Promoting the Value of Personal Interaction in the Hotel Digital Age

By Adrian Kurre Global Head, Homewood Suites & Home2 Suites by Hilton | April 16, 2017

Co-authored by Alan Roberts, Vice President and Global Head, Embassy Suites by Hilton

‘Little Data’ Make a Big Difference

All customers are on a journey: they dream, shop, book, pack, arrive, stay, etc. The more we know about that journey, and how guests feel at each point along the way, the better we become at minimizing any points of friction and enhancing the entire experience. Technology has made it easier for travelers to talk to real Team Members at our hotels about their needs and desires – telling us what they want with every tap. We can then put that information to action, acknowledging our guests in unique and unexpected ways.

For example, a group booking a stay online for a family reunion or wedding celebration could be greeted with a personalized welcome banner on the day of their arrival. Even small gestures based on this “little data” can go a long way to boost the guest experience. When a couple books a stay to celebrate their anniversary, a list of romantic restaurant recommendations ( including on-site options ) could be provided at the front desk or left waiting in their room. We believe that if you deliver exceptional hospitality and use technology to make guests’ lives easier, they will keep coming back.

Hilton Honors is another avenue for the collection of valuable information on preferences and tastes that can be used to personalize guests’ experiences. Hotel brands just need to determine the best systems to use this insight in a way that creates personalization at every opportunity and within every corner of the hotel.

Making a Good First Impression

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Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.