Customer experience has always been the focal point of the hospitality industry. Guest feedback – especially when good – is the most acclaimed validation any hotel can aspire to receive.
In a business that depends on how its customers rate their services, getting to know in depth the thoughts and experiences guests have is crucial.
Many examples from other industries provide a broader picture of how technology can simplify the functionality of companies to the benefit of their employees and clients.
As AI, IOT and robots take over most tasks, the question comes to mind: how can the tools the hospitality industry now possess, help enhance overall customer experience?
With this panorama, never before has the access to technology been so critical and how can we ensure that human capacity is still necessary for hospitality?
While societies are becoming increasingly digital, our industry needs to constantly remind itself that we work on a baseline that will never change: the human experience.
And as it is, human experience can’t be replicated to its full extent by machines – a personal touch, one that will leave a mark on a customer, requires the presence of a trained staff member with the tools and knowledge to successfully supply it.
Interaction is Communication done well
It all starts with how well the hotel manages guest interactions. The foundation of all good reviews and customer experiences is the communication that is established with guests. Great guest service will always depend on human intuition; it may well be the final frontier that automated services won’t able to ever reach.
Good service is sensing and flexible – it adapts to guests’ needs. Intuitive services are developed through constant communication and attention – a quality no automated service can provide.
Now, since we have established what areas of hospitality still require human presence, we need to find which are the areas in which experience – both for guests and hotel collaborators – can be enhanced with the aid of technology.
Some of the newest platforms that have been developed allow for certain tasks that were handled strictly by collaborators to now be automated processes that make checking in, waiting times, and comfort much more efficient.
Automated services for tasks like reservations, handling guest requests, and goals like increasing overall collaborator mobility are a few of the examples that hotels around the world implement with mixed bag results. It either works very well or guests are impatient that they are not recognized, left waiting etc.
The automated answering phone system has allowed many hotels to use digital tools as a way to simplify tasks. This is particularly helpful for reservations that need any type of confirmation and that would’ve required the presence of a phone operator with ample availability to deal with off-hour clients.
Guest Requests: Mundane to the Exotic
Everybody knows how difficult it can be to handle certain requests from guests, mainly because of the level of specificity and velocity they require. Since the integration of digital platforms in which their requests are directly received by the specific department that is in charge of addressing the issue became a standard, the capacity in which a hotel can take care of them has increased tremendously. This is a true enhancement in productivity and guest satisfaction.
What I believe is the clearest benefit these digital tools provide for clients is the way in which they expedite most processes. Now, with the click of a button, a guest can check into a hotel without the need for a staff member.
And even in cases where they prefer to have a staff member guide them through the process, the collaborator is not confined to a desk anymore: the introduction of desk extension devices allow them to help guests with their check-in from any physical location in the premises. Additional mobility is always well appreciated.
Digital Revolution at M Social
As part of this digital revolution, here at M Social we are continually seeking feedback from guests that will turn into data.
The main focus of hospitality should always be making a guest have a remarkable experience; when they leave, they should feel as if all their needs were covered. With the addition of digital tools that are specifically created to cater to their needs, we can attest to the advantages they provide for our business.
In the end, it’s all about choices. For guests, having the option of deciding how and when they would like to use technology as part of their experience; for us, it should be seen as an aid to our daily purpose of serving them efficiently.