Hotel operators today are relying on their technology partners in more ways than ever. Guests want to have choices –and the need for innovative options that reduce guest friction has never been greater for areas that include guest Wi-Fi, digital conferencing, kiosks, mobile point-of-sale, mobile check-in, payment alternatives (NFC), IR sensors, smart room keys, in-room entertainment, mobile housekeeping, social reviews, guest text messaging, SaaS (Software as a Service) and systems integration capabilities.
Hotels and resorts should prioritize technologies that will best serve their specific guest demographic. In today’s post, we’ve outline a few operational areas where we can expect less friction soon.
Bringing technology to the guest, whether for mobile check-in or ordering cocktails poolside, hotels earn loyalty when they make it easier for guests to do anything they want, whenever they want, and wherever they are located.
With the advent of next-generation, mobile technology, servers no longer need to run back and forth between guests and a stationary POS terminal. They’re freed from waiting in lines to enter guest orders. And they’re spending time being more attentive, catering to the needs of guests. POS mobility gives them the tools to provide highly-personalized service that helps build relationships with guests on behalf of the brand.
New technologies will continue to challenge the balance between data security, transaction fraud risk and the guest experience. A PCI-validated P2PE gateway secures card data with no impact to the transaction flow. Knowing how the card data is secured can help avoid the risk of a data breach without impacting guest experience.
For online transactions, data security, guest experience and fraud risk are important factors that must be considered. Ensuring the data is secure and PCI compliant from the browser to the payment gateway is critical. The cost of authorizing the card and the friction created when requiring a CVV number, for example, may be important when selling a gift card, but may not make sense for holding a dinner reservation.
It’s easy to confuse reporting for analysis. Operators have taken strategic initiatives to capture more data from across the enterprise, but data in the form of reports isn’t the same as finding insights and acting upon them. First, make sure that the insights sought are aligned with the business requirements or KPIs. Start by working on one relatively small problem. Build a story and socialize it with those whose KPIs it affects. It’s easier to find success when bringing in supporters who appreciate the value of the insights, and when starting with smaller actions.
Hotels should work with their technology partners to support guest data analytics. Not just capturing and storing the data, but using algorithms that help operators analyze the data in ways that drive personalized guest service. Studies show that guests are likely to spend more when staff recommendations are based on historical selections and preferences. This personal touch goes a long way to inspire loyalty.