In today’s digital era it’s paramount to take advantage of technologies out there, there are endless opportunities to use it to improve your customers’ experience, which will help make you stand out amongst the rest. So, what are the technologies you can utilise to make your hotel a better experience from start to end, and even after they are gone?
Simple, we have compiled 5 (simple and advanced) ways technology can make your hotel better for your guests.
With each guest being unique, with certain preferences, behaviours etc. being able to cater to their exact likes, personalising their experience and going above the high expectations of customers, will take your hotel to the next level.
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1. Provide Mobile Check-ins
Mobile check-in integration is a great example of technology that can improve guest experience for your guests during their stay at your hotel. The last thing your guests want to do after travelling miles to your hotel (sometimes for hours) is to then stand in a queue, with their bags, waiting to check-in at reception.
Even if there is not a queue at your hotel, some people will have a preference for less interaction in their weekend away and may prefer to check in online. Others who like to be personally met face to face by a receptionist still can be. The point here is that you are giving people the option to choose based on their preferences.
Statistics from Statista show that 51% of 18-24 year-olds would prefer to choose a hotel with check-in facilities via smartphone.
Having a mobile check-in option means that guests can check-in before arriving at your hotel, making the whole process more convenient and less time consuming for your guests. Moreover, this will still improve the check-in process for guests that prefer to check-in on arrival at your hotel as they will consequently have shorter queues.
Result = speed, efficiency and the freedom of choice
2. Bluetooth Beacons
A Bluetooth beacon is a device that can benefit both your guests and your hotel. A beacon is a Bluetooth-enabled device that can exchange data to nearby portable electronic devices. The device enables smartphones, tablets and other devices to perform actions when near it.
This makes tracking guest preferences easier for you and beneficial for your guests, as you can place multiple devices around your hotel for specific facilities. For example, you could place beacons in your lobby, spa, gym, restaurant & bar so that when a guest visits those areas, a specific offer alerts their device such as ‘10% off spa treatments during your stay’.
Your guests would need to initially connect with the Bluetooth device, usually through an online app (in which they can check in online also) so that the beacons can pick up their device when near.
Result = understand your customers better, engage them with timely offers
3. Online Experience
Gift Pro is a great example of a technology that can be used to not only improve the online experience when people choose to visit your website but in parallel increase revenue to the hotel. GiftPro is a great online tool in the market, it’s customisable and a really user-friendly way for hotels to manage and sell gift vouchers.
This technology makes the experience for your visitors seamless, efficient and enjoyable.
Some hotels still think the customer experience starts when they enter the building, this is no longer the case in the digital world we live in. The experience starts the moment they find you online, from when they engage with your website and even after they leave when they decide to purchase a gift online for a friend.
The customer experience exists outside the realms of the hotel itself, the digital experience is just as important as the rest.
Result = heighten the customer experience online, not just offline
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4. Loyalty Programmes & Memberships
Loyalty programmes and memberships are great for increasing customer loyalty, as suggested by its name.
These schemes are already widely used, however, the majority of the people don’t actively engage with them as they aren’t timely, relevant or executed well.
Imagine that a family visits the hotel. The hotel has partnerships in place with local salons, activity centres and local businesses, which only heightens the customers’ experience during their stay. The family receives an email or Rich SMS on arrival at the hotel as part of the loyalty programme, which gives them ideas of the top 10 places to visit in the local area. Along with this is a digital coupon 20% for all the activities mentioned in the list and a coupon for kids go free.
Loyalty programmes and memberships integrated online can help your hotel find out your guests’ preferences, meaning that personalised rewards can be created. Rewards based on your preferences are far more likely to be used than an average discount. In return, guests will have a far more positive guest experience and will likely engage more with your loyalty programmes and memberships.
Result = engage your guests with personalised ideas that they will thank you for
5. Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical devices that allows the user to control any powered devices (that are connected to it) e.g. light bulbs, thermostats, heaters.
This technology is usually used for hotel staff in order to cut down on costs and become more environmentally friendly, e.g. this technology can let you know if a guest has left lights on or left the mini bar open etc.
This technology can also be useful for guests staying at your hotel. A great example is guests being able to control the temperature using the IoT technology; if it’s a cold night and they’re out all day, they can increase the temperature of their room from their device before they arrive, ensuring that the room has already warmed up before their arrival.
Result = add an unexpected touch to customers high expectations
Personalise Your Guests’ Experience
We hope this article has given you insight into the ways that technology can make your hotel better for your guests with personalisation and how you can adopt these ideas into your own digital marketing strategy.
Starting with an audit is a great first step. Find out Why Running A Digital Audit Is The Best Decision You Will Make This Year.