Delivering a great customer experience at every stage of the customer journey is key to building long-term loyalty and driving direct bookings. Independent hotels leverage technology to deliver a digital guest experience that improves guest engagement optimizes hotel services and increases direct revenue. Omnitec as a hotel technology provider can help upgrade your hotel by providing the latest devices that enhance the guest experience in your hotel.
Digitizing the guest experience offers many opportunities for hotels, but it also comes with additional financial and learning costs. While hotel chains can easily and efficiently amortize these costs on a large scale, independent hotels may have a harder time getting a return on investment. Hotel technologies provide the best guest experience but can also affect hotel ratings. We will look at this in detail.
Technological Challenges Facing Independent Hotels
Technology moves much faster and this represents a challenge for hotels that today need to meet the connectivity, convenience, and entertainment requirements of increasingly demanding and technologically savvy guests.
Hotels are at the crossroads of infrastructure planning that will stand the test of time and accommodate the needs of the next 5 or 10 years, something that is not easy, because technology moves very fast. Here are some common innovations that improve the guest experience in independent hotels and the challenges they face.
Consider that all guests want to be online, all the time, with no restrictions. Mobility has produced a sense of permanent immediacy. This has changed the way guests interact with the human fabric and infrastructure of the hotel. This has to do with mobile reservations, check-in options, and access to rooms; people use their devices for everything. At times systems might fail, and this may affect one's stay in a hotel leading to lower ratings.
Use of mobile phones for keyless entry
A guest can use their phone to swipe through the keyless keypad which must include the necessary mobile app to unlock the room. This access is encrypted and linked to the phone number belonging to the registered guest. The technology also ensures that access cannot be transferred to another number or device. First-time users of this technology may experience challenges using it and this can affect their stay.
Today, travelers carry their own entertainment devices: tablets, laptops, and smartphones, so their priority is to have ample bandwidth within their room. Guests want to enjoy their own content on Netflix, HBO, or Spotify. Whether the client uses their own accounts to access 'their' service or the hotel provides rental accounts per day. What if is that hoteliers should invest in better sound quality for their rooms and better user interfaces through TVs, apps, or touch screens.
Compulsory infrastructure for WiFi
For leisure and business travelers, it is inconceivable that a hotel would not deliver high-speed, stable, and wide coverage wireless networks. Hotels are shifting from the overpay model to free, sponsorship-subsidized, or very low-pay options. Most independent hotels face challenges in meeting the WiFi speed needs of their clients and these can result in poor ratings.
Mobile data integration
Hotels have a huge database, but most of the time, they don't use that data properly. Travelers love personalized services, and many hotels still don't provide them. About 80% of all data has location-based elements. Check-in and check-out can be optimized with internal location services based on mobile data.
It's about touch screens for controlling lighting, climate, shades, audio, video, and more, cool-looking new controllers inside bathrooms, and high-profile attempts to recreate the Home Theater experience. Although the experience of relaxation remains the priority among hoteliers, the need to incorporate in-room technology within the design simultaneously provides a good night's rest and an enjoyable experience.
Technological Challenges Independent Hotels Face at a Glance
- Integration and implementation of these technologies
- Finding a suitable vendor
- Complex technologies for certain clients
- Poor service from software providers
Some of these challenges attract poor ratings from various clients who have a bad experience interacting with or using these technologies, especially for the first time.
Technology has become a crucial point to attract and retain guests who are looking for the best options in connectivity and productivity. Independent hotels should invest in technologies that improve the guest experience and also help guests understand how to use them.