Industry Update
Opinion Article30 September 2020

The Future of Hotel Technology and Touchless Hospitality

By Stephanie Versin, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Sightline Hospitality

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During this uncertain era in the hospitality industry, hoteliers are searching for new ways to engage with guests and maintain bookings. An industry that once promoted communal spaces and shared experiences is now quickly adapting and changing course to near-contactless stays. More than ever, hospitality is relying on technologies that enable transparency, quick and streamlined operations, and a virtually touchless experience from check-in to check-out, as seen at many of our Sightline Hospitality properties.

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Here's how hoteliers can incorporate technologies across different aspects of the hotel experience:

Contactless Guest Experiences

Travelers now seek hotels with ultra-enhanced safety and social distancing measures in place; previous hotel standards as we knew them no longer match up to current expectations. Guests will ultimately choose a hotel that provides them with the highest degree of comfort by way of touchless and near-contactless services.

One technology we employ is ASSA ABLOY mobile access solutions, which enables guests to enter their rooms using Bluetooth on their phone for contactless check-in and keyless entry. Hotels can also utilize the ASSA ABLOY system for customized promotional messaging, enhanced visibility, and real-time communication.

The application MenuPoint further limits contact with the ability to order from the hotel's food and beverage outlets or schedule a pick-up. Guests receive real-time updates about the order status and direct communication from the restaurant to ensure a seamless, socially distant drop off or pick up.

Guest Management & Communications

Newer technology can improve communication frequency and flow with guests. Hotels can utilize different applications and software for connecting with guests and gaining real-time feedback, while also creating a more efficient hotel operation and tailoring the hotel experience to specific guest needs.

Alice offers a direct text messaging system with guests during their stay, while TravelClick GMS is an easy-to-navigate email marketing service that can be used for promoting current hotel specials or happenings, food and beverage updates, and more. Revinate can be used for automated guest surveys to quickly gather feedback following the guest's stay. Volara provides voice-based guest engagement software running on hardware like the Amazon Echo and Google Nest Hub, among others. We have implemented it at Dr Wilkinson Backyard & Mineral Springs in Calistoga where our guests could ask any questions about our mud bath treatments or mineral springs benefits. Volara allows for very customizable content which creates memorable voice-based experiences.

All these technologies can improve customer service and encourage a transparent, seamless dialog with guests - during and after their stay.

Hotel Marketing Data

Internally, all Sightline hotels have incorporated robust dashboard reporting solution to track and report all Digital marketing strategies performance. Google Data Studio is a great tool for turning marketing digital data into informative, easy to read visuals and real time reports that helps adjust digital marketing strategies.

Conclusion

The industry is quickly changing, and hotels will need to continue evolving their technology operations in 2021 and beyond to maintain business. Hotels should leverage a thoughtfully curated mix of technology to provide superior service, communicate transparently, and streamline operations for continued success.

Stephanie Versin

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