In today’s technology-driven world, it is no wonder that the hotel industry has been on a steady incline over the past decade. Many hotels have implemented self-service technologies into their services to keep up with changing times and provide customers with a more convenient experience. These range from touchscreen kiosks located in hotel lobbies, apps that allow you to check-in without even entering the hotel, and more. Do you want to know how self-service technology is used in the hotel industry? Keep reading.
What are the most widely used self-service technologies seen in today’s hotels?
Self-service technology has become an essential tool for hotel managers wanting to improve their customer service. At the beginning of 2015, Hilton launched an app in which guests can use their phones to open doors, operate room climate control, request services, and more. This technology was exceptionally functional for guests staying on floors without housekeeping service. The availability of self-service technologies in the hospitality industry is increasing because it reduces costs for hotels while also providing deeper guest engagement.
The goal of a hospitality company is to make a profit, which means keeping guests happy at a minimal cost to the business. Self-service provides this opportunity because it is an inexpensive solution in terms of maintenance compared to other technologies in the industry.
1) Check-in Kiosks at Hotels
Check-in kiosks have been established to provide customers with a convenient check-in option for entering the hotel while simultaneously streamlining the process of checking in. In many cases, guests can use contactless cards on these machines. That means the customer has everything they need on their card—their preferences, along with ID and credit cards. These kiosks have been installed in many hotels and can be found in airports, shopping malls, and other prominent places.
It’s a way for hotels to lengthen the time they can remain open without needing as many employees at the desk.
2) Contactless Technology
According to CNN Travel, contactless check-in is becoming increasingly popular among hotels. The contactless payment system also uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) or Near Field Communications (NFC) contactless technology. With this technology, customers can get into the hotel room using their contactless cards.
This automation is becoming very widespread because more hotels are using this form of payment, making it easy for customers to pay without using cash, credit cards, or debit cards.
Contactless Technology has made contactless check in for hotels more convenient for customers, especially for guests who come at late hours. For example, they implemented contactless technology at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai. People can enter their rooms using no key cards since contactless technology is used to access the room, leading to a more straightforward check-in method.
Another example is the contactless check-in at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in London. Here, contactless technology has been used to ease customers’ access to their rooms with contactless payment. They have reported that contactless technology was implemented at this hotel in early January, and since then, they have seen more and more contactless payments coming from their customers.
“Serviced accommodation providers are also increasingly embracing this type of tech – which is becoming a major contributing factor to streamlining business processes,” comments Ruban Selvanayagam of We Buy Any House Consultancy, Property Solvers
3) Chatbots on websites and Mobile Applications
Hotels are now using chatbots on websites and mobile applications to improve the quality of their operations. A chatbot is a computer program that simulates human conversation. It interacts with users through text conversations in both natural languages or with artificial intelligence agents.
Companies commonly include chatbots as a part of their social media strategy to handle questions asked about business products or services efficiently. Customers can use chatbots to get information about their hotel reservations, receive weather updates, or even order food from the hotel’s restaurant.
Not all chatbots are built for customer service, though. Some hotels have used chatbots to improve communication between staff members before and after guest arrivals. For instance, Park Hyatt Sydney made a virtual assistant named Sarah for guest services. Sarah can answer guest questions about check-in time, room availability, ordering food for the room, and more using natural language understanding capabilities. The hotel has also used chatbot technology to book conference rooms for meetings, provide notifications of upcoming events happening at the hotel, and more.
4) Self-ordering technology
Self-ordering technology is an increasingly popular part of the hotel industry. Restaurants and room service orders are two main avenues for this technology, but not all hotels implement it in both places. For example, at some properties, guests can order food from their rooms via a phone application that connects directly with the restaurant or through a computerized kiosk in the lobby.
The application allows guests to check out menus, select their food, and customize their order before receiving a number rung up at the restaurant. The kiosks can also double as a self-check-in or check-out device for guests to check-in and get a key card for their room.
For restaurants, this technology allows for quick and easy food service. The touch screen ordering interface makes it simple to input an order quickly and efficiently. In the past, guests would have to wait in line at a counter or put their order in over the phone. Now, they can sit down and relax while their food is being prepared without having to worry about missing it or being late for a meeting.
Everyone is also familiar with the benefits of room service, which has been around since the 1800s. However, before self-ordering technologies, guests were limited to food choices on a printed menu to order from my phone. Now, guests have access to a whole menu of options that can be delivered quickly and efficiently to their door. With the push of a few buttons and a brief wait, guests no longer have to miss out on the comforts of room service.
Self-service technology has undoubtedly made hotel stays more accessible and convenient for guests, but it is also cost-effective. It saves time and money for hotels and restaurants, allowing them to focus on providing better service and food options for their clientele.
Technology has not only changed the way hotels are run but also how guests are received. Many types of self-service check-in kiosks have been developed for this purpose. These machines provide information about the hotel and its amenities, allow customers to specify whether they want a quiet or convenient room, and request extra amenities such as towels or water. There is typically no line since the kiosks are available 24/7.
About the Author
Ray Lowe is currently employed as a Senior Ecommerce Manager. With years of experience in the retail space, Ray is an expert in formulating and implementing e-commerce strategies to increase revenue.