With almost all industries showing interest in introducing Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to their workplaces or work processes to make several operations automated and more productive, the hospitality businesses are no more an exception now. With hospitality IoT solutions, hotels can provide a comfortable and more personalize stay to their guests.
Let us understand how IoT solutions will help hotels improve customer experience.
Hotels have to have direct interaction with customers, otherwise said as guests in the hotel-industry terminology. Unlike other industries, the customer or guest feedback in the hotel industry does not have to travel so long to reach the service or product provider. It happens immediately. And what makes guests’ feedback positive is the quality of service they are offered by a hotel. If they are satisfied, they will naturally provide positive feedback that would help future customers to choose a particular hotel.
Traditional approaches say nothing impressive about how to satisfy a customer but IoT does. An IoT solution for the hospitality industry can help a hotel understand customers’ past patterns and behaviors, and suggest customize services that, for sure, would satisfy customers.
With IoT hotels can bring in a variety of automated solutions, from booking a room to checking out, to smartphone-based controls of various amenities, appliances, and a lot more. Rooms in a hotel can be comprised with multiple responsive IoT systems, apps, and devices that communicate to deliver an optimized and personalized hotel experience to guests.
Enhanced, personalized customer experience
Every business gains a significant competitive edge when it personalizes the customer experience. Same happens with hotels too. Guests feel good when they are greeted automatically while entering their rooms or when they enter their rooms and lights are switched on just by sensing their presence. Guests enjoy the level of personalization when rooms understand them through their preferences and open curtains, control temperature, play music, and so on.
By offering this level of personalization hotels win the loyalty and recommendation of customers. Also with IoT, hotels turn them innovative, modern and comfortable to attract more customers.
Reducing operational costs
It takes a lot of spending to maintain and provide the high quality guest experience. But hotels have to keep their expenditures in control to maintain their profit margins. From energy consumption over lights and several other appliances to people serving guests, hotels have to reduce operational costs to stay profitable. But it’s hard to manage these things without the support of technology. IoT is the technology that can provide the best possible automation to a variety of hotel operations and reduce costs.
Predictive/ preventive maintenance
Hotels provide services to their guest with the support of a number of appliances, but they fall into trouble when these appliances suddenly stop functioning. In this situation, guests express their dissatisfaction with hotel services and in result, provide low ratings. Low ratings then affect future customers visiting the hotel. Because customers pay to have maximum advantages out of their limited stay at a hotel, they have no business with a hotel’s problems.
But how is this type of situation developed? It happens because something stops functioning in guest rooms and, the hotel does not have any idea that it would happen. But what happens if a hotel can already have the information that a machine or appliance needs maintenance or service? This can happen with IoT-driven predictive / preventing maintenance approach. Many businesses in other industries are already using an IoT for predictive / preventing maintenance solution. Hotels too can use it and keep tabs on all the appliances and machines contributing to hotels to provide highly satisfied services to customers.
Bluetooth, GPS and beacon technologies can also be used to create an IoT environment to deliver location based information to hotel-customers. Many hotels are already using these technologies and their blend to send messages to customers at the time they need them the most.
This may mean in a lot of ways; for example, sending notifications to customers about discounts or offs when they are close by a hotel or providing updated information about local transport links, or nearby attractions. Businesses can merge IoT and geo-location data together to better optimize staffing.
Electronic key cards
Most of the hotels use the typical lock-key system to unlock rooms, but IoT can make it a bit sophisticated with the use of a wireless, keyless door opening that can be controlled via an app installed in mobiles. Hotels can send an electronic key card directly to a guest’s mobile phone. Taking this technology a step further, hotels could send an electronic key to a guest with using internet an before the check-in time and sync it with the check-in desk. This will not require guests to wait on the check-in desk as they will already have a key in their mobiles and, they could bypass the whole check-in process and go straight to their rooms.
Voice-controlled customer service
Last but not least a hotel can also implement voice-controlled customer service to deliver superior customer experience. A voice-controlled room assistant, for example, can allow a customer to request room services, or book a table on his behalf, or book a spa session just by uttering to do so to the device in his or her room. Some hotels like Best Western, Marriott, and Wynn are the early adopters of this sort of service.