Change is in human nature, and as long as people keep evolving, so will their needs and expectations. Things are no different in hospitality. Not only do customers want the perfect rooms and services, but they also demand convenience and efficiency. To keep up with these requests, you need to look into hotel technology.
Besides, if a hotel doesn’t have at least some of the latest technology, people deem it outdated. But the question is, which tools and software will make the best impact on your business?
For starters, you must aim to replace the boring manual tasks that are more prone to human errors. Once you’ve improved and streamlined the operations, move on to the more advanced tools that give your guests the ultimate experience.
If you don’t know where to start, let this article guide you through the best technologies for hotels.
What Role Does Technology Play in the Hotel Industry?
It’s a common misconception that technology in hotels only became popular due to the pandemic. Some even believe that now that the pandemic has somewhat settled down, they don’t need online bookings, reputation management, etc. However, both these things are far from the truth.
Even before the pandemic, people were fond of getting the job done quickly, comfortably, and efficiently. And now that they’ve enjoyed the perks of doing everything online, they’re not willing to go back.
This is the first reason why hotel owners need technology to run their businesses.
Secondly, when manual tasks become boring and take longer than necessary, there’s a higher chance of errors. When you delegate these tasks to technology, your operations not only become more efficient but accurate as well.
However, that doesn’t mean technology is here to replace hotel staff. In fact, human contact is one of the most important aspects of the perfect hotel experience. After all, hospitality is a human trait, not a robotic one.
Thirdly, technology allows you to give your guests easy access to information. You can create your hotel app to display nearby restaurants, sightseeing properties, etc. Or you can create a simple website for the same purpose. Whatever you choose, your guests will love the convenience and guidance.
The Technology That Acts as a Backbone for Hotel Experiences
Now that you know hotel technology’s importance, let’s clarify one thing. There are two types of technologies that your hotel must incorporate for better performance as well as elevated guest experiences.
While you should be on the lookout for changes and trends in technology, you shouldn’t ignore the necessary staples.
Firstly, you must have a POS system. It isn’t just a cash register meant to take cash and give back the change. Labor management, customer management, and inventory management all become easy with this tool. And if you integrate it with other technology, it is even better. An example is a WiFi POS system that removes a lot of cumbersome work.
Next, you need a property management system (PMS). It helps you perform the registration and administrative tasks without having to switch back and forth between tools.
A customer relationship management system is also a staple for hotels. Your aim is to keep your guests entertained and happy.
CRM databases help you keep track of leads, communicate with customers, and manage your relationship with them.
Lastly, a hotel can’t do without digital signage. When potential customers enter the venue, they want to know the latest developments immediately. Digital signage helps you keep your customers and staff informed.
Moreover, you need a website builder, booking engines, rate intelligence tools, and marketing automation tools.
4 Hotel Technology Trends Every Hotelier Must Try To Incorporate
About 77% of guests believe that a hotel’s technology offerings matter quite a bit or at least to some extent. Even though that’s a huge number, customers and their preferences are different. What one group of customers wants might be less desirable for another.
But one thing is common: everyone enjoys the latest trends and smart technologies. Without these tools, you might get a reputation as a hotel that only older people visit.
To avoid that, here’s a list of the hotel technology trends that every hotelier must have.
Since the pandemic, contactless registrations have become popular. And the truth is, their convenience has made people a fan. Your guests want to be able to book their rooms digitally before they start their travel.
They want peace of mind that they’ll have a place to rest once they reach their destination. Therefore, a digital registration system is the first technology trend you must invest in.
Now, you have a few options to incorporate such a tool into your hotel business. Firstly, you can create a separate booking page if you already have a website.
But if you don’t have a website yet, you can use website builders to create a simple booking page. Or, if you have a mobile app, you’ll have even more benefits.
People use their mobile phones to search for local businesses. Having an app makes it more likely that you’ll reach the people looking for a room.
Secondly, you can use a third-party booking platform such as Cloudbeds or Preno. These platforms usually come with other perks as well, but choose the one that best fits your needs.
Thirdly, you can simply use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to take bookings if you’re just starting.
However, you won’t be able to continue with this method once your hotel scales. So, choose a method that works best according to the strategy for the growth of your hotel.
Use Artificial Intelligence To Streamline and Automate Processes
Earlier, we mentioned that technology isn’t here to replace human staff. However, during the pandemic, many people lost their jobs, especially in hospitality, and moved to other industries.
Often, these jobs paid more than their previous ones. Plus, many people were reluctant to switch back. Due to these reasons and various others, the industry saw labor shortages. While proper action has restored some order, there is still a need for automation. Here’s why.
For starters, guests expect you to respond immediately. But you or your employees don’t glue yourselves to your screens around the clock, right?
So, you need an AI assistant or a chatbot to give the initial response. Use these tools to let the guest know you’ve received the message so it won’t frustrate them.
Moreover, AI is smart and remembers everything, including guest preferences and history. Using this, you can give personalized recommendations to your guests. Plus, more direct bookings will be possible since you’ll be entertaining your guests with instant chat functionality.
AI in hospitality is a massive shift that you must explore if you want to keep up with your competitors.
WiFi Will Keep the Guests Entertained and Hooked
A whopping 80% of Americans can’t do without WiFi on vacations. Since we’re living in a digital world, you might think everybody knows its importance.
But the number of hoteliers who overlook this essential piece of technology will surprise you. Don’t make the same mistake, and invest in a good guest WiFi connection.
Doing this will tell your customers you care about them and their preferences. Plus, it will give you a chance to start WiFi marketing in your hotel.
For that, you’ll have to implement a captive portal which will allow you to gather customer data like email addresses. But let the customers know what you’re collecting and how you’ll use the information.
Once the guests enter their information to log in, you can build an email list to send personalized marketing messages. Plus, a captive portal isn’t just a form. You can display promotions and deals there. Those ads will work better since they’ll cross your guests’ screens when logging in.
However, imagine if hundreds of people connect to the same network. Won’t that make it lag and interfere with your daily business operations?
So, remember to keep your network separate from the one you give your guests.
Guests Are More Willing To Stay in Hotels With Green Initiatives
To wrap up, let’s give an environmental twist to this list. Millennials consider their social responsibility before they invest in anything. Therefore, you must also incorporate technology that pushes green initiatives.
Firstly, come up with ways to conserve water. This is very important since it won’t just be environmentally friendly, it will cut your costs as well.
Installing shower heads and toilets with a slow water flow is a good first step. Or, if you’re at a later stage in business, you can install a greywater recycling system. It uses water from sinks, etc., for other purposes, such as flushing toilets.
Secondly, invest in renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind power. This will not only keep you away from harming the environment but will give you a more reliable energy system.
And lastly, reduce food waste by using smart inventory management systems. They use food consumption history to predict future demand so you buy exactly what you need.
Smart Hotel Technology To Take Guests Into the Future
Smart tools are something that every business should consider adding, regardless of the industry. These tools not only take away burden and human errors, but they also give a futuristic spin to your hotel.
So, if you’re wondering what smart hotel technology you should invest in, here are some of the most common ones.
To start with, consider adding smart TVs and IoT devices to every room. If you’re just starting and don’t have a huge budget, you can add these appliances to some rooms. Then, introduce a new package for people who want to enjoy these perks and make it somewhat pricier than others.
Voice controls are the new hot topic. Let guests enter their rooms and effortlessly order things, turn on the TV, or shower via voice.
Imagine the level of hospitality experience they will have. In fact, it can turn into a unique selling point for your business since not every hotelier understands its importance.
Moreover, your guests expect you to give them recommendations about restaurants and other activity places. But what if you could show them instead of relying on words to pursue them?
That’s possible through virtual reality gadgets. While this is on the expensive side, you can offer this service for extra fees.
Incorporating Hotel Technology Can Help You Elevate Your Business
Overall, investing in hotel technology is the wisest decision any hotelier can make. The staples include a POS system, property management system, customer relationship management system, and digital signage.
If you want to make the most out of your WiFi, Beambox can help you. Beambox is a WiFi marketing platform that helps you get more customers and automate your marketing.
You can use Beambox to manage and grow your reputation online. Additionally, you can streamline the most useful marketing campaigns for hotels. Start your free trial today!
Get Started With Free WiFi Marketing
Beambox helps businesses like yours grow with data capture, marketing automation and reputation management.
Sign up for 30 days free