Digital Trends for Hospitality in 2019
Every industry is changing to accommodate evolving customer expectations. And in the process to enable seamless customer experiences, industries are leveraging some of the latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT and predictive analytics.
As the hospitality industry grows exponentially, providers are also implementing new technologies to personalize guest experiences before, during, and beyond hotel stay. Hotels, restaurants and resorts are continually exploring ways to delight guests at different touchpoints. In this blog, we will discuss top 2019 digital trends for hospitality that providers must be aware of.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning can propel personalization of guest experiences for hospitality providers. These technologies can be leveraged by various apps and websites to customize results based on past searches. AI gives hospitality providers the ability to deliver customized suggestions catering to users’ preferences and past travel experiences. This has been proven fruitful for many hospitality apps and websites as the lead conversion rate have been phenomenal.
As hotels collect more guest data, they have more insight than ever before about what their guests might need, expect and want. On applying AI for this data, hospitality providers are empowered with insights to create moments of delight for their guests targeting different touchpoints.
Internet of Things
We have already come across smart homes where everything can be operated by a minimal gesture or a tap on the smartphone. Today, guests have come to expect the same kind of comfort during their hotel stay — a smart hotel room where they can sit back and control the entire room.
IoT is beneficial for both customers and hoteliers. The IoT sensors can sense the natural light of the room and can set the lighting accordingly. The sensors can also switch off the appliances or lights, air conditioners, fans when they are not required. IoT can also be used in predictive maintenance of the electronics present in the hotel rooms. The IoT sensors can detect the wear and tear of the appliance and indicate whether they need maintenance or not. The coming year will see the rise of smart hotel rooms as more guests demand these features.
With cloud, hotels don’t have to invest heavily on IT infrastructure to manage their data. Cloud based ERPs cost less than an on-premise ERP. If the ERP is cloud based, the payment is on an affordable monthly or yearly basis depending on the package chosen.
Putting a cloud based ERP in place will help hotels to have fully integrated operations which will increase the efficiency and also help in cost cutting. Latest cloud ERPs such as SAP S/4HANA can help tie all back-end processes with the front-desk functions enabling a holistic experience. 2019 will likely see adoption of such cloud ERPs in hospitality.
People today tend to find solution to every problem on their smartphones, and it’s only obvious that hotels provide mobile capabilities to improve guest experience. Many hotels have their own apps or web interfaces available which gives guests easy options to check-in and check-out as well as information about available restaurants and sights to see. Some hotels also provide a roadmap to reach from point A to point B. Leveraging mobile integration with IoT, guests can also adjust the light and temperature of their room, set reminders, alarms etc.
Since the inception of Siri to the latest Alexa and Google home, people have warmed up to the idea of having their own personal digital assistant. Such assistants resolve and address their immediate concerns or queries during or before their stay. Digital assistants have been useful not only to the customers but also to the staff and management of the hotels. They help in checking off the things on the to do list, especially which is of help to the housekeeping department. They also help in keeping track of the inventory which is very useful to the operations department.
When it comes to customers, digital assistants have a wide range of usage, from ordering food, booking cabs to reserving a table at the restaurant. As hospitality embarks on its digital transformation journey, providers are implementing chatbots and other digital assistants on their digital platform.
With the help of predictive analytics, the hospitality providers are creating more personalized offers for the customer. This is helpful as there is a higher probability of closing the deal. Hotels can now present more relevant and contextual offers allowing them to upsell and cross-sell while also improving guest experience.
Converging towards Personalization
Adding a personal touch to the hotel stay experience is imperative to create moments of delight for guests. This implies large amount of data mining and personalization has to be done with the help of technology to customize based on how the particular customer likes it.
However, many hotels are yet to take the first step of collecting actionable data. The first step could be setting up primary things such as WiFi analytics so that hotels can get insights into their guests’ needs and preferences. With our customer experience management solution: SAMMY, we help you leverage these insights to provide personalized, omnichannel engagement to your guests.
Feel free to get in touch with one of our experts to learn how we can help you get a headstart on the digital transformation journey for your hotel.