Automation is one of the fastest growing trends in the world. And automated self-service is one such automation that has already impacted our lives to an extent.
And now, it’s the hotel industry going for automated self-service.
Initially, the hoteliers were resistant in adapting the automation in the services as they thought it will degrade their service quality by taking away the human touch.
But things started changing in 1950 when Diners Club founder Frank McNamara invented Diner’s Club Card.
Then in 1966, Sheraton introduced the first automated electronic reservation system.
1980 was the year when ATMs were introduced to Hotel environment. Three Years later in 1983, Westin offered reservations using credit cards
Reasons to adopt Automated Self Service
There can be many reasons, why automated self-services are becoming so prevalent. But of them are:
One of the cardinal reasons behind the adoption of automated self-services are Millennial Travelers.
Millennials are the people who are born between early of the 80s to mid of the 90s.
There is a large percentage of travelers which fall in this generation. As this generation was born around technology, they want it in every aspect of life.
Automation offers Independence
The second reason can be the desire of the guest to take control. Nobody likes to be dependent on anyone. “I’ll do it myself” has become the living style of approximately every single person walking on the surface of the earth. And automated self-services have provided them exactly what they want.
Let your staff focus on the right thing
As a hotelier you always want your staff to be more effective and efficient. Automating your services will make them just like that.
Once they are not busy with these basic functionalities which can easily be automated they can focus on more important tasks which will make the guest experience better.
Then the room for error will also be reduced. An assistant has to address many people so an error can be made. But, if you are doing your work yourself you will hardly make a mistake.
What can the hoteliers do?
With the latest technological advancements this year there is a lot for the hoteliers which they can implement in their hotel. Let us discuss them one by one.
Many times the guest comes into your hotel after having a long tiring journey. At this time going to the front desk and doing the check-in, taking the key and then going to the room becomes very hectic.
Automating the guest entry by the making it keyless will take the guest experience to a different level.
For Room Entry the guest just has to use your smartphone to enter the room. In 2015 Hilton introduced Hilton Key App which facilitates key-less room entry.
The trend will curate further with RFID cards which will make your experience even better.
The occupancy detectors can detect whether the guest is in its room or not. It can automatically enable the temperature control systems, lights and other needed appliances in the room.
It can be very efficient in power saving which will also lead to your resources saving.
Personalized Guest Experience
It is now clear to hoteliers that the ultimate way to achieve a satisfied guest is to provide him as a personalized stay experience as you can.
And that is why we are noticing some great trends in some hotel.
For example, with the use of automation and AI instead of alarms and phone call hotels are using the wake-up atmosphere systems. This creates a perfect start of the day for the guest.
What were the guests’ responses?
Nothing is perfect. Everything has some advantages and some disadvantages.
As stated by Meuter, Ostrom, Roundtree, and Bitner(2000), among those people who prefer Automated Self Services, 30% of people like about its speed of the service, which notably, can be a reason why people choose Automated Self Services. We always want hotel staff to do their job, but many times they fail, come on they are human too. That is why 21% of people like automated self-service as they rarely fail the guest.
It is not necessary that each of us is savvy about technology. There will always be a need for human touch for assistance, especially for elderly people. Machines cannot replace all kind of humanitarian assistance.
It is the human interaction which creates a feeling of trust and plays a big role in making a loyal customer.
Hence Hoteliers have to make a balance between automation and human touch.
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