When it comes to the hospitality industry, getting the basics right is a prerequisite for any radical innovation programme. The reality is, no matter how much hotels spend on implementing the newest solutions, most customers will always choose cleanliness, comfort and great customer service over a polished booking system or a revolutionary app. And while there is a wealth of exciting new travel technologies on the market, only brands that have already mastered the customer experience basics are in a position to benefit from more transformational tools.
One of the examples Peter cited was Premier Inn – a company showing how to do digital right. Long before their app was launched, Premier Inn had achieved stellar customer reviews. Their Good Night Guarantee was a stroke of genius in terms of positioning, and actually delivering on what matters to customers – a comfortable bed and a good night’s sleep. Their app then served as added value, aimed at further enhancing the customer experience with simplified check-in, room temperature and lighting controls in-app, and enhanced discoverability of the local area to aid guests’ general travel experience.
For hotels that mastered the basics, investing in customer-driven technologies that streamline processes like checking in and out, updating old-fashioned systems for locking rooms and personalising guest experiences are a good place to start. Employee communication and knowledge sharing systems are another crucial, though often overlooked element. They can pay a real dividend, ensuring efficiency and service consistency.
New technologies do not have to be revolutionary, but they should definitely be augmenting already brilliant basics. Gimmick technologies that give a temporary PR boost are likely to be ‘a colossal waste of money’.
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