Many aspects of everyday life and doing business have been affected by the pandemic. We’re witnessing a major shift in overall consumer behavior, and hospitality is not an exception. The “New Normal'' era guests are leaning more towards technology and contactless solutions, but also have great expectations from hotels. The pandemic has literally pushed companies over the technology tipping point and transformed businesses forever. At the same time, instead of removing the personal touch, which a lot of hospitality professionals were afraid of, contactless tech actually provides a more pleasant and personalized experience for guests.
What’s happened is that the pandemic led to an increase in contactless tech application and shift in guest experiences in the hospitality industry. Even as we (hopefully) fully return to the Old Normal, many of these innovations are likely to stick around. To prove that, one of the key findings from the recently held HITEC Dallas 2021 is that there is more interest in hotel technology than ever before. Contactless hospitality has changed the hospitality industry forever and it’s here to stay. In this article we’re going to explain what are the greatest advantages of contactless tech and what problems it solves, how hospitality can take advantage of that and what kind of contactless tech we’ve developed by working with some of the biggest hotels but also listening to guests and their needs to provide them with the best guest experience. Here are some of the key advantages of contactless technology...
Guests want convenience, to have more control when it comes to their own experiences, and they expect hotels to provide a functional digital experience across all departments. The front desk has always been a pain point for guests. With the worst of the pandemic behind us, guests are now accustomed to checking in and out without speaking to someone. This kind of guest expectation is also helpful with managing your labor costs in an uncertain environment.
One of the main advantages is a contactless front desk & self check-in process. It’s easy and quick for your guests. It’s also automated and guests do not need to wait in lines to get to their rooms. Contactless hospitality tech offers your guests options like hassle-free contactless check in & out that can be early or late as to their likings, digital RegForm and signing, mobile key, contactless payments, and many more. Can you imagine what it would be like for your guests but also for your property with reducing labor costs with a tool like this?
As you can see, contactless tech is not only beneficial to your guests, but to your business as well. It allows you to capture and authorize guest’s credit card data securely and in line with the latest security standards prior to their stay. With the capture photo ID option, for example, you can capture it ahead of time to confirm the guest's identity. This means that you can minimize chargebacks and fraud for your hotel. Plus, your guests can skip the front desk line when checking in too, which builds up their experience the good way.
Automated assistants, such as a digital concierge, can provide plenty of services that put guests in control of when and where they interact with staff. Not to mention the work process automation, cost reduction, better control and responsiveness. You can now provide a 24/7 digital concierge of your guests’ dreams thanks to technology.
A digital concierge can answer all kinds of frequently asked questions about your hotel and its services. In this way, it is linked to other on-property services, such as making restaurant or spa reservations or requesting more towels. This becomes a valuable asset to the guest experience and a great vehicle for additional revenue streams for your hotel. If, on top of that, you introduce a new era CRM - guest relationship management, your possibilities are endless for upselling, making personalized offers that are hard to be turned down or awards for loyalty. By applying such advanced tech and managing your guest experience highly personalized, your hotel will have more loyal and returning guests.
When it comes to groups, hotels also need to shift to digital management of many operations to reduce contact for groups and events. With contactless tech, group bookings management, group check in & check out, digital concierge, automated group guest journey and workflows, and many more options are there to be utilized by the hotel and to make the best out of group guests experience. Events, for example, can offer digital registration that’s completely contactless, group chats are there for seamless communication from a central spot, but also your guest can get automated offers, make digital orders, as well as to benefit from your automated hotel room management, just to name a few.
The pandemic influenced the accelerated tech adoption greatly and the hospitality industry is not immune, given the fact how it suffered major losses during the lockdown and change in guest behavior. The bottom line is that hotels need to increase their tech stacks, invest in contactless technology for many reasons as outlined above and become more tech-driven than before, with individualized, digital customer service. Hotels will never be the same for sure, nor the guest experience will.
If you want to find out more about contactless hospitality tech and solutions it provides, or you just need help with it, feel free to reach out.