They say that the customer is king across many industries. In the hospitality industry, the industry of service, the customers are the ultimate priority. With the growing innovation in hospitality technology, more companies disrupting the industry, and the developments and improvements in operations, better serving the customer and increasing loyalty is the all-time goal for all industry players.
In today’s world where chatbots and digital concierge services are becoming the norm, AI and technology are powering the digital side of customer service in hotels. With more technology becoming readily available, hotels need to find the fine line between technology and human interactions when determining their customer service strategies. According to this article, customers are looking for better experiences when traveling and two-thirds of the customers in this survey are willing to pay more for them. 75% of the survey participants expect companies to use technology to improve their experiences as well. However, there comes a point when there is too much technology in an experience. As seen in this article, airline customers prefer only check-in and ticketing to be done by automated processes, whereas the other elements of their travel experiences are preferred to be done by humans. There is no secret formula to determine how much of each type of customer service is required by your hotel, but both are necessary to maximize success as emphasized by this article. The goal within customer service lies in guest personalization to build customer loyalty and can only be accomplished through modern technology and hoteliers who provide human touches. What’s next? Predictive customer support, as mentioned in this article, will take the technology of customer service one step further by predicting what the customer wants before they need it by fixing the problem before it even occurs. Sounds good, right?
You might want to start locking down your consumers now, because with well-known disruptors like Google entering the hotel search world, the battle for consumers has only just begun, as seen
here. The article suggests, unlocking the power of your data and using it to your advantage will help to combat competitors (and no, we didn’t write this article!). Google isn’t just disrupting the industry for hotels, it’s also really changing the game for OTAs too. As mentioned in this article, Google is going beyond what OTAs do by aggregating information from all of the data they’ve collected on consumers through their many applications, and even bringing down the cost of distribution. So how do hotels adapt to the changes being made by these major players? As seen in this article, hotels must focus on encouraging brand loyalty, providing the best customer service possible, and adapting to new technologies to improve hotel operations.
It’s an exciting future to look forward to in the hospitality industry when it comes to technology and how major players are navigating the industry. At the recent HITEC conference in Minneapolis, this article highlights two new trends to look forward to. Amazon’s Alexa is making waves in hospitality as more hotels are installing the virtual assistant into their hotel rooms. Not only is Alexa allowing for requests to be made within the hotel room, but is also helping Amazon collect data from the requests of hotel guests to improve decision making and product development. Another trend to watch out for is NEC’s facial recognition technology that allows for market analysis in foot traffic and consumer behaviors. However, this is less of a future trend as facial recognition in hospitality is already here, as seen here. Imagine if you could arrive at a hotel and check-in to your room, receive a room card, and establish payment authorization solely using your face. That future is already here thanks to the partnership between Shiji and Alibaba’s Fliggy. The trend is surely catching on, according to this article, as other companies are beginning to offer facial recognition check-in services. We can’t wait to see what’s to come next.