There is a push for hotel technology to be better than what guests use at home, but some argue that the only way to make guests feel at home is with face-to-face interaction. We’ve always maintained that technology should enhance, not remove, the personal interactions between staff members and guests, but does technology present a barrier to that “at-home” feeling?
Technology for technology’s sake can be fun but can also be a turnoff for guests who prefer to go “unwired”, especially on vacation. That’s why it’s so important to research your new technology and providers completely and ensure that your tech strategy greases the wheels for a better experience rather than get in the way.
People feel at home when they are familiar with their surroundings. When home, guests know the best places to eat almost any kind of food, they know how to get to the mailbox, where their car is parked, and exactly which streets to take to avoid rush hour traffic. It would take many staff members working at once to provide all of this information to every guest, but hotel apps can put it directly at the guest’s fingertips. Many travelers will peruse information via app that they would never bother to ask in person. This frees up the staff for interactions that play into a fantastic guest experience.
Who feels more at home when they’re not at home than a “regular”? Today’s technology offers a way to familiarize staff with guests in order to greet them by name, prepare the room to their liking, or even have their favorite goodies in place before their arrival. A recent Cornell study showed that 72% of travelers are willing to allow the hotel to keep track of their personal requests or preferences as part of a confidential guest profile in order to have a more customized stay.
Many brands are finding ways to allow guests to bring their own TV content via streaming providers like Netflix. This is a huge boost to making guests feel more at home. Gone are the days of trying to learn channels in a new town, find your favorite show in a different time zone, or viewing content on a phone or computer screen. Providing this technology is a great way to enhance the home away from home feeling.
What technologies are you providing to make guests feel more at home?