Taking a look back on where you came from and how your business has grown is a pretty regular part of running a successful hospitality company. You’ve grown and changed over the years, and almost certainly have learned some things along the way. Reassessing your business plan, management, and general operations is just something that helps things continue to move along smoothly.
Perhaps one of the big things that you may have noticed in recent years is that technology is beginning to play a much larger and more important role in the hospitality industry. In some aspects, you can’t even really imagine doing the job without some of the tech anymore. As you think about the future, it may be time to consider incorporating even more technology into your business to stay ahead of a growing trend.
New and emerging technologies have a profound ability to help streamline business operations and improve efficiencies. Likewise, it can improve customer relations and experience which is arguably the most important aspect of keeping your business in ship shape anyways. The next big thing is performing a SWOT analysis to determine which technologies are right for your business and how they may be incorporated so you can see the biggest benefit.
Smart technologies can be an instrumental means of saving a great deal of money on baseline costs in the hospitality industry. Installing some of the energy-efficient technologies in guest rooms for instance can help regular heating and cooling expenses, water usage, and so much more. Additionally, many guests are thrilled to see that the hotel is striving for greater environmental awareness and are more likely to choose your location again and again.
Smart energy management alone can save hotels upwards of $100,000 annually. Smart thermostats and occupancy sensors can help regular temperatures in rooms and only heat them above a baseline temperature when necessary for guests. Some of the most advanced technology can use artificial intelligence to gather information about peak demand and local weather patterns to optimize energy usage year-round.
Other technologies can help with identifying where maintenance might be needed, which can also save a great deal of additional expense. The tech works by monitoring energy or water usage and determining where there are usage concerns above a normal rate. For instance, if a toilet or sink faucet is leaking or if a certain area hasn’t been maintained in a while, the system can pick that up and prioritize sending a repairman in that direction.
Arguably one of the most significant ways in which incorporating technology into your hospitality operation can make a difference to guests is through updates in guest services. Especially in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, guests are looking for fast and easy ways of reserving rooms and checking-in/out with limited contact from hotel staff. Adopting technologies that allow for this can be a big boon to business.
This contactless approach can mean a lot of things in reality. Incorporating it can be as simple as developing a webpage that can take reservations or adding kiosks that can handle check-in/out as well as payment upon arrival. It can also mean adding chat boxes and online help to your website as well as a hotel channel manager to communicate with guests and promote the hotel online.
The tech you choose to add could also be quite a bit more intricate. You could work to incorporate voice control into hotel services or Bluetooth into room doors. Some hotels are even going so far as to add robots to the hotel staff. These small robots can deliver room service requests or take orders at a hotel restaurant — all of which increases the list of contactless services offered.
There are also plenty of ways that hospitality operations can begin using data analytics and cloud computing technologies to help with marketing and attracting specific customers who are more likely to be interested in the specialized services your hotel offers. For instance, big data analytics can take customer demographic information and provide an output of the specific traits a high portion of customers all have in common during a certain period of the year.
An example of using the data collected might be that the manager finds a lot of customers are coming during a certain time of year for a big festival. A hotel manager could use this information to strategically market the hotel at the festival or offer discounts to those with tickets. Likewise, she could learn about other festivals in the area and offer perks to guests who attended the big one if they attend this second one as well.
Such uses of this data might be a means of increasing guest visitation during off seasons or even just getting the hotel on the map as a popular place to stay. Big data analytics users can target specific guests with additional discounts or reach out to demographics that typically don’t frequent the hotel as a means of expanding the customer base. There are plenty of options and opportunities.
Technology is making big waves in nearly every industry including the hospitality one. Determining when to incorporate certain technologies is a big step, but likely one worth evaluating. Things such as smart devices in rooms, contactless guest services, and data analytics can make a big difference in reducing costs, improving marketing, and increasing customer satisfaction.
Guest post courtesy of Beau Peters