Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Use of Technology in Hotels

It has become pretty obvious that over time technology has begun to play a vital role in almost all industries. Specifically, informational technology is becoming a very important device used to gain deeper insight about customers as well as other trends that a business may want to know more about. There is more of a need than ever for technology workers that have the ability to gain information that may be useful to a company. In a way, all companies are beginning to have a large and useful technology department that is heavily depended on as way to expand a business based on the information that they are able to gain.  
When people think of a hotel employee, they tend to direct their minds to a front desk attendant or a housekeeper. Customers like me fail to realize that a good amount of employees serving a hotel are behind the scenes technology workers who gather all the information that they can in order to make new customers, provide useful information, and make the hotel as profitable as possible. These are the workers that are becoming more and more important every day, as they are the ones who have the ability to make the hotel more profitable and more in line with the needs of customers.
I believe that using technology in order to gain information and generate better customer relationships is very necessary and important in every industry, especially those that provide a service to customers such as the hospitality industry. For hotels, I think that it is very important to have employees that can asses customers in as many ways as possible in order to satisfy them in hope that they return. I feel that it is a great investment for hotels to hire individuals who are able to gather and analyze data about past, current and future customers through technology so that they can provide them with the experience their looking for. One way this could be done is by monitoring what people are saying about the hotel online through social media and other sources. This way, hotels can get a clear idea of how customers truly feel about the service that they were provided. It is through information technology that hotels are able to create a better experience for the customer.
Despite technology and machines stealing the jobs of humans in other industries, I believe that in this case it is creating more jobs and leaving the current hospitality jobs in place. Even though there is a bigger technological focus, customers still value a meaningful personal experience with a front desk worker or a housekeeper. These jobs could remain and many more will be created as hotels begin to focus more on the use of technology.
The global shift to a more technology based hospitality industry is very necessary and I believe it will only continue to grow in importance as more and more companies realize the positive impacts it could have.

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Jacqui Schmidt said...

Many hotels are investing money right now in hotel technology for numerous reasons. One way mentioned above, gaining and analyzing information which is especially relevant when trying to improve guest experiences. After reading an article by U.S. News in the travel section, many hotels are researching what will make their hotel experience stand-out: they found that technology was their answer. The article went on to describe cutting-edge hotel technologies that are now being emphasized within competitive hotels.
With the mobile world we live in, it is not surprising that the number one technology being placed in hotels in ‘smartphone tools.’ These tools are ranging anywhere between check-ins to adjusting the room temperature. By incorporating more smartphone tools they are eliminating the need for customers to call the front desk anytime they need something. Creating a simple app for a hotel, gives the guests more accessibility during their stay.
The second technology improvement that is being seen in hotels is the ‘keyless entry.’ This gets rid of the lost-key-issues and just makes everything a little bit simpler by providing room access on guest’s phones.
‘Tech-savvy rooms’ was the next technological improvement. This could mean things like flat screen TVs to being able to stream Netflix. Creating an environment, that perhaps is different from the guest’s normal life, with new and up-to-date technology will certainly improve guest experience. Especially, if these guests are at these hotels for leisure versus business, having high-tech rooms improves the experience. Although, guests there for business also benefit because they are most likely fall into the category of someone who appreciates technology and its ability to make things more productive.
Competitive hotels, who want to go above and beyond, are investing in robots who can complete tasks like room-service and Starbucks deliveries. I feel as though this is more of an awe-factor. Meaning that there is still a benefit of having a person that is more in tuned to guest needs versus a robot. Especially, in a hotel, where their main business strategy is customer service and hospitality, robots could potentially decrease guest’s experience. There is still a lot of research to be done or how much robots should be implemented.
Other technologies being executed were things like ‘virtual reality’ that enabled guests to have 360 views of where they would be staying. During the online booking process, having virtual realities implemented in the hotel’s website can shift a potential guest away from a competitor’s page, because the guest can get a more realistic preview of what they would be paying for.
The leisure industry is currently doing well and so the hotels are becoming more competitive. Hotel technology is currently making a huge appearance in hotel strategies to stand out and improve guest experience.


Bryce Carrasco said...

The use of technology in the hospitality industry is essential in optimally managing relationships with customers in order to maximize the satisfaction of those whom are receiving the services. Information technology can be utilized in many ways in order to create the best CRM system possible. Managing CRM in the hotel industry specifically can be an extremely useful instrument for acquiring new customers and retaining existing customers that come back time after time to the same hotel because they like the service so much. Retaining frequent customers is extremely valuable because those customers ultimately create more value than new customers. Information technology can be used to evaluate the value of each customers and then manage the resources they are using in order to focus more heavily on those customers that create the most value. CRM can be used to increase customer feedback and to open the line of communication between the hotel and the customers. Communication between customer and hotel can be markedly enhanced through the use of IT by analyzing touch points between customers and evaluating the effectiveness in various touch points to identify the ones that are effective and the ones that are ineffective. Using data in a way that can identify trends in customer behavior and keep up with changing tastes and preferences as times change. This allows the hotel companies to remain up-to-date with the services that customers look for the most when choosing which hotel to stay at. Market research can also be used to identify different market segments that are most valuable to the company. The hotels can learn so much more about who is staying at their hotels and why they stay at their hotels through the use of information systems such as CRM networks and increased connectivity to the consumer. This enhances both the customer experience and maximizes the lifetime value of the customer which is one of the most important objectives of all hotel companies.

Bobby Austin said...

I agree that the hospitality industry should take full advantage of technology to increase their profitability. There are numerous ways for hotels to utilize technology, but I think that the most important aspect is how hotels are able to efficiently sift through feedback from different platforms to improve their CRM system. Jeff Robinson who writes for stated that "many companies in the hospitality industry are already using social media to their advantage as guests check-in on location-based social media apps, tweet about their experience on Twitter and share their holiday photos with friends and followers on Instagram and Facebook. This trend will continue and hotels can expect to see even more social media engagement from guests who use these platforms to give feedback about their experience, complain and give compliments about their stay. Hotel staff are also expected to provide feedback and address any complaints from guests in real-time" While accumulating data and feedback from guests is very valuable for the business, it can also backfire if it is not managed proactively. Potential guests could see a long term trend of issues by looking at customer reviews online which consequently could lead them to go elsewhere. Having a dedicated team to improve customer satisfaction through social media feedback platforms is an incredibly valuable way to maximize profits for each hotel.