Technology is officially a way of life now, and there’s no going back. Whether it’s the popularity of augmented reality, talking to your car to change a radio station, or making hand gestures to turn on a video game system, you just can’t deny the pervasiveness of technology at every level of our daily comings and goings. Heck, at any given time, we are typically inches away from advanced technology sitting in our pockets, ready for use at any time.
The hotel industry is definitely not immune to this trend. In recent years, we’ve seen multiple advances that have been adopted by many hotel owners and managers as a way to improve the guest experience. If you want your hotel to be considered modern, then you must incorporate at least some of these features.
Which technological advances should you focus on to ensure that your hotel remains competitive in the future? We suggest that you concentrate on these:
Easy Check-In and Check-Out
Although many hotels still ask guests to visit the lobby to turn in their keys and check-out at the front desk, many have made this process a lot easier. This is typically done by allowing guests to check out of the hotel through the TV in their room, which allows them to confirm that they’re leaving without stopping by the front desk. Some hotels also allow for both check-in and check-out remotely, through a mobile app.
Most modern hotels, if not all, no longer have actual keys for guests to use for access to their rooms. Instead, they use key cards that slide through a panel in the door for entry. Not only in this more convenient for the guest, in part because it can be placed in a wallet like a credit card, it’s more convenient for the hotel in the case of a lost card. That’s because a lost card can be electronically blocked, making it useless, and a “blank” key can easily be programmed for that room. In addition to all this, though, is true keyless entry, where a hotel key is programmed into a person’s smartphone.
Whether they’re conducting business or enjoying vacation, travelers these days insist on having free wi-fi access for the phones, laptops, tablets, etc. This is just as essential as “free TV” was twenty years ago. If your hotel doesn’t offer free wi-fi at this point, you better jump on that bandwagon ASAP. We guarantee you that a lack of this feature will lose you a ton of business. Just make sure that you take steps to secure the system, or you might find that your hotel attracts non-guests who are looking for a free wi-fi hotspot.
Travelers also insist on a robust, reliable phone system. Although there’s nothing wrong with the traditional system, upgrading to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can provide your guests with useful features, especially for those who are in town on business. Plus, your employees will experience improved efficiency by using VoIP features like “Follow Me” and “Find Me”, which allow easier connection with the right hotel personnel. Oh… and let’s not forget that VoIP is considerably cheaper, as a general rule, than traditional phone systems.
These are only a few of the technological advances that hotels are utilizing to make both guests and employees happy. In the future, these will continue to become more ensconced in the industry, and newer technologies will crop up on a regular basis. If you want to learn more about how PhoneSuite is helping to improve hotel communications, give our experts a call today and we’ll give you the run-down.