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17 May 2024 | 11:00

The rise of technology in hospitality

Hotel door smart technology

Technology is rapidly changing the hospitality industry. Theoretically, this movement should improve the customer experience – but the question remains: is the technology helping or hindering the experience?

When your organisation embraces hospitality technology that aligns with both customer and staff preferences, you are more likely to reap more benefits. Effective technologies streamline processes, optimise task management, and leave customers satisfied, resulting in enhanced productivity, seamless communication, and increased customer loyalty.

Failing to adopt technology, not only means missing out on these benefits but also risks diminishing your organisation's competitiveness. Yet, when equipped with the right technology, hospitality organisations can enhance efficiency and streamline processes, ultimately improving customer satisfaction and revenue.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the rise of technology within the hospitality industry and outline the latest trends.

Looking to compare options for your business? Head over to our hospitality and leisure services page.

What is hospitality technology?

Hospitality technology is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of IT, software, robotics, e-commerce, and other technological tools used in the hospitality industry. These technologies are typically employed to achieve business objectives, address challenges, and enhance the overall guest experience.

Why is it important?

The right tech offers versatility, making it very important to the industry. Whether it is employed to streamline processes and maximise efficiency or elevate the guest experience and improve loyalty, technology plays an increasingly important role in hospitality. This growing reliance on technology not only enhances operational efficiency but also assists organisations to remain competitive within the industry. 

Trends in hospitality technology

Rise of self-service technology

Organisations within the hospitality industry are increasingly rolling out self-service technology to allow guests to complete tasks independently. 

For instance, when guests arrive they no longer need to wait in long queues or even speak to a person at all. Instead, guests can use electronic kiosks to check in or make an order. Likewise, smartphones can be used to make payments, enter hotel rooms, make requests, order room service or even control the TV.

This self-service is attracting people, as the consumers can do things in their own time with just a click of a button or even make requests using voice activation, and not have to wait around to be served. ⁴

Hotels now can use smart sensors and hotel apps to allow guests to reserve parking spots in advance of their arrival and have their space assigned to them. This gives a much smoother guest experience, not having the stress of having to find a suitable parking space in a busy car park, from the moment they arrive. ¹

Increased personalisation

Within the hospitality industry, technology is being used to offer an improved sense of personalisation. 

Before even setting foot in a hotel or restaurant, consumers can go online to see customer reviews and recommendations. Guest expectations around personalised service are getting deeper and more demanding, and with the use of online customer reviews, consumers can hand pick the best options for them just from hearing about others’ experiences. ²

The use of hospitality technology can be used to improve customer satisfaction. In fact, according to The 2019 Smart Decision Guide to Hotel Property Management Systems, 89% of hoteliers "agree" or "strongly agree" that targeted personalisation is one of the best ways to improve the guest experience. As part of this personalised technology, guests are presented with highly relevant messages, offers and services at the right time to improve the guest experience and, ultimately, guest satisfaction, loyalty and favourable brand advocacy. ⁵

 

Use of artificial intelligence (AI)

There has also been a rise in using AI in the hospitality industry. Today, consumers expect timely, personalised, and knowledgeable interactions with organisations. To address this, some hotels are using AI to improve the customer experience. Here, AI is being used to improve guest communication fulfilment time while decreasing problem resolution time. 

Going forward, AI can be used in the hospitality industry to improve the in-room experience. For instance, a guest’s room could be automatically set up with a level of precision that would eliminate the need for human help. Devices could be used to update the room with personalised music, temperature and lighting settings, while anticipating the need for room service or specific information requests. They can also be used to predict which hotel or outside services and activities would be of interest to guests, on an individual basis. ⁵

Augmented reality (AR)

Recently AR has emerged as a tool to increase customer satisfaction in hospitality. This technology allows the industry to enhance the physical environments and create memorable experiences. For guests, AR can be used to create an interactive hotel room whereby they can see a map of the room's interior before check- in. Additionally, AR is being used to entertain guests in other ways than the typical activities of a pool or recreational activities. For example, guests can use their smartphones to point to different areas and see realistic virtual depictions of celebrities in the hotel. ³

 

Task management

The benefits of using technology in the hospitality industry are not only experienced by the guests, but workers too can take advantage of this trend.

Software programs can be used to instantaneously track, prioritise and communicate any task that needs to be performed. By improving task management, problems are fixed faster, people receive prompt communication, and all the needs of a hotel, resort or restaurant can be tracked. With the availability of the cloud, task management platforms can be available to any employee on any device. ²

Benefits of a cloud-based task management software:

  • Workers are empowered by real-time data communication tools, available both online and offline through tablets, and mobile devices
  • It significantly improves the customer experience as the workforce operates more smoothly
  • Improved organisation and productivity.


At The Barcode Warehouse we can provide your business with cloud- based software and hardware. Enquire about our cloud-based solutions today!

Enhanced employee connectivity

“Hoteliers are finding a clear and direct correlation between task management automation, improving guest satisfaction scores, and optimising RevPAR.” ²

Recently there has been a positive trend for hoteliers to adopt more back-of-house solutions that enable staff to perform their tasks better. Similarly, there has been a realisation that guest-facing and staff-facing technologies are equally important to the customer experience. Using technology in the hospitality industry as a means of keeping staff informed and communicating priorities throughout their shift ensures workers are working proactively. ²

Need a smart device to keep your staff connected? Explore our range of mobile computers.

Data-driven customer experience 

In the hospitality industry, there’s increased emphasis on data-driven personalisation to enhance the guest experience. Task management software can be used by organisations to store information about a guest’s past visits and preferences, allowing them to anticipate their needs and better understand their wants, preferences and needs. When used correctly this technology can eliminate or drastically reduce consumer complaints and improve the overall consumer experience, building customer loyalty. ²

Find a solution that works for your hospitality organisation with The Barcode Warehouse 

It is clear that hospitality technology is being used to improve the customer experience and enhance employee and task management. At The Barcode Warehouse, we have a whole host of solutions designed to optimise and simplify processes within the hospitality and leisure industry. Our expert team can provide tailored recommendations to help you select the ideal hospitality solution that suits both your requirements and budget. 

Unsure what solution is right for your organisation? Visit our overview hospitality technology page for a summary of what’s possible and get in touch today.

Sources:
¹ Attala, J. (2019). 10 ways smart technology is reshaping the hotel industry. [online] Hotel Management.net. Available at: https://www.hotelmanagement.net/tech/10-ways-smart-technology-reshaping-hotel-industry [Accessed 18 Apr. 2019].
² Phocuswire.com. (2019). Task management automation takes hold in hospitality | PhocusWire. [online] Available at: https://www.phocuswire.com/Task-management-automation-takes-hold-in-hospitality [Accessed 18 Apr. 2019].
³ Potter, K. (2019). How Augmented Reality (AR) Is Reshaping the Hospitality Industry. [online] IoT For All. Available at: https://www.iotforall.com/how-augmented-reality-ar-is-reshaping-hospitality-industry/ [Accessed 18 Apr. 2019].
⁴ Williams, C. and Savage, P. (2019). Technology in the Hospitality Industry – Have We Gone Too Far? | By Court Williams & Paul Savage – Hospitality Net. [online] Hospitality Net. Available at: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4092507.html [Accessed 18 Apr. 2019].
⁵ Zabin, J. (2019). Using Hotel Technology to Make Guests Feel Special and Appreciated. [online] Hospitality Net. Available at: https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4092887.html [Accessed 18 Apr. 2019].

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