Hotels often try to distinguish themselves from others by offering a range of unique amenities, from top fitness facilities to quirky concierge services. While these can certainly attract guests, it is important that hotel managers do not forget about some of the basic features, such as hotel security and guest safety. A hotel that addresses the most basic elements of a worry-free stay can prove much more attractive to guests than fancy extras.
With that in mind, hotels can adopt some new technologies and methods that can quell some of the anxiety related to travel. Here are just a few ways to make guests feel safe:
1. Mobile key entry
The vast majority of guests nowadays travel with their smartphones, which is convenient because they can serve as a mobile key. The benefit of a mobile key is that it cannot get lost. A physical key, on the other hand, can be misplaced or stolen. While physical keys generally do not have room information on them, sometimes people keep them in the folder that contains such information.
Even if a smartphone gets lost or stolen, it cannot be used to access the room unless someone can unlock the phone. Often, hotels can retrofit existing locks to allow mobile key entry, which minimizes the expense of installing new locks. Plus, the process of retrofitting takes much less time than installing a new lock. Usually, hotels can incorporate mobile entry directly into their own apps.
2. Intelligent access systems
Modern security systems make it very easy to control exactly who has access to which parts of a facility. While a room key may grant guests access to the pool, business center, and more, they should not be able to get into administrative offices. Some people might view these checkpoints as a hassle for guests, but really it helps to keep people where they should be (particularly non-guests, who should not be allowed to use amenities at the hotel).
In general, guests appreciate this level of security. Such systems are far from new, but they have become much more sophisticated in recent years and can be integrated with a variety of different building systems. Plus, it is quite simple to adopt this system into the mobile key technology, which would allow guests to use their phone to access various parts of the hotel.
3. Well-trained staff members
Safety does not start and end at the guest. Employees must also understand how to keep themselves safe and know the proper responses when emergencies arise. Maintaining a safe employee base drives productivity and can even improve the overall guest experience. While most hotels likely offer some sort of training during employee onboarding, it is critical to provide retraining at regular intervals so that employees do not forget what they have learned.
In the event of an emergency, trained staff can make all the difference. Staff training should focus both on how to keep guests safe and how employees can safeguard their own well-being. All members of the staff should have a clear handle on security policies.
4. Cybersecurity efforts
One of the growing threats today is cybersecurity, and many guests have this issue on their mind, especially as several major hotel chains have been featured in the news because of breaches involving the personal data of guests. Hotels often have access to consumer data at many locations around the facility, which makes them particularly vulnerable to attack. Ransomware has become a real worry. This software will encrypt hotel data until a ransom is paid for its release.
However, hotels have access to a number of tools to combat cyber threats, including file integrity monitoring, security information and event management, and united threat management. These tools will become increasingly important as stays become increasingly digitized, which includes the adoption of mobile key access.
5. Customer-facing safety features
Hotels should avoid putting too much emphasis on hotel safety as this can cause distress in guests. However, guests should very easily be able to access information about security and how the hotel keeps them safe. Furthermore, it can be beneficial to build safety alerts into any app the hotel uses. This will assure guests that they will be made aware of any emergency event, however unlikely it is to happen.
At the very least, front desk personnel should give a short talk about the security features of the hotel, which can lead to a discussion of how to use keys and to where they grant access. Also, all guests should be informed of basic security policies, such as not holding the door for other people, which is often how non-guests gain access to guest areas of the hotel.