Gaining a Competitive Edge By Using Technology in Hospitality

The hotel industry has witnessed a big boost recently that has made it highly competitive. Many hotel business owners are trying to find different high-tech solutions to stand out from the crowd and acquire more customers.

Using technology in hospitality has become a great opportunity to help beat fierce competition and gain guest loyalty.

Statista has estimated the global hotel industry market size from 2014 to 2017. The retail value of the global hotel industry was $570.18 billion in 2017.

This article will reveal more effective methods for gaining a competitive advantage by using technology in hospitality.

How Technology in Hospitality Can Improve the Guest Experience

Online Booking

According to statistics presented by High Tech For High Touch, 68% of hotel guests want to avoid the front desk by using their smartphones to check in or check out.

Nobody wants to wait at a crowded front desk with heavy luggage for hours. Online booking allows guests to select rooms and find out rates, facilities on offer, and other key details.

Google has conducted a study with PhocusWright, which found out how smartphones influence travel journeys and activities within them.

The percentage of smartphone users who are comfortable researching, booking, and planning their entire trip to a new travel destination using only a mobile device

The percentage of smartphone users who consider researching hotels on their mobile devices to be easy

 

The Oracle Hospitality report showed that 35% of hotel guests want to be able to schedule room cleaning and 26% of them want to receive a mobile notification that the room has been cleaned.

Hotels must fine-tune their processes to match customer expectations and generate more revenue.

Even a simple thing like free Wi-Fi access increases the chances of attracting more business travelers. Statistics show that 49% of business visitors choose a hotel with free Wi-Fi, whereas free breakfast comes in second at just 14%.

Maybe it is time to invest money in enhancing bandwidth?

Marketing and Online Reputation

Before booking the most suitable hotel a knowledgeable customer will seek reviews and recommendations from other travelers on social media or sites such as booking.com, agoda.com, hotels.com, or ibis.com.

Eighty-seven percent of TripAdvisor users say that they are more confident after they have read other travel reviews.

Just imagine how many steps a typical traveler would go through before being convinced to push the “book now” button.

It is highly important to build a killer social media presence for your hotel.

Based on the Pew Research Center’s Social Networking Fact Sheet, 74% of online adults use social networks:

  • 71% of adults use Facebook.
  • 28% of adults are on LinkedIn and Pinterest.
  • 26% of adults use Instagram.
  • 23% of adults use Twitter.

Percentage of American adults who use at least one social media channel

 

More and more hotels have started investing money in effective SEO campaigns. This helps them to be found on Google easier and faster.

Hotels must be sure that they are included in all of the local listings. This will allow their guests to find hotel property without having to go through an online travel agency (OTA).

By bolstering engagement on social media and having a successful SEO campaign, hotels can stand out from the crowd of their competitors and gain more visitors.

Internal Processes Automation

Every business owner wants to make internal processes run seamlessly and effectively. They must adjust to market trends and help with automating different operations.

By implementing a CRM system in the hotel, entrepreneurs can place customers at the forefront.

You can manage information from a central console and synchronize everything to your CRM.

First of all, CRM helps increase knowledge of your customers, letting you find out their behavioral habits and preferences. It is crucial for nurturing existing customers.

You won’t have to bother your client with too many questions, as you already know, for example, what room Mr. Smith prefers and what flight he usually books.

As an owner, you can maintain a complete history of regular customers. This creates an opportunity for fostering interactions with guests: you can send automated emails, reach out to them through different engagement channels, respond instantly, and maintain up-to-date information.

Once, our company developed a CRM system based on the Salesforce platform for a hotel. Our customer experienced some difficulties with data flow from different sources, customer retention, and staff management. After our solution, this hotel was able to increase its customer acquisition rate by 26% and scale up staff productivity.

Advanced Technologies

Today, nobody will be surprised to use their own smartphone as the room key in hotels.

Technologies have already made a step forward. Hotels try to implement voice technology into their rooms to maximize customer benefits. Such voice assistants can control lighting, temperature, water, draperies, alarm, radio, and TV in hotel rooms.

Many popular hotels have implemented robotic butlers, digital concierges, and robotic luggage storage successfully.

Hilton has presented its famous digital concierge, “Connie,” which uses speech recognition and AI to respond to queries from guests and intelligently learn from interactions.

Virtual reality technology has rapidly grown in importance. The Consumer Technology Association found out that 77% of US consumers are interested in purchasing VR equipment now.

Various hotel websites use 360-degree technology that allows potential customers to experience rooms in a hotel before they make a reservation. VR headsets have become widely used in hotels to entertain guests.

Do you remember Pokemon Go, which was the first mainstream example of augmented reality?

Augmented reality is one more way to enhance the real-world environment through information overlays. It makes a hotel environment much more pleasant and memorable to stay in.

For example, Holiday Inn and Best Western Hotels have experimented with augmented reality. The first one allows pointing guests’ smartphones to see realistic virtual depictions of famous celebrities in the hotel. The second one allows children to see themselves alongside characters from Disney films.

Wrapup

Today travelers have become more tech-savvy. That’s why hotels should go with the times and high-tech solutions to deliver innovative services to their guests.

Implementation of such technologies brings extraordinary convenience and saves a lot of precious time for business owners. If you want to reap the benefits while conducting your hotel business, you should alter the following processes:

  • Online booking
  • Marketing and online reputation
  • Internal processes
  • Advanced technologies

Our extensive development experience can bring high value to your hotel business if your strategic objective is to boost revenue in 2019.

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