A Positive Guest Experience Starts With Power
Experience is a hot topic in every industry and vertical. Millennials and GenZ are much more concerned with experiences over material possessions and this shapes what they expect from hospitality brands. This is a discussion that is now echoing around the offices of companies across the globe.
But what does it mean for hospitality? What does it mean for the guest? And how will technology play a role in how these experiences play out?
Let’s look at the recent CES show in Las Vegas where innovation and trends were centered around Connectivity (5G and IoT), personalization (AI), convenience (virtual assistance/ride share) and of course mobility (ride share), all of which drive the ever-increasing need for convenient electric power.
Besides the obvious, such tablets and music devices, we also had at one extreme a flying taxi drone from Uber through to an electric toothbrush that fully cleaned teeth in 8 seconds (a dream for parents). In between, we had all kinds of domestic and work devices. The conclusion is inescapable: the world has gone mobile in every aspect of its lifestyle and most of that world is dependent on electricity to power it.
As more and more devices spread into even wider areas of the environment, the differences between the behaviors of the various demographics that hospitality serves will disappear. As an example, it’s widely professed that early adoption of tech has been driven by Millennials, however when looking at how it has been adopted in other groups like the cruise line market for instance, we find the drive comes from the 55 to 75 age group who are massive users of Facebook as a way to communicate with their grandchildren. The regular check-in and message that Nana and Grandad are in Orlando and going to Disney World is vital for the grandkids. In this case, we mustn’t get distracted by the fact that Millennials are leading the way, us oldies are starting to pick up the pace, too. The valuable lesson being, know your audience.
Convenient and easy access to power is now underpinning the guest experience and is the foundation for both connectivity and therefore digital communication and engagement is in the same position as Wi-Fi was ten years ago. Customer choices on venues such as hotels, restaurants and gyms are being influenced by how easy it is to keep personal devices charged. Having more devices that are portable such as vacuum cleaners or power washers means that we need to recharge them where they are used, not having to take them to central locations to charge them. How does that affect the guest experience? In the hotel parking lot, it means you bring the power washer to the car not the other way around. I, as the guest, don’t have to be inconvenienced.
Any number of hotels, theme parks, camp sites, and sports venues are excited about the revenue opportunity that electric vehicle charging brings to them. They can charge fees to customers for using a charging point or they can encourage guests to choose their hotel because their parking spaces allows guests to charge the car while also using their venue.
As technology progresses and far field charging becomes available, it could become possible that guest devices could begin charging simply by entering a certain area; they'll no longer need to even touch a charging point.
If we then add the location and analytics opportunity, we have more customer understanding. Tracking dwell time and possible overcrowdings can offer better usage of staff and resources by allowing people and staff to know where bars, restaurants, tables are free, where special offers are available.
Restaurant and hotel locations become more attractive to the guest as queues become shorter, food, beverage and other inventories are always well-stocked, and the amount of staff working accurately reflects need. Guest experience is improved and maintained by all of the above.