Technology is helping hotels in many ways – from sophisticated reservation systems, state of the art CRM and endless tools for revenue management; hotel industry has come a long way. Until now all these tools were pretty much desktop focused, but with high penetration of smartphones & tablets, hotel industry is poised for next tech revolution. Hoteliers are getting innovative on how they connect with customers much ahead of customer’s checking-in to the hotel.
Keyless entry is gaining lot of ground with hotels asking customers to download their app and 24 hours before check-in, customers receive digital key on their phone. Upon arrival at the hotel, they can go straight to their room and use the digital key to open their room via Bluetooth. This helps hotels in many ways – Avoid last minute cancellations & saving customer time from standing at check-in queue along with less use of front desk team, thus delivering cost savings to hotels.
Hotels are also engaging customers with offers on local sightseeing’s & things to do by integrating third party apps within their app, thereby offering cross-sell opportunities to customers and enhancing their own revenue stream. Hotels are also using apps to get to know customers’ arrival and departure information which helps them manage their inventory better and reduce customer’s time in waiting for their room to be ready.
Social media is playing an important role as hotels are allowing customers to log in using their social media accounts, which further help the hotels to know the customer better. There are so many tools available in the market which hotels are using to know customers likes, dislikes and preferences and accordingly serving the customer when they check-in to their property.
Some hotels are also creatively using apps to educate customers of hotel services & facilities, helping them make reservations for dining, spa, fitness and also make order for in-room dining, Even check-out of the customers are also managed through apps, where customer can just pay using app and virtually not required to go to front desk to complete check-out formalities.
All these engagement activities with customers are helping hoteliers reduce their operational cost by deploying fewer resources at front-desk, increasing their revenue stream by cross-selling activities inside and outside the hotel, but most importantly these are helping hotels build customer loyalty and stickiness to hotel brand.