Whatsapp in this article.
It is up to you to evaluate what your hotel guests want as well as to decide which hotel technology you can implement and is within your budget.
The above mentioned technologies are nice amenities to attract the patronage of guests. However, some kinds of hotel technology are absolutely necessary for running a business and are now considered to be indispensable for the successful operation of a hotel.
An appealing as well as functional website is a must these days for every hotel. This web presence must be both search engine optimised and mobile responsive and offer a simple way to book directly. Do everything possible to make sure your guests can easily find you in the vastness of the internet. It’s a sure-fire way to lose guests if you don’t!
Learn more about the secrets of successful hotel websites from this whitepaper.
Professional management of your distribution channels is of prime importance if you want to connect with the many booking sites without losing the overview of your bookings as well as to reduce undesirable double bookings.
You also need a tool for your price policy. Analyse your price development and compare your prices to your competitors’. Most hotels can substantially increase their revenue with far-sighted price planning.
Read more about hotel revenue management.
Last, but most importantly, nothing gets done these days without hotel reviews. Practically every hotel guest reads reviews on the internet and compares what is said to what the hotel promises. It is crucial to survival that you are on the ball, react to reviews promptly and keep an eye on all digital channels.
It is nearly impossible to keep up manually. However, in the field of hotel technology, there are many possibilities for the modern hotelier to do so.
With the aid of professional tools, you can increase and improve your reviews as well as utilise them to increase your revenue. You can distribute your guest feedback on social networks and booking portals, generate more reviews through optimised feedback forms and learn from both criticism and praise. It will be more than worth it!
Are you looking for the best tool to manage your guest reviews? Talk to us and benefit from our long-standing expertise in hotel reputation management.