Hotel Tech: When to Draw A Line on Guest Experience Automation?

The post-pandemic scenario pushed hoteliers to rethink the way they perceive hospitality. Technology and automation already played a crucial role in the hospitality sector, even before the world came to a standstill. But now it has become more mainstream than ever, to be in tune with the changing needs of the time.

With the right hotel tech, you can streamline the way you operate business, reduce the workload of the hotel staff, establish clear communication channels, and offer guests a contactless and seamless experience.

It's true that guest experience automation has the potential to transform the industry. But relying only on automation and removing all forms of direct contact from every touchpoint may not sail your boat, especially when you're trying to offer a curated and memorable experience for your guests. Being overly focused on tech will attract a specific section of guests, namely millennials. However, you might miss out on another large section of guests, who belong to the older generations and who may not be as tech-savvy.

So what's the way out? How can you continue to attract a wider section of guests, and keep up with the need for implementing hotel tech at the same time?

Hoteliers have to figure out where to draw a line between the quintessential ‘human touch’ and automation, so guests can enjoy the best of both worlds. While everyone likes the hassle-free nature of contactless communication, nobody likes generic and robotic responses. This is where you have to apply the art of balancing.

A human behind the SaaS

A welcoming smile, a word of assurance, a helping hand when the guests need assistance—these have been integral parts of the hotel industry. But when you go contactless, it becomes challenging to offer these warm personal inputs that make your guests feel at home.

The good news is, you can offer a human touch even while using guest experience automation. It's important to make guests feel that there is a human on the other end of the software. The technology is only a method to simplify the entire process for the guests and the hotel staff, and in no way can it take away the very essence of hospitality, i.e., a human connection.

The right type of communication & personalization

An average smartphone user spends 88% of their total mobile usage time on apps. So when you're leveraging the power of hotel tech, it makes sense to contact your guests through mobile apps for effective communication. With hotel tech applications like the MyCONECT Guest App, guests can connect with the hotel staff directly, without using a telephone. The staff can reply to the guests’ queries in real-time through text messages. The app also offers services like contactless check-in and check-out, contactless payments, mobile keys, placing valet requests, choosing and upgrading rooms, and controlling in-room settings.

Within this automated system, you can add a personalized touch using the available customer data. If a customer has previously stayed at your property and they always tend to order a particular drink and snack combo upon arrival, you can go the extra mile and welcome them with their usual order even before they ask for it.

Focusing on the context

When using digital communication, you cannot flood your guests’ devices with endless and irrelevant notifications. The communication needs to be contextualized to improve the guest experience.

For instance, you can send a message at the end of the day to ask whether the guest will prefer to have breakfast in bed the next morning or if they would prefer to visit the restaurant. Another example can be placing QR codes at the gym or the poolside to make sure customers can reach out to you in case they want something, be it a green smoothie or towels. The QR code will help you locate the customer, and hotel staff can meet the guest in person to solve their issues.

Automated guest experience has a series of perks that can not only improve customer and staff experience but can also be a possible way to drive up your revenue. But when you combine it with a genuine human touch, that's when you can exceed the expectations of your guests and turn them into long-term customers.

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