Technology is making inroads in the hotel industry at a faster pace that it has ever done before. What started a few years ago with updating telephones or providing cell phone chargers has become a new world of screens, logins, and location awareness.
I attended a wedding last week, so the “what do you do” conversation happened a lot. I’ve worked for Monscierge since 2011, and my company description has been updated often with new technologies arriving all the time. It’s always interesting to watch reactions when I explain what our technology would look like to the average traveler and gauge their perception of what they would find helpful or enjoyable while traveling. This week, messaging and beacons seemed to be the big hits.
Technology should not detract from personal interactions, but instead it should help to create more of them. True hospitality is enhanced by technology when it creates the means to further personalization of the guest experience. For instance, many guests are more comfortable using text as a means of communication for quick requests or to order room service. This allows staff to be precise and efficient, tracking tasks in real time, and creating service opportunities that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.
These service opportunities can include mentioning a guest by name, remembering what kind of wine they like, or allowing them to skip the checkout line. My birthday was last week and I had some appointments scheduled. The staff at one place told me happy birthday as I walked in. It was a nice way they stood out among the others by using technology to create a more personal and memorable experience. Technology works best for personalization when it can identify and eliminate service pain points, make the guest more comfortable, and provide opportunities for a better experience for both visitors and staff.