Im­prov­ing ex­pe­ri­ences through tech­nol­ogy

As the hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor con­tin­ues to come un­der profit pres­sure, it’s re­as­sur­ing to see ho­tels in­vest­ing in tech­nol­ogy to im­prove ser­vice de­liv­ery, en­able ef­fi­cient op­er­a­tions and op­ti­mise guest ex­pe­ri­ences.

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Hos­pi­tal­ity ap­pli­ca­tions, which con­nect peo­ple, en­able ho­tels to en­rich their guests’ ex­pe­ri­ence by pro­vid­ing them with ac­cess to a range of ser­vices, in­clud­ing pre-ar­rival and pre-check-in ar­range­ments, concierge ser­vices, des­ti­na­tion in­for­ma­tion and ex­press check-out–all in the palm of their hand.

Through Apps, hote­liers can de­liver best-in-class cus­tomer ser­vice, us­ing unique mo­bile plat­forms that stream­line ho­tel pro­cesses and seam­lessly in­te­grate with ho­tel CRM, PMS, CRS, PBX, as well as res­tau­rant book­ing sys­tems, spa sys­tems and more. The best ex­am­ple is the check-in and check-out ex­pe­ri­ence, which many ho­tel com­pa­nies still strug­gle with, as it is of­ten cum­ber­some and process-ori­ented be­cause of le­gal re­quire­ments, lo­cal reg­u­la­tions and credit card au­tho­ri­sa­tions.

Glob­ally, how­ever, check-in and check-out is recog­nised as one of the most crit­i­cal guest sat­is­fac­tion trig­gers, as it’s the first and last im­pres­sion the guest has of a ho­tel. So, it’s no sur­prise that mo­bile tech­nol­ogy is in­creas­ingly be­ing used to en­hance the check-in/check-out ex­pe­ri­ence, which proves to have pos­i­tive im­pact on guest sat­is­fac­tion whilst re­duc­ing costs – with less pa­per and man­power re­quired for au­to­mated sys­tems. A pre­ar­rival email, cou­pled with pre-check-in ser­vices that fa­cil­i­tate an op­por­tu­nity to bet­ter know your guests and their re­quests be­fore ar­rival, en­able hote­liers to up­date guest pro­file in­for­ma­tion with pre­cise de­tails, which is then re­flected in real time, in the PMS–thereby re­duc­ing time at check-in. When you over­lay the out­come of a more tra­di­tional com­mu­ni­ca­tion ex­change with the ben­e­fits of a cus­tomised mo­bile app, this is where the real ad­van­tages of tech­nol­ogy be­come tan­gi­ble. And, us­ing bea­con tech­nol­ogy, hote­liers can push per­son­alised of­fers and pro­mo­tions, to pro­vide a more per­son­alised guest ex­pe­ri­ence, as it en­ables them to recog­nise guests and their move­ments and up­sell ho­tel ser­vices based on guest lo­ca­tions within the ho­tel.

Us­ing tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions be­fore guest ar­rival, on check-in and dur­ing their stay is by far the best way to stream­line checkin pro­cesses, re­duce wait­ing time, and proac­tively en­gage with guests for the du­ra­tion of their travel time

From be­ing no­ti­fied about ho­tel events and happy hours to re­quest­ing pil­lows and sewing kits, guests can re­quest any­thing they need di­rectly from the App with­out hav­ing to call any staff or in fact be in the ho­tel. Tech­nol­ogy also en­ables hote­liers to en­gage with their guests via in-app chat, no­ti­fi­ca­tions or di­rect ‘Talk to Man­ager’ op­tion. This tech­nol­ogy of­fers guests en­hanced ex­pe­ri­ences and ho­tels can ex­tend their hos­pi­tal­ity and ser­vice in­for­ma­tion with in­for­ma­tion such as tours, tick­et­ing and at­trac­tions, di­rectly from the ap­pli­ca­tion, when the guest is out­side the ho­tel. Guests can also view their bill and ac­count sta­tus, with­out hav­ing to re­quest a print-out from re­cep­tion, or use their room ex­ten­sion on their mo­bile phone to call fam­ily and friends stay­ing with them at same ho­tel while us­ing any pub­lic Wi-Fi and in­ter­nal ex­ten­sion tech­nol­ogy. Many think that the pri­mary role of a cus­tomised ap­pli­ca­tion is to mainly sim­plify check-in and book a room, how­ever the real goal is to make a ho­tel guest stays smarter, sim­pler and more en­joy­able – from ar­rival to de­par­ture.

Us­ing tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions be­fore guest ar­rival, on check-in and dur­ing their stay is by far the best way to stream­line check-in pro­cesses, re­duce wait­ing time, and proac­tively en­gage with guests for the du­ra­tion of their travel time. When us­ing smart tech­nol­ogy, hos­pi­tal­ity ap­pli­ca­tions en­able hote­liers to rev­o­lu­tionise cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences and de­liver best-in-class guest ser­vices through the abil­ity to cap­ture a guest’s at­ten­tion, en­able nav­i­ga­tion within the ho­tel, en­tice guests to ex­pe­ri­ence ho­tel ser­vices, cus­tomise ho­tel priv­i­leges and stream­line op­er­a­tions pro­cesses. (The views ex­pressed are solely of the au­thor. The pub­li­ca­tion may or may not sub­scribe to the same.)

Roger El Khoury Man­ag­ing Part­ner NEORCHA

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