Consumer behaviour has dramatically changed, with today’s tech-savvy traveller expecting hotels and the travel industry to comply with their technological needs. Consumers want interaction & technology is a valuable tool in providing this, enabling engagement, feedback and a personalised experience for guests. Hospitality companies must embrace technology to compete against, not only traditional competitors, but also new entrants that build their businesses with the latest technology. There are so many different ways to interact technology into your hotel to enhance the guests experience, but technology can help in many areas, it can help reduce waste, save money and make staff more efficient. Let’s look at a few ways technology can make a difference. Automated Check in/Check out Systems Self-service technology is beneficial for both the customers and the hotel staff, especially for those guests who are in a hurry and want a fast check-in and check-out process. With the self-service capability, hotels can increase their revenue as they have fewer employees to pay. In addition, kiosk technology has not just provided flexibility to reduce costs and increase revenue, it also helps to enhance the customer satisfaction, and as we all know that customer satisfaction is everything. Smart Energy Management Smart Energy Management is brilliant! Smart thermostats and occupancy sensors can monitor and respond to occupancy fluctuations. Sensors will turn off the heating or air-conditioning if a window or door is open, or smart sensors within the room can do the same thing by scanning the room for heat or movement, turning off or reducing the A/C if there is no one there, reducing both the energy that would have otherwise been wasted and saving money on your energy bill. Predictive Maintenance Using sensor data to alert maintenance staff of likely issues before they arise and predict maintenance needs early on, so rather than waiting for a component to break down, it is serviced or replaced beforehand and stops the Issue escalating into a much costlier one. This also helps to reduce the length of time a room is not occupied with maintenance scheduled around occupancy, rather than having to put a room “out of order” to get it fixed when it inevitably breaks down during your busiest period. Guests are happier too, by foreseeing the issue and fixing it before it becomes a problem the guest experience is better with no unfortunate maintenance issues during their stay. Reserved Parking Solutions Such a simple idea, but it makes a huge difference to the guest’s experience. Many will have travelled for many hours, so the tedious job of hunting round for a parking space, when all they want to do is check in and get to their room, is no longer an issue. Apps allowing guests to reserve parking spots in advance of their visit and to have their space assigned upon arrival means this stress is removed making their experience at your hotel that much more enjoyable. Electrical Vehicle Charging Units Whilst we are in the car park lets talk Electric. We all know this is the future and it won’t be long before the majority of us are driving hybrid or all electric vehicles. Guests will expect to be able to charge their vehicles whilst staying in your accommodation. If you do not have a charging station guess where the guests will stay……not at your hotel that’s for sure. Smart Guest Experience Not only can guest data be used to help better accommodate guest needs, it can also be used to automate guest interactions throughout their stay. In this way, smart technology will continue to make it possible for hotels to predict and personalise several guest services based on previous visits and aggregated guest data. Smartphone Room Keys Saving printing costs, reducing waste of harmful plastic key cards and eliminating the hassle of key card inventory, smartphone room keys are a perfect example of technology making a difference to the hotels environmental impact, ability to save money and create a better customer experience. Apps So many to talk about, but ultimately, they all provide guests with the ability to access services and communicate with the hotel throughout the duration of their stay. Room service apps can push menu notifications to smartphones at optimal times when the guests are in their rooms, apps for secure mobile payments that integrate with the hotel or restaurant’s POS system, allowing users to track and settle their tab using their device and even apps to enrol and use loyalty points. And it’s not just the guests that can benefit from the use of apps, there are apps to report employee performance and track the profitability of a business. Whilst I appreciate I have barely touched the surface in terms of the technology out there on the market today, hopefully this has shown how technology is paramount to hotels and the hospitality industry keeping in touch with their customers, staying ahead of the competition and ensuring profitability and sustainability are much easier to obtain. For more ideas and tech for the hospitality industry Hotel Suppliers have a category dedicated to Technology, Media and SaaS, I would urge you to take a look at the amazing companies and technology that could easily be implemented into your business. We would be keen to hear of any technologies you are aware of, or even provide that could be included in this extensive list.