The Future of Hospitality – IoT will be the Next Big Thing
By Harvey Norman, Owner at hospitalitytechguru.com
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the future of technology. It has enabled devices to work together to ease our efforts by interacting with each other online. Can you imagine your fridge texting you to order your favourite items because its stack is running low? Imagine a fridge that can help you place orders to respective vendors or a home that remotely changes the temperature and lighting to suit your needs minutes before you enter your home. Well, that's IoT in a nutshell.
It's not hard to picture IoT in hotels because a comfortable and customized stay is the best way to improve the guest experience. But how big of an impact will IoT have in the hospitality industry in terms of high customer demands?
How does IoT cater to client needs? It can do many different things such as:
IoT software is a great tool to use for anticipating customer needs and building positive relationships with them. This technology helps managers and employees better understand common customer patterns and behaviours. But it's not just that, hoteliers get a deep insight into their visitors and guests get the convenience of managing their entire experience via one digital device of their choice.
Their entire journey with the hotel, from booking a room to checking out is smooth, seamless, and enabled on smartphones. But the main advantage both customers and hotels can enjoy is that IoT system applications are highly customizable. Meaning, it can be used to optimize customer service by creating a fun futuristic experience.
Once guests enter the hotel, they will receive automatic notifications regarding incentives. They will receive alerts regarding free, paid or special upgrades, as well as events being held at the hotel restaurant or bar.
- Virtual Assistant
IoT acts as a virtual assistant and helps visitors find nearby activities and directly communicate with the staff anytime they need assistance.
- Personalized Customer Experience
Every time guests enter the room, they receive an automated personalized greeting while the room automatically switches to the last saved preference like opening the curtains, controlling the climate, playing music, and so on.
- In-room Tablets
Customers can use tablets to adjust room temperature, open and close curtains, access room service, look for information, book appointments, control the TV, order movies, request for extra pillows or other housekeeping services. The tablet can also turn into a VoIP phone, and schedule wake-up calls.
Benefits of IoT for Hoteliers
Although an innovative customer experience sounds great, hoteliers can expect to see more benefits from IoT integration.
- Enhances the customer experience
First and foremost, by enhancing the customer experience, they can gain a significant competitive edge. Customized and quick services are an efficient way to earn customer loyalty and recommendations. Also, hotels will look innovative, comfortable, and modern at the same time which makes them more likely to attract new visitors.
For example, a hotel's sound system can play pre-selected music for a particular time of the day in the background as well as in the elevators to set the desired mood. Also, the sensors can take pictures of guests entering the lobby and turn it into a personalized work of art for visitors.
- Optimizes the hotel expenditure
Secondly, it can optimize hotel expenditures. In other words, hoteliers can note greater energy and workload savings as IoT automatically manages everything. Since the system works on specific requirements, room resources get turned off once guests step outside. Plus, the guests are able to rely more on digital devices which additionally cuts employee costs. And, best of all, the system tracks and collects real-time information such as what customers mostly buy, order, or eat to support smart business decisions.
- Helpful in analysis
IoT can also help you draw up an analysis of your services. It enables you to see where they can be improved, what services are being used the most and what is expected of each service. This can help hotels to standardize services and bring in more features that guests will actually expect.
- Sync well with intuitive gadgets
At last, it can work well with intuitive gadgets. This means that it is a worthy investment considering hoteliers can draw inspiration from it to better accommodate their guests. For instance, they can turn bathroom mirrors into an interactive display for messages, notification, etc. or use electro-responsive pillows to track the visitors' sleep cycle, blood pressure, and so on.
The Internet of Things will be a standard in the hospitality business. It's a service that all guests deserve, and just the right tool for hotels that they need to grow and establish market authority. With an enhanced customer experience, optimized operations, and reduced costs, hoteliers need to know that IoT is the key to long-term success.