Nothing will ever replace great customer service from a great hotel employee. For many hotels, a high level of personal service is what defines them.
But with the daily innovations in technology, hotels would be remiss in not exploring ways to automate some of these services. Not only does this technology help attract more business – especially sought-after Millennials – automated services free up hotel staff to take even better care of their guests. To that end, we have put together a list of three hotel services that your hotel can automate right away – today, even.
Mobile Check-In and Check-Out
No matter how well-trained your front desk staff, long lines can form and guests can become frustrated. In fact, studies have found that just a five-minute wait at check-in can reduce guest satisfaction by as much as 50%. With solutions like OpenKey, however, guests can check in and out using only their smartphones, skipping the front desk altogether.
From the hotel’s perspective, mobile check-in and check-out allows front desk staff to spend more time with guests who prefer the traditional check-in/out process or guest that are at the front desk for other reasons. The gained efficiency can also reduce hotel labor costs since fewer staff members will be needed to accomplish the same number of tasks, if not more.
Guest Communication and Requests
Anytime a hotel guest makes a request, they expect it to be carried out promptly, as they should. This is a service industry, after all, and attentive service is often the determining factor as to whether a guest is a one-time customer or a loyal customer.
The key to proving great service is great communication. There are a few good solutions on the market designed to automate these guest/hotel communications and help you provide the best possible service. Review Pro, for example, can integrate many social media and messaging channels into a single platform to maximize efficiency and maintain effective communication with guests. It even allows hotels to automate messages, like invitations and reminders. When it comes to communicating guest services, on the other hand, OpenKey has a mobile app that gives hotels the ability to offer mobile dining, valet requests, concierge and other guest services, even keyless room entry.
Ultimately, these technologies (and many others) provide cutting-edge automated solutions to age-old issues and guest requests. For hotels, this means time saved, improved guest service and a boost to the bottom line.
Mobile Room Key Delivery
As room keys evolve, hoteliers get to say good-bye to old time-consuming problems. No more lost keys or key cards. No more replacing worn cards. No more de-magnetization issues. Today’s digital solution is mobile key room access, such as keyless entry by OpenKey.
The OpenKey solution requires minimal involvement from the front desk while providing maximum convenience for the guest. With Bluetooth Low Energy technology built into the locking mechanism (as well as a high level of security), mobile devices can communicate directly with the door lock, allowing guests to enter using only their smartphones.
Other keyless entry options include fingerprint-activated room entry systems and/or retina scanning devices. Retina scanning is more accurate and secure than fingerprint scans, and hotels like the Nine Zero Hotel in Boston have installed iris scan systems to control access to executive or presidential suites. Neither option has gained much traction in Hospitality yet due to perceived high cost of systems and pushback from hotel guests on intrusive nature of identification required.
Enhance – Not Replace – Personal Service
There’s no substitute or shortcut for a wonderful guest experience. But technology is changing the expectations and experiences of travelers around the world and cannot be ignored.
Automation gives hotels a chance to enhance – not replace – the service experience. As guest experience and customer loyalty gain momentum as brand differentiators, it has never been more important for hotels to provide unparalleled service – any way they can.
For more examples of how you can use automation to improve the hotel experience, check out our guide, Hotel Automation: Improve Guest Experience, Reduce Costs & Increase Revenue.