3 Ways Technology Can Enhance the Hospitality Customer Experience
Busy seasons are critical for the hospitality industry. Airlines are at capacity, while restaurants are busy managing an influx of hungry travelers and hotels are booked for months straight.
Fully booked hotels mean expectations for the hospitality customer experience are at an all-time high. So what can hotels do to ensure they are delivering top-notch service to their guests? It all starts with cultivating trust and loyalty by implementing the right technology communication strategies for customer experience management in hotels.
Here are three ways the hospitality industry can leverage technology to improve the customer experience.
1. Eliminate Friction
Today's hotel guests are used to gliding in and out of cars with remote keyless entry, ordering food straight from a smartphone app, and asking Alexa or Google to turn on the lights, add an item to a shopping list or crank up the music. And many of these guests expect the same frictionless experience during their hotel stay, too.
In response, hotels have begun instituting online check-in capabilities, mobile dashboards for checking stay information, and biometric screening as replacements for key cards. According to PC Magazine, some are even enhancing their mobile network connections to allow guests to use their smartphone to control their room's TV, heating, or lighting.
For hotels looking to improve the hospitality customer experience even more, implementing omnichannel support services is key. These services allow guests to call, send an SMS message, or chat with a hotel employee from the device of their choice, and they help hotel reps seamlessly connect all channels of communication and record customer information in real time. So if a guest uses a chat app to ask the front desk about hotel amenities but wants to switch to a voice call to gather more information, the hotel agent can efficiently move from one channel to the next without interrupting communications. It's this type of frictionless experience that helps improve customer experience and makes guests feel at home even when they are traveling.
While busy seasons come and go each year, a consistent and effective hospitality customer experience can go a long way toward building loyalty and keeping customers coming back year after year.
2. Integrate and Improve Service
A vital aspect of an exceptional hotel customer experience is communication. When guests have to download several different apps for airline travel, car rentals, and hotel bookings, they can quickly get frustrated with what is supposed to be a relaxing experience.
With communications APIs integrated into a hotel's existing CRM, however, the hotel can provide the quick and easy experience guests expect. These API integrations create better communication through push notifications, in-app messaging, and push-to-call functionality, and with all of these capabilities located in one easy-to-access location on a hotel's website or smartphone app, guests can alert hotel staff if they are arriving early or late and hotels can remind guests about upcoming reservation details.
Integrations also work to help guests communicate with hotel staff. They can alert housekeeping for more towels, an extra pillow, or toiletries they forgot to pack. With APIs in place, they can ping the front desk for a romantic restaurant recommendation, last-minute tickets to a local play, or for information on the best place to watch a sunset. The guest can do all of this while in the hotel or out exploring. The seamless communications that API integrations offer have an added benefit: They allow guests to spend less time worrying about their travel details and more time exploring new places.
3. Create Consistency
Whether you're running a big resort or a boutique hotel, staying on top of everything can be challenging. Fully booked rooms mean that hotel staff must be constantly on their toes and internal communications should be efficient at all times.
Unified communication-as-a-service, or UCaaS, lets staff stay in constant communication with each other regardless of their preferred device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc.) or location. UCaaS combines traditional communication tools like voice and video conferencing with cloud-based applications, so hotel staff communication tools are accessible from any internet-connected device, making it easy for all staff to be able to easily access information about guest accommodations, hotel restaurant reservations, maintenance issues, landscaping and more. This functionality can be especially crucial during busy seasons, when staff members need to stay in constant contact as they assist guests from all areas of the hotel.
UCaaS keeps all hotel staff up-to-date on hotel operations without the need for expensive equipment. As a cloud-based solution, it is easy to scale as you increase your staff to better accommodate customer demands during busy seasons. Communications take place seamlessly through consistent user interfaces regardless of device, eliminating the need for new and current staff to become familiar with multiple tools, thus keeping the focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences.
While busy seasons come and go each year, a consistent and effective hospitality customer experience can go a long way toward building loyalty and keeping customers coming back year after year. With the right communications technologies in place this season, hotels can bring happy travels to guests all year round.