The disruption of COVID across all business sectors and life globally in 2020 has caused industries, especially those working in hospitality, to reset and reevaluate strategies for growth. The transition of face-to-face interactions into communicating across screens has shown that staying connected is incredibly important to move forward.
It can be said that existing tech (i.e., Zoom, FaceTime, etc.) plays one of the largest roles in allowing businesses to be flexible and remain connected in an ever-changing climate. This has never been more true for the hotel industry. Technology has already grown in recognition for its ability to connect people. Now it will be up to hoteliers to take advantage of contactless communication and how it can help with day-to-day operations internally and for the guest experience.
Regaining the trust of travelers in 2021 will rest on hoteliers’ commitment to creating a comfortable environment (i.e., contactless capabilities, communicating cleaning measures, etc.) and equipping staff with the ability to uphold the standard of the guest experience in the new state of travel. Current technology holds the answer for hoteliers to successfully do both.
A personal touch minus the face-to-face
Translating the personal touches that have driven guest loyalty in the past into a contactless landscape has proven challenging. Technology holds the power to help the hotel industry find success within the new state of travel. Mobile devices have become not only a valued form of talking to one another but also the preferred method of sourcing and storing information.
Over the next several months there will be an influx of hospitality-focused solutions that will speak to convenience and accessibility. Services such as keyless entry, mobile check-in, and chat apps will simultaneously allow for adaptation to a contactless experience without taking away from personalization. For example, hotels that enable a guest to text for room service, ask Alexa to set-up a private tour of a nearby nature center and empower staff members to respond to requests in real-time via chat service will set themselves apart from the average stay. Current technology, which has already been widely adopted by consumers, opens more pathways for a unique and individualized guest experience.
A digital tool that works to assist every team member
Many hotels around the world that have begun welcoming back guests have not been able to bring back their full team upon reopening. Instead, the onus has been placed on a smaller staff to implement heightened cleaning measures, monitor for new protocols from health authorities, and ensure an enjoyable stay for each guest. This is where finding the right tech partner comes into play. Platforms that work as digital assistants to help employees organize and manage daily tasks allow a smaller number of employees to maintain their large workload.
Solutions that have been designed specifically with the hotel industry in mind can create a steady flow of information across various departments, share work order needs in real-time, generate awareness around new health and safety measures, and more. The use of a centralized platform will help hotels establish accountability and empower their teams to successfully manage the day-to-day.
One thing that the past several months has shown us is that we have the power to remain connected and adaptable when we use the tools available at hand. Hoteliers who work to align their strategies with guest-focused technology and organizational software will find themselves better prepared to adjust when needed. While contactless and the need for more all hands-on deck in managing daily operations will continue to grow throughout 2021, so will the ability for technology to help fill in these gaps.