Contactless services in your hotel do not mean ‘humanless’. Many are getting it in the wrong way.
Of course, the study finds out that the majority of people want contactless services because of the threat of the Covid-19 virus.
And we are reading thousand of articles regarding this, backed by conducting some research online.
But many surveys which are favoring contactless services are conducted online with a very small, or sample size selected by them.
Thus, there is no guarantee that 100 percent of guests visiting your hotel want no interaction with staff.
Hence, what I am trying to say is you must give your guests a choice.
Because still there are many guests who give preference to in-person services over contactless services.
For instance, busy executives who want a quick and detailed response.
Or old age people who are not comfortable with technologies.
Follow the following tips before completely switching to technology.
When guests arrive at your hotel then you must give them an option.
For choosing in advance the type of interaction they are comfortable with during their stay.
Like they only want human interaction, or they want the majority of human contact and a few basic things to be machine-based or vice-versa.
Or they would like to have fully automatic and contactless services.
This way you will know in advance what portion of guests want what kind of service, and their expectations from your hotel and its staff.
Hence, you can plan, schedule, and utilize your staff in a better way. Ultimately, it results in a reduction in labor costs.
With the passage of time, next-generation is demanding all mundane, and repetitive jobs of hospitality are replaced with technology.
For instance, bartenders, waiters, baggage handlers, and more.
Meanwhile, many jobs that require high skills are not replacing anytime soon.
For instance, hotel managers, revenue managers, digital marketers, CRM experts, sales managers, and so on.
Using AI, mobility, cloud, robots, and cobots (collaborative robots), IoT, and next-gen technologies.
You can automate backend operations, enable smart guest communications and automate and personalize every touchpoint with the customer.
But don’t make it compulsory. Because many guests want to see the warm smile of hoteliers and have an exchange of words during their stay.
The customers are social animals, who long for human connection. Hence, guests also value experience during their stay.
They want a touchless stay and but they are also looking for human interfaces.
The lack of connection with humans and contactless interactions can lead to user alienation.
Hence, create low-touch journeys so that the threat of contamination is also low.
And there is a healthy balance between the use of technology and human intervention.
But to create the balance you must know places where it is compulsory to replace humans with technology and where their stay will turn out to be productive.
So know, what are the technologies that guests most desire during their stay and adopt those technologies.
Likewise, through surveys, we find out that there are three changes that approx every guest wants in their hotel stay.
- Mobile check-in and check-out
- Access to the guest room via mobile app
- Notifications for on-site amenities
Let’s have a look at these technologies one by one.
Mobile check-in and check-out is a self-service hotel technology.
It allows guests to check in to the hotel and check out from the hotel through their cell phones, particularly through mobile apps.
Thus, streamlining the check-in and check-out process, no need to stand in a queue or wait for a long time in the crowd for their turn.
Moreover, it allows front desk employees to spend time on other activities like administrative tasks, and assisting guests.
Thus, it leads to more personalized guest experiences.
Consequently, you can use the front desk for other purposes.
For instance, if someone enters the hotel to know about it for a stay, then fix a coffee machine at the front desk and serve free coffee while discussing with them.
Undoubtedly, mobile keys/mobile apps are in demand because of the contactless check-in and check-out facility.
They can improve the guest experience while giving them a safer stay.
Moreover, they simplify hotel operations and reduce staff and material costs all while cutting your plastic waste.
Guests use their personal devices to get inside the room.
There are two types of mobile keys, Bluetooth-powered and what’s app-powered.
With Bluetooth, guests have to download an app. It has an encrypted token, through scanning it on the door, the lock will open.
Alternatively, use what’s app-powered to unlock the door.
The guest will receive a link, while clicking on it, the guest has to press a button within the app and then the door opens automatically.
The traditional way of calling reception or meeting them and asking about services available.
It will replace with details of amenities and other services on the tablet/ cell phones.
A simple and safe way to interact with guests is through push app notifications on their mobile phones.
You can send the notification to a specific guest or group of guests who feeds his/her name in the search bar for booking.
Or those currently staying in the hotel.
For instance, booking status, important events or offers, and more.
Moreover, you can also give them updates on the amenities you have added or offered at discount.
Thus, you can provide services while maintaining social distancing.
So, you can implement these technologies for sure.
In this era, we should stop copying technologies different hotel brands are using and ruthlessly cutting labor costs.
And start focusing on our guests. Segment your guests, understand their needs and demand, and then use technologies in those places where they are required.
So that there is a balance between technologies and humans in your hotel.
Otherwise, hotel rooms will only remain as commodities where the only differentiator is price.
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