As we approach the 20th year of the new millennium, this blog post (rant) feels like a call to arms for the Hospitality industry as a whole. Technology in Hotel is important, but I would suggest that the 99% of the Hotel world is at least a decade if not over a decade behind in terms of technology offered to its guests. And I will be giving stark contrasts to how consumers purchase today both at home and online.
This is a bold statement and aimed at the prominent number of hotels in the UK suffering from baby boomer senior management. Who are either afraid of investment, or scared of technology itself, adopting instead for a slow paced, almost stunt in growth of the Hotels and the market.
So the reason behind this post is to showcase not only the lack of technological advancements but also to highlight the difference between the economy that we live in at “home” vs that of the poor hotel accommodation we are forced to book, being the so called “home from home.”
So let us start at the beginning, lots of my previous posts have been advice and guidance of what’s possible for industry or a hotel to achieve from arrival to departure and everything in between, therefore on arrival.
Digital or freestanding, hell even in a PVC or foamex banner costs very little and yet I would note, I have personally arrived at a hotel, having missed the junction or turning to be greeted by a faded sign or no sign at all.
Signage is cost effective and digital signs also allow changes or advertisement to customised
Comparison: Even the forever berated train network in the UK has these types of signs and very very good directional help nine times out of ten.
Result: £500 to £1000 would bring you into the 21st century, over £1k might even bring you up to date.
An old PC running Windows, with a slow or time restrained PMS (property management system) with a fixed screen and a chair that could bring on RSI or back pain within 30 seconds of starting a shift. That is a common theme across, small independent and even large chain hotels. Yet the food truck down the street already has a free standing touch screen, iPad PMS or ePOS (electronic point of sale.)
Advancing your check in process via technology on your reception desk… not as far as the Village Hotels self check in, as that doesn’t work. Will decrease the number of minutes the guest needs to wait and allow the staff to concentrate on upselling, using the guests name and even free up space in your lobby.
Adding a Linux PC, a Tablet, a touchscreen computer or iPad and going for a paperless check in. Will bring you time saving and speed up all your processes.
Why does the guest need to enter any details manually when you can type them yourself ten times quicker.
Why do we need a signature for a room only guest who has pre paid and does not want to add a card for pre auth – why do we still insist in pre auth any way, is this even PCI compliant and locked away – NO
Comparison: Most if not all home users are on a daily basis are interacting with touchscreens or PC’s ten times faster than a Windows 7 on a desktop PC with a static screen.
Result: £100 to £300 could upgrade your computer to Linux with a swivel screen, £500 to £1000 would offer a massive overhaul of the reception desk with touchscreens and high end software or hardware, suitable for the doing the job quicker.
Do not give me a Yale door lock key with a rubber or leather key ring stating my room number. Key card entry, although can sometimes not work for a guest by the time they get to the door, is secure, cost effective, simple and easy to replace.
Contactless door entry is even more up to date and very few hotels have gone to that level, but this also means you can track your cards and guests should a security issue arise for the guest or housekeeping.
Comparison: Contactless technology on a mobile phone can now open your front door, for less than £300 and for years garage doors or entry gates have had remote devices to open the aforementioned and grant access.
Result: £100 to £300 per door would upgrade your old fashioned key lock to a more modern and more environmentally friendly door system,
because the key card can also be a great advertisement and made from recycled plastic or a sustainable material.
This is just the start….
This is just the arrival and check in, the technological advances required for hotels to move with the times is easy… listen to your staff and even offer customers a forum for feedback.
You need to be thinking about the following;
Electronic door signage for conference rooms
In room technology such as TV, USB plugs, wireless charging
Streaming devices like Chromecast
Menus behind the bar or buffet on TV’s
Large 50 inch + TV screens for public areas and conference room
Loan devices such as tablets or laptops for kids or adults
Better WiFi and FREE throughout
In stark contrast to this – you can also remove some technology from your hotel, such as the probably doesn’t work, or outdated bedroom telephones and have a mobile phone at the desk which can receive calls from internal guests only and send an SMS reminder or message to a guest or follow up after Check In.
Very few guests, less than 1% will be checking in to your property without access to a mobile device.
[bctt tweet=”Technology in Hotels Today” username=”@WrestlinWHotels”]
Cut a long story short… it will soon be 2020, and I’m not asking for flying cars and hoverboards like in ‘Back to the future’…
BUT bring your hotel into the 21st century and make a change to your customer experience, today… NOW