Is your hotel “keeping up with the Joneses?” In an increasingly competitive marketplace, it’s crucial that you understand what makes your guests tick, and that means staying on top of the latest technology trends. In the first part of this two-part series, we explored a handful of ways in which technology is being incorporated into top hotels in order to meet guests' demands. Today, we’re going to explore five more trends that you should be both aware of and fully ready to embrace.
6. Free Wi-Fi
Okay, this one is a biggie, so pay attention: hotels that don’t offer Wi-Fi cannot expect to succeed in today’s consumer climate. A recent poll conducted by the SmartBrief online service reported that the vast majority (85 percent) of all travelers firmly believe that wireless internet in hotels should be free of charge. With so many people dependent on internet services in order to stay in touch with work and loved ones, conduct research, get directions, and be entertained, it’s really no wonder that travelers don’t want to stay someplace where they can’t be wired in without any added cost. It’s so integral to our daily life that free Wi-Fi has simply become the norm, and hotels that neglect this demand will quickly fall by the wayside.
7. The Lobby as an Information Hub
On the whole, travelers usually seem to be in a hurry. It’s no surprise, then, that guests become very frustrated when they have to stand in line at your lobby desk in order to ask a simple question, like where the best restaurants are located, or the number for a cab or hotel shuttle. A better solution is to equip your lobby with information screens that provide guests with live updates about the weather outside, flight delays or cancellations, traffic conditions, local attractions and eateries, news updates, etc. Integrate this system with guests' smartphones and you really have something special.
8. Social Media
Social media provides hotels with numerous opportunities to promote the amenities and high-tech features incorporated throughout their venue while also staying current with what guests are talking about. “Listen” to guest conversations and use their praise and their concerns alike to create an even better hotel experience for current and future travelers.
9. Special, Luxurious Touches of Technology
There are numerous ways in which hotels can increase their luxury offerings and “wow” factor through leveraging technology. High-def TV screens that have been embedded into bathroom mirrors are sure to impress, while a curated list of local music or movies filmed in your locale can add the personal touches that really put your guests' experiences over the top.
10. Third-Party Meetings
For travelers, your hotel acts as a “home away from home”, but what if you could also morph into an “office away from the office”? Some major hotels are opening their doors to non-hotel guests, including small businesses and entrepreneurs, to book meeting spaces. Instead of having to meet up with a client in the garage or attempting a video call from a crowded cafe, these folks can take advantage of your otherwise underutilized meeting spaces and VoIP technology while you rake in the extra cash.
Our world’s love for technology is certainly changing things for the hotel industry, and the question is: are you going to bury your head in the sand or embrace the revolution? Those who welcome the technical era will find that there’s never been a more exciting time to be in the hospitality business, with a growing number of ways to connect with and appeal to guests. Want to learn more about using technology to your advantage? Talk to one of the experts at PhoneSuite today.