Hotels have an apprehensive relationship with technology. For an industry rooted in old tradition that makes almost every decision from a cost-benefit balance, the pace and unpredictability of tech is unsettling when guests begin to demand its incorporation.
Should a novel piece of new tech begin a trend toward an inevitable ubiquity, hotels will just be beginning to pay attention. When the dueling disciplines are finally forced to intersect, as we see now with speech-enabled tech entering the hotel space, we witness a predictably slow and cautious merging of the two.
While devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home gain traction with a few forward-thinking (and budgeted) brands, the industry at large is biding its time; many remember investing in iHomes, and watching them become paperweights the second Apple updated their charge port.
In hotel-land, where managers are only as permanent as their success, deciding how and when to invest in new technology can earn a promotion or cost a job. At this juncture, it’s difficult to rationalise investing in a technology that offers no measurable return other than the satisfaction of the few guests that use it.
The potential value, however, is evident from a broader context, i.e., what makes the tech valuable to Google and Amazon? Data collection is the driving interest behind speech-enabled technology.
Data on users, their needs and spending takes a lot of guesswork out of everyday business, and should a hotel access and leverage that information rather than pipelining it to a third party, they would have a major competitive advantage in an industry that prides itself on anticipating guests’ needs.
Roxy, a new player in the speech-enabled arena, exploits this opportunity with a device designed exclusively for hotels. Reaching beyond the standard peer-offered suite of music streaming capabilities and smart room control, Roxy provides end-to-end customisation, connecting the guest directly to the brand.
This enables Roxy to not only receive, delegate and log incoming guest requests, lightening the load on staff, but offers the brand the ability to tap into a new frontier of upsell and feedback opportunities.
As technology becomes more accessible, modular and focused, it can work in favour of hotel operations as much as guest needs. Successful adoption though, is reserved for those first to embrace change, rather than those last to be forced into it.