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Why a Combined Human-Centered, Tech-Powered Approach is Key to Mastering Hotel Communication

While next-generation technologies continue to shape the hotel industry, a hospitable approach remains core to evolving business model.

The hotel industry is constantly evolving, and with it, the potential for technology to better the guest experience. Hospitality companies today are seizing the opportunity to introduce next-generation technologies — accommodating both guest and hotel staff — and demonstrating a new type of innovation that thoughtfully merges hospitality and digital service. It’s here, through a combination of tech solutions and human interaction, where the industry is going to find the most success.

Connecting with Today’s Global Traveler

An uptick in travel following the pandemic introduced new opportunities, as well as frustrations, for today’s global traveler. To address, the hospitality industry is working through solutions that promote a more seamless experience, from online booking through the on-property stay. For example, mobile apps are one solution that travelers are embracing. In fact, according to Hilton’s 2024 Trends Report, 76% of global travelers indicated they appreciate travel apps that reduce the friction and stress of travel.

In that same vein, as more innovations create efficiencies, customer demand for speed in communications and operations increases. For brands seeking to enhance the guest experience, the ability to meet each customer’s communication preference is paramount. Whether it be the digitally-native Gen Z and Millennial demographics who expect seamless tech integrations or the Gen X and Baby Boomer generations who prefer more personalized service, hotels must incorporate alternative methods of communication to meet individual guest needs and preferences.  

Another Trends Report finding indicates that, for 80% of global travelers, being able to utilize personal devices seamlessly with on-property technology is important. To address this customer need, Hilton is rolling out a new, mobile messaging platform. Guests now have the ability to message on-property staff at all Hilton hotels worldwide, enabling frequent, real-time interaction before, during and after their stay. 

Achieving the Best of Both Worlds

By understanding how guests want to be communicated with and approaching them through their preferred channel, brands will be able to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty. A combination of digital self-service, where it makes sense, coupled with human hospitality for key moments is the optimal solution for meeting the majority of guests' needs.

While the integration of a digital messaging solution empowers property staff to engage with guests in real-time, it also offers a slew of other benefits. For example, through automation in messaging, it frees up time for front desk staff and encourages more intentional interactions with guests throughout their stay. In addition to managing guest needs while on-property, it also allows hotel staff to connect with guests leading up to and following their stay, allowing for increased levels of engagement that ultimately make the guest feel valued.

Furthermore, the integration of new technology presents the opportunity to gain insights at scale, benefiting the customer by allowing the property to act quickly and appropriately. By gathering guest insights captured through messaging conversations, hotels can use this intelligence to further personalize the guest experience and enhance the quality of its customer service.

The industries most eager to innovate will continue seeking compelling applications for the latest technologies; however, the ones that find success will be those that are able to find the right balance between building customer-centric value on the latest technological enhancements while also building on the trust and social connectedness expected in hospitality. Just ask the 86% of travelers seeking personalization, both in experiences and interactions, to ensure a reliable and friendly stay in the new year.

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