The hotel industry pays close attention to technological innovations. A recent survey found that more than 70 percent of hotel executives have already started implementing recent technological innovations in their businesses. This statistic makes sense, as new technologies help improve the overall customer experience while making it easier to book rooms and services and improving overall communication.
Customer expectations evolve rapidly and hotels need to keep adopting new technologies to ensure they are providing experiences that keep individuals coming back for additional stays. Technological innovation is a key to staying competitive in the modern market, especially when hotels are early adopters of new technology trends.
Some of the key technological trends in the hospitality industry for 2020 include:
1. Voice command
Many people have already adopted voice command technology in their own homes through Amazon and Google devices. Hotels can easily integrate this technology into guest rooms to provide great service.
At the most basic level, these technologies make it very easy to set daily alarms and reminders, or ask about the weather. Ideally, these systems are integrated with the hotel’s own system so that guests can use the voice service to get information about amenities and book various services without needing to call a concierge. This sort of integration makes the technology as valuable as possible to both hotels and guests.
Voice command can also be tied to other items around the room through the internet of things (IoT). With IoT technology, voice command can control heating and air-conditioning, lights, curtains, televisions, and more.
2. Virtual reality
More hotels are implementing virtual reality (VR) in unique ways. At the most basic level, VR is useful for allowing guests to explore the hotel in a 360-degree way before they even make a booking. With VR, potential guests can see what the hotel is like inside and even move through a typical room to see if they want to finalize the reservation. Virtual tours are only the surface of the technology.
Companies like Amadeus are trying to make the entire booking process a VR experience. Individuals feel like they are embarking on the trip as they make the booking, which builds excitement and can make individuals look forward to the reservation process almost as much as the trip itself. Hotels can also use VR within hotel rooms to sell other services or give guests an inside glimpse of nearby attractions.
Technologies that recognize faces and fingerprints are getting better each day. Hotels can integrate biometrics into the guest experience in many ways. Perhaps the most obvious application for this technology is room access. With biometrics, individuals can walk right into their rooms without needing to find a key card. This technology could even eliminate the need for check in by tying it to the in-room biometric system.
This same system can facilitate purchases of room service or other amenities by eliminating the need for a wallet or smartphone. Instead, individuals can pay with a fingerprint or a scan of their face for optimal ease. Biometrics add another layer of security and that many guests may find comforting, so it can be a significant selling point.
4. Artificial intelligence
While artificial intelligence (AI) has been incorporated into the hospitality industry for a number of years, this technology is set to become even more sophisticated in the coming year. AI is most often linked to chatbots, which provide quick answers to the most common questions that guests ask. These chatbots make it possible for guests to get instant answers while freeing staff to deal with more complicated requests. Plus, the bots are available around the clock.
Soon, AI may provide more advanced options. Some hotel chains have already adopted AI-powered robots that consult with guests about local attractions and recommend restaurants. These robots learn from their conversations, become more sophisticated, and can even help with everyday tasks like cleaning in the hotel while they talk to guests.
5. Big data
Each day, hotels receive an incredible amount of data from their customers. While this data previously went unused, hotels can leverage big data to reveal important trends and improve their business practices. One of the big advantages of big data is predictive analytics. This makes it possible to estimate demand for particular periods of time using historical data and information about local events and public holidays.
Big data can also help hotels learn more about when specific customers come so that companies can offer deals or simple travel reminders when they are most likely to be effective. In addition, big data can help analyze reviews of the hotel to figure out trends in the feedback received. If many people are commenting about a particular aspect of the hotel, that then becomes a target for improvement to help make the overall customer experience as positive as possible.