As we start to recover from the global pandemic, hoteliers are reimagining the guest experience as they gear up for the reopening of the travel and tourism industry. Hygiene standards and contactless services have become the number one priority. The likelihood of guest expectations changing is high as we, as a society, gravitate towards a more touchless and fully mobile-enabled hospitality experience post-Covid.
Accordingly, we are seeing accelerated adoption of contactless technology to reduce physical touchpoints for both guests and staff members. You may have heard of “touchless hospitality” as the way of the future – shifting from a nice-to-have to a must-have for hoteliers. But what exactly does it entail and how does it benefit hotels?
What is touchless hotel experience?
A touchless hotel experience goes something like this: guests will check-in digitally, receive a digital key and browse a digital catalogue of hotel amenities all from the comfort of their own mobile device. It is a guest experience with as minimal physical contact with surfaces in shared spaces as possible. From check-in to check-out, guests will be able to self-serve, self-explore and avoid queues or crowds for the duration of their stay. With technology such as touchless payments, guests can also review their room folios and settle any outstanding payments from the convenience of their own mobiles.
How does this benefit hoteliers?
Digital check-in/checkout processes can help provide a smoother guest experience right from the start of their stay and at the very end before departure. These two points are critical to ensure your hotel makes a strong first impression and leaves a lasting positive experience. This is especially beneficial because total impressions can have a huge bearing on how customers ultimately feel about their visit or stay – which in turn determines whether they recommend the hotel to their friends and family.
If you’re wondering about what systems offer digital check-in/check-out, look no further. IFCA’s HotelX offers a fully digital experience with mobile check-in/check-out, digital room keys, mobile payments, digital housekeeping requests, mobile F&B ordering, and more.
Digital room keys
The traditional lock and key systems are quickly becoming outdated because of security concerns as well as the cost of maintenance. Digital keys (such as RFID locking systems, code locks or Bluetooth key locks) and the use of smartphone applications are expected to create more seamless travel experiences and open up new avenues for hoteliers to stand out.
The digital key approach enables guests to check-in remotely through their mobile device and access their assigned rooms without the need to wait around the front desk for a physical key/card. Guests won’t have to worry about whether the keys are sanitized or about misplacing their keys. This approach also allows hoteliers to save considerably on the cost of keys and reduce staffing overheads on front desk operations.
Tailored customer service
Self-service frees up hotel staff from various mundane aspects of hotel operations – allowing them to engage in more meaningful interactions with hotel guests and pay more attention to their personal needs. This increased attention to guests’ preferences and personalised service helps to boost the guest experience, foster customer loyalty, and potentially generate more repeat stays.
Digital payment methods are here to stay as we see a trend away from cash transactions. This offers several benefits to hoteliers especially with the rise of digital credit cards, apple pay, and the like. Even if guests don’t carry cash with them or misplace their credit cards, they can still make payments. In addition, digital payments are also compatible with loyalty programmes making it easy for guests to redeem points for discounts and ultimately, purchase more.
Data analytics and customer insights
This digital approach leveraging on touchless hospitality also increases the opportunity to gather data on customer behaviour allowing hoteliers to gain a deeper understanding on their preferences and needs. With the relevant customer insights, hoteliers can curate more attractive packages, offer more relevant services and create more personalised guest experiences than ever before.
Touchless hospitality is a fast-emerging trend with a lot of growth opportunities. Hoteliers who embrace it ahead of the curb can get ahead of the competition and reap the benefits before it becomes commonplace.
If you’re interested to learn more about how you can take advantage of touchless hospitality now, contact us about HotelX. HotelX is touchless, hotel management solution that runs on mobile, internet cloud technology.
Visit our website and contact us today for more information.
Resources and Further Reading
Hotel Kiosks | Five Key Benefits of Self-Service Check-In/Out