How Future Technology Will Improve Your CX
Technology is shaking up the hotel industry, and industry experts are looking for new and innovative ways to digitally redefine the guest experience. Luckily for them - they don’t need to look very far!
With technology ever evolving, and a generation of tech enthusiasts, up-and-coming automation is set to take the hospitality sector by storm to enhance the customer experience. It’s hard to imagine what the future of technology will be like, especially when we think we’ve seen it all already, but there’s a LOT in store for the hotel zone. Let’s take a look at what future hotel technology is in the pipeline and how it will improve your CX.
While AR has been a big topic for a while, there are huge developments coming to this tech division, with investors pouring $2.3 billion into the innovation. As hoteliers look to develop the guest experience, this technology is becoming a huge talking point - but just how could AR advance the future of hotels?
Room Bookings - With AR developments, travellers will be able to explore your hotel rooms in a 3D reality before booking. They will have the feeling of being right there inside the room and will be able to experience everything that comes with it; potentially persuading guests to book a superior suite after encountering the beautiful views and spacious floor plan first hand.
Locate Local Attractions - Hotels are often picked due to their location and how far they are from certain attractions. AR technology could provide your guests with the ability to visit your hotel, point their phone in any direction and be told the distance to the nearest attraction. The possibilities are endless with AR and the ability to enhance the guest experience is huge.
Exploring The Property - Forget Google Maps and outdated website photos - AR will be able to show travellers what your hotel really feels like. The interactive experience will allow the hotel to show-off its top features, from their swimming pool to roof terrace views, to immerse guests in a virtual adventure. Exploring a hotel in this detail is more likely to lead to bookings as travellers are able to see what it’s really like.
Restaurant Menu - AR could even be implemented on a hotel’s food menu, giving non-native guests the ability to easily translate dishes to their preferred language. This could even be developed further to allow customers to watch their food being prepared through their phone - the possibilities are endless!
VR is very much in its infancy, but the developments in this industry are particularly exciting for the hospitality sector. Technology is revolutionising our holidays, and VR is sure to be incorporated into the hotel of the future. It will soon be a medium of communicating with potential guests, and hoteliers will need to utlise this technology if they want to stand a chance against competitors. But how can hotels use VR to their advantage?
To Sell - 360 video and virtual reality headsets will create an immersive experience for potential customers, allowing them to enjoy a virtual tour of your hotel as a sort of ‘try before you buy’ concept. Besides the price, travellers primarily base their purchases on what the hotel looks like, so offering consumers a full 360 VR tour is likely to increase room bookings.
To Inform - Using VR on-site can provide guests with intriguing information about your hotel’s history, or perhaps its local attractions. For example, the technology has the ability to recreate a visual of what your hotel used to look like decades ago, and can give a virtual tour of local attractions.
To Provide - VR is capable of providing your guests with an entirely new experience. A VR headset will help your hotel to stand out from the rest as you’re providing an exciting activity that many others may not be. VR headsets can transport travellers to any corner of the world (or even out of it!) and hotels of the future will definitely be providing their consumers with the chance to experience it.
IoT, or Internet of Things, refers to objects that feature the ability to connect to the internet and communicate with other internet-enabled devices. These systems are already being implemented in smart homes, and it hasn’t taken long for hotel rooms to smarten up too. By 2020, there will be 20.4 billion connected ‘things’ - but how will IoT benefit your customer experience?
Personalisation - The act of personalisation is important for hotels, so for guests, having IoT in hotel accommodation will soon be a must. Contributing to a comfortable and customised stay, IoT will allow guests to alter the lighting or adjust the room temperature from their mobile. Perhaps they want to call the front desk from their TV or change the channel without using a remote control too - that’s the power of IoT. By using this form of technology guests could link their personal gadgets to check-in, or even unlock their room door using their phone. This automation allows you to record guest’s preferences and therefore customise their room for future stays.
Event Organising - The potential for IoT is amazing - imagine being able to know when a group have left your function room or have finished their meals, without being in the room, so you can send in your team to clear up. The more attendees, the hotter your function room will be, so what if you could alter the room temperature depending on the event turnout? It’s exciting to think how IoT can aid hotels in the future.
Efficiency - IoT won’t just benefit hotel guests in the future, it will also assist hoteliers too! The technology offers smart energy management, which will contribute towards saving money and the planet. IoT could adjust lighting in a room depending on how much natural light is there, or modify the room temperature when it detects residence. Hotels can’t afford to ignore their environmental impact, and this is a great way to cut down energy usage without affecting a guest’s stay.
We’ll soon be in a new era of hospitality, with guests doing almost everything for themselves. Mobile apps are looking to be a particularly popular hotel tech feature that will revolutionise a guest’s stay. Offering ease and convenience, it’s a whole new generation of customer service that can provide:
Bookings - Hotels will be able to include a booking option within their app to give guests a smooth reservation process. Through mobile notifications, it could also remind guests when they have an upcoming stay. Having a chat option will also give guests the option to message the hotel directly about any information regarding their booking.
Check-In / Check-Out - No one likes standing in a queue to get their key card, so with hotel mobile apps you could give your guests the opportunity to check-in stress free! Within seconds travellers can check into their room via their phone and receive a welcome message with their booking confirmation, details and room number. What about the key card we hear you ask? Well with IoT, guests can unlock their room from their phone!
Information - When guests want an answer they want it quick, and there’s nothing quicker than grabbing your phone. Mobile hotel apps will provide a plethora of hotel info, giving guests a direct link to easily access the answers they’re looking for.
Convenience - Convenience is key when it comes to customer service, and mobile apps will provide guests with anything at the tap of a button. Ordering breakfast, a taxi, asking a concierge a question - they could all be done through the app. It gives hotel staff a personal link to guests which can improve customer service and enhance efficiency.
Special Offers - Mobile apps give hotels the chance to promote special offers and discounts directly to a guest’s mobile phone. Through a notification system this software can encourage people to take advantage of the deal and in turn will improve your revenue.
Face, Touch & Iris ID
You only get one chance to make a good first impression, and that impression isn’t going to be great when your guests have to queue to check-in. Touch or face ID is revolutionising the hotel industry and is looking likely to be the future way to slash check-in waiting times. Facial recognition will see guests setting up an account with their photo ID prior to visiting, and then having their face scanned upon arrival. The system will match the two together and the guest's room key will be dispatched. This process will take less than a minute and is actually already being implemented in a selection of Marriott hotels in China.
It doesn’t stop at facial recognition, iris scanning is a big concept looking to influence the future of hotel technology. Essentially it will work the same way as facial recognition, except the machine will confirm a guest’s identity by mapping 135 unique points in the iris. It can be used to check-in, unlock your room door or gain access to a superior suite without stopping by the reception.
To any active iPhone user, fingerprint scanning could be considered a thing of the past, however hotels are looking to adopt it to change the check-in game. Using the same technology, guests will be able to unlock their rooms when it’s convenient for them. The great thing about this is that you have your finger on you at all times - it’s not like losing a room key or locking it inside!
Let’s face it - technology is definitely shaping up the hotel industry, and hoteliers need to keep on top of future tech trends to stay ahead of the game. Guests want convenience, and future automation is bringing this and much more. If you offer an innovative piece of technology that will enhance a hotel’s customer experience, or if you’d like to network with people that do - come along to the Hotel 360 expo!