How to Deal with Guests Who Use Google Glass

By Brandon Dennis VP of Marketing, | August 11, 2013

Tech bloggers predict that Google Glass, the computer you can wear on your head like glasses, will be available to consumers by as early as Christmas 2013. While we don't know how popular this new product from Google will be, many theorize that Glass will be the dawn of a new age of wearable device technology, reaching similar adoption rates as the tablet and smartphone technologies before it.

If true, then hoteliers will have to adapt to the technology quickly, just as they had to adapt to smartphones and tablets. The following are some ideas to think about for dealing with guests who use Google Glass, and possible opportunities to market your property.

Focus on Customer Service

Google Glass includes a camera that can both shoot pictures and record video, which users activate by saying "Ok Glass, take a video", or by simply winking. Moreover, Glass can instantly upload these photos and videos to the Internet. This means that your guests can record their conversations with your front desk staff and publish them to YouTube in minutes.

Currently, when guests have a problem with your hotel, they tweet about it, and it's basically their word against yours. Scandals usually occur when the hotel responds poorly. But with Glass, guests will have entire recorded conversations, and the poor choices one hot-headed employee makes in the heat of the moment, caught on film forever, could cost you your business.

Make sure your customer-facing staff understands the implications of their daily choices, and train them how to talk with guests who have concerns. This training will be essential when Glass hits.

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.