The Importance Of Cutting-Edge Technology In The Hotel Industry
Technology has always been the cornerstone of any successful industry, and the hotel industry is no different in that small hotels or large hotel chains and resorts benefit from technology often described as cutting edge. However, tomorrow’s technology executed today changes dramatically and must be constantly integrated if anyone is to benefit from it.
For instance, just 10 to 15 years ago, this type of technology meant having an online presence. Today, it means catering to an increasingly sophisticated consumer base equipped with smart phones, and these phones provide customers countless choices among a broad set of competitors. To compete, hotel industries are now using smart technology, AI, and big data to snag customers and secure their loyalty. In addition to using the latest technology, hotel chains that apply technology from hi tech companies throughout multiple departments are able to enjoy such benefits as higher profitability, higher customer interaction and retention, and better reviews due to an overall higher standard of customer experience.
- Environmental Controls
One piece of high-tech equipment that has become a mainstay is the smart monitoring system. Smart monitoring systems include devices like thermostats and light sensors. With smart thermostats, for instance, smaller hoteliers and larger hotel chains alike are able to shift thousands to tens of thousands of shareholder dollars from the cost section of the profit-and-loss statement to the profit section. Moreover, such technology allows the hotel industry to be more environmentally conscious and to help heal the environment by reducing emissions caused by the generation of electricity. In terms of electrical usage, case studies have proven that demand can be cut by nearly 21 percent, helping to significantly increase profits and reduce the environmental burden.
- Self Serve
In-room movie selection has been around for decades, but similar types of self-serve amenities are allowing people to customize their stays and increase their enjoyment. For instance, customizable booking forms allow customers to select the following amenities.
- room views
- medical requirements
- pet requirements
Additionally, virtual technology is at the forefront of sales in that it allows shoppers to tour the room, the hotel, and the grounds. Similar industries allow shoppers to simply shop. For instance, during an open house, a Realtor allows potential buyers to shop for a home. Car dealers allow buyers to privately shop and consult. By extension, virtual hotel tours become an immersive, low-pressure, virtual sales event.
- Proactive Upkeep
Smart facility monitoring serves as the frontline sentry for maintenance problems that can run into hundreds or thousands of dollars if left unrepaired. For instance, flow meters connected to toilets and faucets can detect leaks and trigger a maintenance visit. HVAC sentries can actually adjust heating and cooling to match the unique needs of rooms with different shapes or window exposure. Such equipment ensures higher profits and higher customer retention due to a seamless, pleasant experience.
- Data Vaults
Data banks or data vaults are becoming critical as hackers continue to assault any online database containing valuable customer data. Data breaches are both global and public events, causing loss in customer trust and opening the gateway for litigation. Consequently, encryption techniques offered by tech companies are among the most important factors in hotel information security. Other technological security methods include the following.
- web application firewalls that detect attacks
- in-house assurance programs to ensure regulation adherence
- immediate mitigation plan upon breach detection
- Digital Elbow Grease
Smart attendants include virtual concierges that attend the hotel desk. These types of digital attendants help arriving guests get their bearings, so to speak, and understand the check-in process. These types of attendants also engage in soft selling, helping to add value during the check-in process by reminding arriving customers of additional amenities.
However, tech companies such as World Cinema are also perfecting the voice recognition required to enable seamless voice activation. Creating a room that responds to the spoken command allows customers to actually feel an immediate relationship with the room, as it were. This type of immediacy cannot be understated in that decreasing the time it takes for customers to decompress allows them to become fully immersed in the hotel or resort environment. Because a relaxed customer is also a happy and loyal customer, hotel companies that use the following technological advances are seeing greater sales, profits, and customer retention.
- voice lighting
- voice AC
- voice television and internet
- voice-adjustable curtains or blinds
Finally, a new technological trend includes the automated attendant, otherwise known as the robot or digital butler. Equipped with keyless technology, these attendants can access a room when the customers are away. They can then service the room and depart completely unnoticed. This type of system increases security for customers and serves as an adjunct to proactive maintenance.
- Virtual Collaboration
While hotels of all sizes can benefit from added services and an increased number of amenities, not all hotel budgets allow hoteliers to offer five-star pampering. However, collaborative technologies that combine booking or billing services allow hoteliers to offer third-party services for customers wanting five-star pampering on a three-star budget.
For instance, spa services are a popular way for customers to relax, but installing an in-house spa can cost any hotel hundreds of thousands of dollars. Consequently, via technological collaboration services that provide booking and billing, smaller hotels are able to integrate spa services and restaurant reservations into their hotel offerings.
Facial recognition powered by artificial intelligence is one of the most advanced ways to help increase hotel security. Used in conjunction with keyless entry systems, facial recognition helps eliminate unauthorized room entry. Of course, this type of technology makes customers feel much more confident and safe. However, this type of technology also helps hotel chains to provide customers a personalized experience by greeting them as they walk through a door.
Additionally, facial recognition allows for a quick buying experience in that shoppers can grab items from a snack booth and have the purchase completed digitally via a facial-recognition billing system. Although these systems might replace entry-level human workers, they do free up those workers to complete tasks not possible by digital technology. Finally, this type of technology reduces labor costs, increasing profitability.