Tech Talk

Recent posts

Over the past six months, this column has focused mostly on hospitality technologies and issues that were triggered by COVID-19. Innovation has flourished during that time, from both established industry technology providers and from startups. At last count I had identified nearly 300 startups in the space since the beginning of the year, some of them with very interesting technologies.

As outlined in our previous article, cleanliness is dominating the headlines within the hotel industry, with a number of press releases on new initiatives from all the major chains. The landscape has transformed quickly, to help keep up with the standards this article will summarise the basic principles of cleaning and sanitisation of guest rooms and how that can be achieved quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

Decreasing Stress
Posted: 09/14/2020

Stress does not come without your invitation. It is self-induced by our perspectives of what is occurring in our lives. We all have stress, and the less of it, the more happiness you experience. Life is about living day to day.

When you are going to search “blog topic ideas”, it will not give you the interesting ones. The web is occupied with companies that have bigger budgets than you and can churn out the content every day. And if you are going to put your time into creating and promoting a blog post, and hope to get results, you need to figure out what you are best suited when it comes to the blog topics. So here is what the most recommend:

Writing this column every two weeks typically takes me on a journey of discovery. I learn about innovations, find new technologies, and look at a wide diversity of products. Inevitably this involves a lot of web research to identify both core technologies and applications, and the different vendors offering solutions.



want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.

x
 

Is the Age of the Hotel App Over?

10/28/2016
by Brendon Granger

A few short years ago, mobile apps were being heralded as the next big communication tool in the hotel industry. But in a presentation at this year's HITEC, it was argued that the hotel app might be coming to an end.

It seems a dramatic assessment considering all the potential mobile apps promised, and yet it turns out that hotel apps just aren’t delivering meaningful value.


The Trouble with Apps
In reality, most apps that are downloaded end up being abandoned or not used at all. And despite the fact iOS and Android have over 3.1 million apps available for download, a recent study showed that customers spend 80 percent of their time using just three of them – Facebook, Google and the text messaging app.

Apps are also expensive to build and maintain, putting them out of reach for a great deal of independent hotels.

And then there is the issue of awareness. When a guest checks into a hotel, they may have no idea that the property they’re staying at even has an app – and it’s unlikely most people would go out of their way to check.

But as apps are being written off, a new opportunity is arising. In the hotel industry, it seems the future of guest communication lies in messaging. Around the world, messaging has become the dominant way people communicate with friends and family. Whether it’s chatting over SMS, or keeping in touch through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, messaging has become ingrained in everyday life.

For hotels, it makes sense to engage with guests via a platform they use frequently, rather than trying to persuade them to download an app they may never have heard of. The one-to-one nature of messaging also provides a platform to build more personal relationships.

And of course, messaging also opens up the ability to offer far more responsive and effective customer service. If a guest needs a light fixed in their room, wants fresh towels or wishes to book a table at the hotel restaurant, they can easily make that request using their own phone – anywhere, anytime.


Growing Popularity
In 2015, Starwood Hotels started using WhatsApp to communicate with guests. Then later that same year, Hyatt became one of the first brands to use Facebook Messenger as a customer service platform.

More recently, a significant number of brands have started communicating with customers via text, and companies such as Glowing.io are helping hotels streamline their operation by interacting with guests across various messaging platforms.

Slowly but very surely, hotels are starting to embrace messaging and chat apps with greater confidence and as they do, it seems this form of engagement will start to become more commonplace across the industry.


The Challenges of Messaging
While the benefits are numerous, introducing messaging into the guest experience also comes with a few challenges.

Just like making customers aware of a mobile app, hotels similarly need to let customers know they can use messaging to engage with the hotel. This can be achieved relatively easily: a welcome message at check in or a room-ready notification could initiate that first conversation and prompt further interaction.

As the HITEC presentation pointed out, hotel staff will also need to deal with an increased expectation from customers that requests will be responded to quickly. This will naturally involve putting in place effective systems for managing this extra flow of interaction.  This is where companies such as Glowing.io come in. While there are certain educational and operational challenges to be considered, it’s clear that messaging represents an altogether more efficient, consistent and cost-effective way to communicate with guests. In addition, language translation also benefits international guests allowing them to communicate back and forth with the hotel in their preferred language.


Huge Potential
As mobile apps are being written off, messaging looks set to shape the future of how hotels communicate with customers. In fact it’s predicted that within just 2-3 years, talking to hotels using SMS and chat apps will no longer be seen as the exception but the norm.

The potential for hotels is huge.

With global ubiquity and ease of use, messaging provides a ready-made platform to offer enhanced levels of customer service. It also provides the opportunity to forge a stronger relationship with guests – professional in tone, but more personable in nature.

If hotels can harness its true potential, there’s every reason to believe messaging could truly revolutionize the guest experience in the years to come.
 
 
About The Author
Brendon Granger
Director
Technology4Hotels


With a great passion for all things hotels, but in particular technology and a desire to help others, his role as director at Technology4Hotels allows him to do both.

Brendon has worked with hundreds of hotels to help them with their in-room technology. In the last few years he has helped them to increase guest satisfaction, strengthen guest loyalty and encourage repeat bookings as well as win awards such as the best business hotel, best city hotel, best upscale hotel and best luxury hotel in Australasia.

Always going the extra mile, Brendon began his hospitality career over 25 years ago working in five-star hotels whilst completing his bachelor of business in hotel management. He has held various management positions within five-star hotels, worked as a consultant in both hotel feasibility and technology and has an extensive background in hotel technology.

 
Comments
Blog post currently doesn't have any comments.
Leave comment



 Security code