Top Tech Solutions That Can Help Hotels Improve Guest Experience in 2024

A Close Look at Top Tech Solutions in the Hospitality Industry

In the digital age, technology has radically transformed the operability of hotels in different areas, providing previously unconsidered opportunities to improve the guest experience. Technology can enhance the customer experience in ways we don’t often think about. In-room entertainment options, modern tablet-controlled rooms and TVs in the bathroom mirror are certainly appealing, but technology can also have a huge impact from an operational standpoint. 

The guest experience starts before they even book a room, and similarly, it doesn’t end when they leave your property. Nowadays, there are many points of contact with customers, and that is why it is important to always make a good impression. Hotel solutions or property management software with an internal management area that is intuitive and efficient can very positively affect your guests' experience.

This comprehensive Guide of Webelight aims to delve deeper into the importance of hotel management software, outline the key features to consider and provide a step-by-step roadmap for choosing and implementing the right solution to revolutionize the guest experience and hospitality in 2024.

The Role of Technology in Hotel Guest Experience

Smart adoption of technologies by hotels can help you differentiate yourself through a more satisfying customer experience. Without a doubt, technology is an infallible ally to offer a much better customer experience than what you can offer traditionally.

From the moment a guest makes a reservation and is assigned a room until their departure. Technology can help automate and optimize different processes that, although some may not be seen externally, help each customer have a superior customer experience. Of the many benefits that technology has in the hotel industry, one that can be highlighted is the ease it offers to the customer from the moment they want to make a reservation. It facilitates processes such as allowing you to request the reservation on dates in which there is availability, consulting the necessary data so as not to have external dependencies when it comes to knowing its situation, etc. 

From the moment you register until you leave the room, thanks to the use of mobile applications or web pages, you can go from knowing which room you need to go to turning off the lights or controlling the temperature of your room. These technological innovations greatly improve the customer experience and provide the customer with autonomy that they did not previously have.

How Does it Translate into the Internal Management of the Hotel?

A good working philosophy that takes advantage of the benefits of unique data greatly helps to ensure the success of a satisfactory experience for guests. By having the hotel connected to the different systems it requires, a flow of information can be created that covers everything from creating reservations to managing room cleaning. Effectively coordinating the different available departments and generating quick responses to customer needs is a surefire formula for satisfaction.

Optimizing operational tasks through hotel technologies is another key aspect. From efficient inventory management to staff coordination. The best technology can help hotels reduce their operational times significantly, reducing their cost. In turn, this allows the hotel's focus to be on providing a more human and personalized service to guests.

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One of the most exciting technology trends facing the hospitality industry is the rise of robotics and the use of robots to perform tasks traditionally performed by humans. According to TechNavio’s hotel robot market analysis, the global hotel robot market size is projected to grow at a CAGR of 12.13% through 2027. For example, robots can take on a concierge role within hotels, welcoming guests and providing them with important information.

Top Technology Solutions to Improve the Customer Experience in Hospitality Industry 2024

If, after reading how the best technology can help the Hospitality industry, you want to make the most of the advantages that technology offers, we offer a short list with some practical tips for its implementation:

Right Hotel Technology for Your Business

1. Digital Check-in

Digital check-in technology has increased by 66% and shows no signs of changing. Hotel guests have become accustomed to the flexibility and convenience of digital check-in after a long trip. With digital check-in technology, hotel staff can streamline the check-in and check-out process by sending documents in advance, receiving guest signatures via email and SMS, and creating customized websites to manage guest information. Travelers accustomed to digital communication will be delighted to skip the long lines at the front desk and submit their information before arriving at the hotel.

 

2. Automation with artificial intelligence (AI)

The staff shortage in the hospitality industry has highlighted the importance of AI automation. Guests are accustomed to instant messaging and expect immediate access to information.

AI-powered messaging—with chatbots and SMS—can now understand what guests need and suggest actions or responses to help them, such as initial greetings, suggesting a later check-out time, or sending a post-stay survey. Additionally, AI can enhance the guest experience by providing personalized recommendations for tours and activities or serving as a central answering point for questions, helping independent properties that need concierges or are short-staffed. AI can also be used on the hotel website to streamline the booking process and increase direct bookings by interacting with guests in the chat feature.

 

3. Keyless Access to Rooms

The trend toward keyless room access has accelerated in recent years. So much so that physical keys have become a thing of the past. Today,  46% of travelers say keyless solutions are an important property feature for them. That statistic will continue to grow over time.

Keyless room access allows guests to skip check-in and check-out lines by entering their rooms using their mobile devices. Admittedly, some guests are not entirely comfortable with the security of this feature, but solutions on the market are encrypted and record the guest's unique phone number. Plus, the code expires as soon as the guest checks out.

 

 4. Digital Guest Registration

Digital guest records are replacing paper hotel binders in a simple, contactless way so that guests have all the information for each hotel. One of the biggest benefits of digital guest records is the ability to offer personalized experiences to people staying at the hotel.

For example, your hotel can create a custom, branded guest website where guests sign in with their unique registration documents to access their digital keys, purchase items, and make room upgrades. This feature is easily accessible from a mobile app. This allows your guests to create their own experience and reduces the burden on your staff through self-service features.

 

5. Flexible PMS System

The hospitality industry is moving to a hybrid model of accommodation, which combines different types of inventory within the same property. For example, The Pad Silverthorne combines shared rooms, private rooms, and furnished apartments in one property.

This diversity has been enthusiastically embraced by travelers. However, it creates a degree of complexity for hotels. A flexible PMS that allows properties to expand their offerings and accommodation types is imperative to keep up with this industry trend. Hybrid properties require a PMS that integrates other technologies to achieve the operational flexibility they need, such as pre-arrival check-in, keyless access, and messaging platforms.

 

6. Integrated Payment Processing

According to the US Research and Markets report, the global contactless payment terminal market was worth $13.23 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $51.07 billion by 2026. That’s a lot of money. We’re talking about quadrupling the total global contactless payment market.

Properties need to switch to modern, integrated payment processing systems that accept multiple payment methods and contactless payment methods to keep up with the latest trends. Integrated payment processing speeds up the booking process and reduces time spent on manual reconciliation.

 

 7. Internet of Things (IoT) Technology

The Internet of Things (or IoT) is the connection of objects using Wi-Fi and sensor-based applications. IoT technology is central to what are often called smart rooms or smart hotels. These properties incorporate devices that communicate with each other, which is what makes them smart.

 

8. Translation technology

It’s no surprise that 76% of online shoppers prefer to purchase in their native language. In the travel industry, hotels communicate with travelers who speak many languages every day.

Translation technology can be implemented on the hotel website messaging platform to communicate with potential guests in their language. This technology automatically translates requests into the guest’s language, to immediately answer questions and convert website visitors into guests.

 

9. Virtual Reality (VR) Tours

Guests aged 18-34 are 130% more likely to book if the hotel website offers a virtual tour. Virtual reality is a computer-generated simulation of a hotel that can be interacted with in a way that resembles the real thing or a physical one. VR tours of your hotel rooms and amenities offer travelers peace of mind when booking and result in longer visits to your website.

 

10. Sustainable Solutions

A Booking.com survey of over 300,000 travelers found that 73% of travelers in the U.S. value sustainable travel. 44% said recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices.

Sustainability is paramount from a guest perspective, but also from a business perspective. An estimated 6% of lodging companies' operating expenses go to utilities, of which 35% go to paying energy bills. Using smart technology, such as thermostats with sensors to control temperature and occupancy sensors to reduce energy expenditure, can save you a ton of money.

 

How to Choose the Right Hotel Technology for Your Business?

How do you choose the best and most relevant technology for your hotel? Can this process be simple considering the scarcity of providers available on the market who promise to solve your problems? Let’s check out some of the best hotel technology solutions for your business.

 

1. Mobile Trends - Increase in Voice Searches

Mobile is still growing as an online booking channel. 35% of all online bookings are now made using this device, while on platforms such as Booking.com, this figure even exceeds 50%.

Within these reservations, the number of people searching by voice is growing, as it is a much easier and more natural way than searching by handwriting, and devices such as Alexa or Siri have accustomed users to asking for things simply by speaking. Hotels and tourist accommodations that structure their websites for this type of search will have a clear competitive advantage.

 

2. Keep Infrastructure Simple

Unlike the past where expensive on-premise systems were used, today's technologies focus on cloud-based software solutions as they are simple and easy to implement. In addition to ease of configuration, these systems can be maintained and accessed from anywhere.

 

3. Choose the Right Integrated Technology Options

What's the point of having the best technologies unless they integrate well enough to properly communicate with each other? The Hotel property management systems (PMS) need to talk to the Channel Manager to break down silos, so you can spend more time delivering guest experiences.

 

4. Access Available Technology Analytics and Reports

Automated reports and detailed information are available through the technology, which not only makes your tasks easier (as creating and modifying reports in Excel sheets can be time-consuming) but also provides you with error-free data, so that can do the right thing. 

In this sense, travelers are prioritizing their trips. According to SiteMinder’s 2023 Traveler Report, 87% of travelers worldwide  will spend additional money on something other than accommodation. Adjustments will be made, but people will still pay more for convenience and a good overall experience.

 

5. Sign Up For User-friendly and Easy-to-use Technology

Particular attention should be paid to the user experience of the platform you are considering. Not only should it be efficient and time-saving, but it should also be simple and easy to use. It is always a good idea to test the technology before purchasing it and evaluate its usability. A feature-rich platform that is difficult to navigate and requires constant training to work is not ideal in any scenario.

 

6. Analyze Service and Support

It is important to ensure that you have access to active support from your technology partner, as failures do happen. After all, it is technology, but with the right service and support, you can easily ride this tide.

 

7. Look Around and Evaluate the Options

It is a good idea to do a SWOT analysis of the features of each platform before purchasing it. Mapping these features to what you will use, and also comparing offerings from various technology providers, will help you decide which technology is best suited for your needs.

To make the most of your marketing and revenue management strategies, hotel technology is a must for all hotels these days. The tips in this article will help you select the right technology partners for your business so you can streamline your processes.

 

8. Power of Feedback

Guest feedback will continue to be of great value in 2024. Reviews will continue to be the driving force when it comes to convincing a traveler to make a reservation. Therefore, developing a feedback and review strategy should be among the priorities of every property as it has great power to generate (or cancel) reservations. According to SiteMinder’s 2023 Traveler Report,  49% of Hotel travelers  expect to find reviews on the property’s website, making it easy to get all the information in one place.

 

Conclusion

Technology is here to stay, playing a key role in improving the guest experience in the Hospitality industry. By leveraging the available digital tools, hotels can begin to automate processes, optimize operations, and even improve experiences so that their guests have the best stays they can imagine. As long as a balance is maintained between human quality and technological efficiency, hotels can rest assured that their guests will leave quite happy with their stay.

Technology is the way forward to find innovation in the customer experience. Contact us to learn more about how Webelight can help your business improve customer loyalty.