In the post-pandemic era, reinventing the guest experience with technology in order to create a frictionless and contactless experience has become one of the top priorities for hotels. However, there shouldn’t be a trade-off between keeping the personal touch in guest interactions and enabling digital guest touch points. The one complements the other and provides a competitive edge for forward thinking hotels.
A great example of how technology can balance these seemingly opposing currents is video chat service for personalized connections with your guests.
Video chat lets you maintain meaningful human interactions via a digital channel that borrows a lot from the physical world, enabling you to have face-to-face conversations with your guests. A hotel video chat solution allows your guests to use their personal device and connect with your front desk staff or concierge with one touch of a button.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the key benefits of video chat for hotels and their guests.
Video chat can help accelerate various processes in your hotel, starting with guest onboarding. You can use video chat as a form of KYC (i.e. know your customer) validation to enable remote pre-check in for guests and provide them with a virtual frontdesk.
With guest experience platforms like avery, you can leverage video chat with guests during the onboarding phase in two ways:
In both cases, the front desk staff gives the final say if the guest can be checked in and then allocates the room and issues a digital key to the guest with one press of a button.
Ideally, your video chat solution will be integrated with guest messaging to enable a smooth experience. For example, a guest can inform front desk staff during video chat about their arrival time and you can then send personalized notifications to greet them, let them know when their room is ready, and more.
Video chat is a fast and convenient way for guests to connect directly to the front desk or customer service team who can help them solve any issue they may be experiencing in real time. These can be minor requests e.g. guests need fresh towels or a wake up call, or they could make specific concierge service requests with the touch of a button.
Enabling this level of service is particularly important for your loyal and VIP guests so you can keep strengthening those relationships no matter the changes in the way services are delivered in your hotel. Being available to instantly respond to requests via video chat will provide a richer sense of presence and show to your most valuable guests that there is a human on the other side of the call available to tend to their every need.
Even if your hotel provides self service options through an app or digital support via live chat, a percentage of your guests will always look for person-to-person contact. In the light of changes in customer preferences and behavior after the covid-19 pandemic, these guests will also try to minimize physical contact with your staff and surfaces.
This is where video chat comes in as the most convenient way to provide service that most closely resembles in-person interactions. At the touch of a button on their smartphone, your guests can get a personalized experience from the comfort of their room.
Hotel video chat solutions are easy to implement and, since your guests will use their smartphones to connect with your staff, they don’t require investment in additional hardware. This means that you can scale up easily with only limitation being availability of staff to accommodate any spikes in usage.
When implementing any new technology, you need to take into consideration how easy it is to use both for your staff and guests. With video chat, you don’t have to worry about the learning curve since the majority of your guests are most likely using video chat in everyday communication. The fact that a video chat solution can be accessed from a guest’s browser with no need to download anything to their phone makes it even more accessible and convenient.
Video chat isn’t just another digital channel that your hotel has to manage and operate. Ideally, it will be integrated with other systems your hotel is using (e.g. guest messaging, FaceID, Web apps, PMS, etc.) to operate efficiently and optimize the guest experience.
For example, if a guest initiates a video chat with your staff to request room cleaning service, with proper integrations in place a notification will be sent to the housekeeping staff and the progress of the request will be tracked and recorded in the system. So, make sure to work with a provider that can help you tie systems and processes together to ensure that you get maximum benefit from your video chat solution.
Hospitality industry is facing a challenge to enable more self service options for guests and to deliver a more streamlined, contactless guest experience. While going through these massive changes, hotels need to find a way to maintain personal relationships with guests. Video chat surfaces as the ideal platform to deliver personalized, face-to-face communication without physical contact. By implementing this technology, hotels will be able to successfully deliver value and provide better support for their guests throughout their stay.