Digital transformation for hospitality: Mobility, digital engagement and IoT
Today’s customers expect more than reliable human interactions. In this digital age, they have grown a different, unique taste for the kind of experience they anticipate in every industry. The hospitality industry is undergoing digital transformation to improve guest experience and explore multiple opportunities for growth. Increasing number of brands are investing to provide guests with creative, streamlined solutions. Big players have already adopted digital initiatives using emerging technologies such as IoT, VR, mobility & big data and the results are quite clear — improved guest satisfaction, enhanced experience, superior amenities and a streamlined management.
In this blog, we will understand how digital transformation is more than likely to help guests, employees, and management. And we will explore the potential of three key elements — mobility, digital engagement, and IoT for driving this digital transformation for hospitality.
How does digital transformation help?
For guests, it means convenience. A virtual on-call concierge is ready to support them, no matter where they are, 24/7. This provides access to all amenities and services from their digital devices, entertainment systems, and in-room phones.
For employees, it means integration of back end and front end services that support operations, connecting personnel and/or guests, immediately and without intervention. All devices, records, and services connect to a single intelligent network that is securely and automatically managed and updated.
For management, it means transformation and growth. It offers a 360-degree view of their guests which enables to them to draw actionable insights in real-time to drive improved outcomes and better guest experience. It’s the future of hospitality and tailored experiences are leading the way.
Internet of Things (IoT)
IoT is expected to grow to be a $14.4 trillion market in the next decade. What does this mean for the hospitality industry?
IoT provides new data opportunities for hotels and resorts. Having data on guests will directly influence how effective digital strategies are for hotels. Providing digital and more automated touch-points will only resonate if they are in line with what a particular brands’ guests want.
Self check in
Guests are likely to use a self-check-in kiosk as its effortlessness makes it very convenient. It will have their complete attention during the process, while offering a great opportunity for up-selling other products and services. In short, hotels can automate the tedious check-in process and suggest value-added offers, amenities, in-house services, and special packages for regular customers through the kiosk itself.
Mobile Key Cards
Key cards were supposed to be an upgrade over the analogue keys. Usage showed that they didn’t quite live up to expectations as they can be re-programmed, lost, stolen, or break.
As a guest, the digital key technology is fairly simple. Simply download the hotel app to a mobile device, go to the right door, and touch the screen. If access has been granted to the gym or pool, they do exactly the same thing. There is no added worry about losing it or remembering door codes. They simply need to take care of their mobile devices – which they do anyway, at all times.
Personalized and Smart Features
Guests expect your to know them, engage them, and delight them with simple things like surprising them with their favorite breakfast. As their preferences stored in the system from previous stays, a personalized service platform for regular customers can be created. Accurate data entry also eliminates the possibility of generating duplicate profiles altogether.
The real-time optimization will allow the hotel staff to share the data across various departments, enabling them to divert extra human resources towards other important tasks.
Smart and connected thermostats can greatly improve hotel operations, but they also open the door to possible security breaches. Protecting IoT traffic and devices requires a strategic approach that takes advantage of multiple security safeguards.
Prosumption refers to how consumers play a key role in the development and delivery of a service while simultaneously consuming that service.
The industry leaders are more likely to invest in analytics (94%) and place two times the importance on technology to improve omnichannel experiences (40% compared to 20% last year).
Implementing the right technologies you enable mobility can make your operational flow more streamlined. Designing the optimum solution requires a holistic approach, considering the strategic objective: the people using it, the processes it augments, and performance metrics to evaluate efficacy. The best way to do this, is to take leads from the guests, starting with how they prefer to be contacted.
This should be available through the mobile app 24/7 for your guest, enabling immediate resolutions, higher guest satisfaction, and greater loyalty.
The CRM can be alerted when the refrigerator needs to be restocked or laundry needs to be done. The bill is automatically generated and sent via email or SMS to the guest, making housekeeping and billing hassle-free.
Offering experiences unique to your location, providing airport access is a huge hit with guests, and allows the hotel to personalize their stay.
Digital engagement allows a more nuanced control over the guest experience, at any point of their journey, with a personalized connection on their own devices. It can balance convenience with guest satisfaction and loyalty.
88% of leaders in digital engagement will have location-based technologies by 2020. A location-based analytics solution such as SAMMY will facilitate recognition of the guests entering your property in real-time. This will improve your chances of them making use of other services and experiences if there is prior knowledge of their preference.
To be able to digitally engage, hotels and resorts must have a seamless property-wide WiFi that supports all digital activities for the guests and employees. Moreover, a WiFi is also imperative for attractive guests in the first place. Research shows that 91% of prospective hotel guests actually make booking decisions based on the hotel’s free WiFi capabilities.
To get started with gathering customer data, WiFi can be the first stop. WiFi analytics can help you understand how guests are interacting with your property. This way, you will be able to seamlessly collect both online and offline data and merge them effectively. For effective analytics, you must have great WiFi connectivity all across your properties.
In the age of connectivity, it’s also important that your network is secure. According to the Hospitality Technology’s 2018 report, security is a priority within the industry and mandatory measures include tightening network access control, device health check, and end-to-end encryption for starters.
At Savantis, we are enabling hotels and resorts to upgrade their guest experience with omnichannel digital engagement leveraging our solution: SAMMY. If you’re looking for technology partners that can help you embark on your digital transformation journey, please get in touch with us for a quick consultation call.