With a new decade of innovation and technology upon us, hoteliers will look to solution providers to see what innovative trends are drawing the most attention and will benefit the most financially to integrate into business strategies. Technology’s use within the hotel space has come a long way in the past few years, paving the path for 2020 and years to follow to further push the envelope in innovation, user-friendly software/hardware and providing the personalization guests crave.
Our experience in the ever-evolving hospitality sector has led us to believe that growth relies on implementing and capitalizing on modernized systems to improve daily processes and increase guest satisfaction.
Here’s what we see as the four most important strategies for hotels in 2020:
1. Taking on the Internet of Things (IoT)
The last decade brought us AI, key-less entry and more. The next big innovation for the hospitality tech space is increasing investment in the Internet of Things (IoT). Whether that be Emergency Safety Devices (ESD)/panic buttons, sensors facilitating housekeeping, maintenance, crowd safety or otherwise, IoT will help systems like Nuvola, and thus help hotels, add a layer of automation to daily operations within each property. The best part is the technology is already there! It is now just a matter of fine-tuning use cases and showing the industry what IoT, when used and integrated with the right systems, can do to help hotels save on costs related to critical assets, increase staff productivity, and lift guest satisfaction.
2. Adopting voice solutions
Voice solutions have had a slow adoption rate within the hospitality industry however, the continual increase in popularity of voice engagement (i.e., Amazon Alexa and Google Home) in everyday households will set the tone for a spike in hotel implementation. Travelers will look to have the comforts of home they have become accustomed to and will expect the same voice command capabilities, and even more impressive ones at that, throughout their hotel stay. Research has shown that modern guests want to communicate their needs, desires, or even issues with hotel staff by any means other than in-person. While SMS texting is generally considered the most popular method of modern communication, there will be an increase in more hotels adopting voice engagement as part of their overall guest experience strategy to keep pace with this growing trend.
3. Wise investments and results-driven strategies
Investing wisely is something every hotel, especially in this digital age, needs to keep top-of-mind. One of the most important questions to ask prior to integrating any kind of tech solution is: what is the logistics behind implementing this software or device? Every property is unique and will require solutions that best fit their size and staffing needs. For example, if a hotel wants to introduce SMS Texting for guest communication, they will need to first identify how responses will be handled (i.e., does this require hiring another full-time staff member to manage these texts) and how to best handle sensitive guest data. As simple as these questions may seem, they are part of a much larger set of complex ones, all of which are equally important in ensuring money is invested in technologies that will logistically work for the hotel and that tech partners are chosen based on their full capabilities.
With the widespread adoption of technology, there is more data at the fingertips of hoteliers than ever before. However, a minimal amount of the data accrued is being used to best optimize services and develop best practices. For hotels to capitalize on their investment in technology, hoteliers along with their trusted vendors need to work together to ensure data is being managed and used properly. The efficient use of reports and statistics from day to day tasks will enhance daily operations and provide a higher level of personalization for guests.
4. The need for uniformity
Multi-property management capabilities for both property management systems (PMS) and service optimization systems (SOS) that either have the capabilities of or integrate with a centralized Customer Relations Management (CRM) system are going to be increasingly important as more hotels move to a cloud-based model. As hotel operation technology works to become more consolidated, hotels will benefit from having a CRM in place that allows management/staff to manage any hotel from any device. Furthermore, management groups want to be able to consolidate their data and compare it across their hotels to enhance the guest experience and develop best practices for back of house operations. For example, a guest who stays at one hotel and shares their allergy of feather pillows can have this information be distributed across a centralized data management system to ensure that they are never presented with feather pillows in their room during a stay at any of the brand’s properties. The ability to share information across a multitude of hotel locations, creates a deeper sense of personalization for each guest.
The importance of investing in IoT, implementing voice solutions, using technology systems to the best of their ability to improve daily operations and focusing on multi-property management capabilities will continue to shape the next year and beyond for technologies that will enhance business strategies. Hotels that establish themselves in the forefront of these initiatives will stand out from all other competition available on the market and reap the lucrative benefits.