We’ve seen many changes and pivots in the hotel industry in the face of COVID-19. Fortunately, there are existing innovations within hospitality that have made managing pandemic regulations and protocols more manageable. As normal travel volumes return in the future, the widespread adoption of pandemic-era hotel technologies will become the standard as they have proved their weight in gold in terms of efficiency and user experience. Most of all, these technologies offer a personalized guest experience, which has been so important for adding a human touch in this contactless world. Here are the most popular pandemic-era hotel technologies we expect are here to stay.
Physical hotel guest ledgers have long gone the way of the dodo. At the heart of your hotel tech is a PMS that can synchronize all your systems to offer a streamlined operational and guest experience. The pandemic has suddenly made nearly everyone tech-savvy and applications that previously may have been met with some hesitation are now a necessity. Mobile property management systems (PMS) streamline hotel workflows and help create a guest experience where everything they need is at their fingertips. From booking through to post-stay communications, a mobile PMS can automate all guest touchpoints. On the operation side, a mobile PMS improves internal communication, frees staff from the front desk, and can give management personnel secure access to data from home, to keep things running efficiently and contactless.
>>Contactless Check-ins: Touch-free technologies reign supreme in the pandemic era. With contactless check-in capabilities, you can now welcome guests sans hand sanitizer by using secure digital registration cards that can be completed through WebRezPro’s guest agreements feature online before arrival. With payment gateway and keyless entry integration, or integration with an external contactless check-in solution, your property can provide guests with a completely automated check-in and check-out experience.
>>Contactless Ancillary Purchases: The contactless experience extends to ancillary charges, too. Instead of requesting in-person payment for spa treatments, restaurant meals, or gift shop purchases, you can reduce contact further through direct room charges. WebRezPro’s room charges feature makes applying incidental charges to reservation folios quick and easy, but integrating your PMS with your POS (point-of-sale) system fully automates this process for maximum efficiency and accuracy.
The human touch in a contactless world has become more important than ever. One piece of tech that has made that possible is personalized guest messaging technology, allowing hotels to communicate with guests the way guests are used to communicating–via mobile messaging (SMS, messaging apps, and online chat). Guest messaging solutions make managing guest messaging easy, using a single dashboard.
An important piece in the communication puzzle is automation, further making guest messaging manageable. When integrated with the PMS, routine messages like welcome/check-in messages can be personalized and sent automatically without adding extra work.
Guest messaging solutions help enhance the guest experience before, during and post-stay. In addition to personalized routine messages, guest messaging solutions can offer the ability to broadcast messages to all guests in real time, automate targeted upsell offers, implement AI-powered chatbots, as well as manage manual real-time chat. WebRezPro offers direct integration to leading guest messaging solutions, including Whistle, Akia, ALICE, Zenya, and Ivy.
Until hotel housekeeping can be performed by Roombas or robots, mobile housekeeping apps can help boost your housekeeping department’s efficiency and communication. While hotel cleanliness has always been a priority, guest expectations are higher than ever during the pandemic era. Using a mobile housekeeping app, you’ll boost efficiency and accountability as staff can view and update room status directly from a mobile device. Integrated with the front desk, real-time room status updates and alerts ensure guests are never checked in to a room that’s not ready!
While we joked about robots, touchless sterilization robots have been invented for hotels in response to COVID-19! Cbot dispenses sterilization fluid through an in-room autonomous IoT robot to kill pathogens on contact. This is not a replacement for regular housekeeping but rather used as an additional safeguard for employees and guests alike. Or check out this robotic linen cart that delivers linens for housekeeping and retrieves empty carts to maximize efficiency and reduce human interaction.
Speaking of robots…room service robots and hotel robot butlers have been around since well before the pandemic. But the use of robots and AI in the hotel industry has changed gears from novelty to necessity for hotels that can invest in them. The main appeal, of course, is the ability to provide contactless customer service excellence coupled with self-service convenience. Robots provide both value and delight from robot concierges to robotic room service to robotic TUG for luggage.
Smart Rooms & IoT Technology
Hotel smart rooms level up the guest experience by offering the opportunity for personalized comfort. In addition to the convenience of using their mobile phone to open their room door thanks to keyless entry technology, imagine your guest slipping into comfort as they adjust their room’s lighting, temperature, music, etc. from their mobile device to make themselves at home. And when guests may be spending more time in rooms than before, it just may be smart room technology that will keep them returning again and again.
In addition to repeat bookings, hoteliers love smart rooms because the technology saves money in the long term by streamlining operating procedures and saving energy. For example, IoT technology can increase or decrease light bulb brightness based on the room’s natural light levels, or automatically adjust the heat based on room temperature.
What tech have you put in place since the pandemic? What technologies were you already using that have become even more useful now? Let us know and we will share your comments on our social media @webrezpro.