10 Ways to Innovate & Transform a Hotel’s In-Room Experience
Technology is about human empowerment. It’s about customers having as much control over their experiences as possible. It’s about adapting to the specific needs of users. In hospitality, the smart, digital, next-gen environment drives the in-room experience.
Over 60% of hospitality execs believe the quality of the guest experience would be significantly improved by enhanced in-room services. Meanwhile, 70% of guests want to use technology to enhance their overall experience. As a result, hotels are working overtime to create more adaptable, tech-driven in-room experiences.
The hotel room is a massive innovation opportunity for forward-thinking properties. How can brands deliver real customer value? Here are 10 incredible ways to innovate the in-room experience, based on real guest preferences and expectations:
- Customize messages and offers: Nearly 75% of guests appreciate custom messages and offers. Consider, for example, a list of nearby activities based on a customer’s TripAdvisor ratings. For business travelers, consider personalized reminders about upcoming meetings or conference show happenings. Guests should also be able to instantly initiate conversations with experts should they have any questions.
- Offer transaction/interaction history: Imagine guests being able to opt for transcripts of recent interactions so they don’t have to initiate new conversations or repeat the same information. The copy could be sent to either their personal or in-room devices. This could also be a history of transactions during their stay, with the option to pay using their mobile wallet.
- Automate check out: Consider guests being able to automatically schedule check outs for a specific time. With the touch of a finger, they can take care of their departure plans. Meanwhile, housekeeping and front desk workers can receive notifications about the status of each room so they can streamline operations.
- Support online table reservations: Consider featuring daily menu specials that reflect guests’ dietary restrictions and/or affiliations. Imagine guests being able to view table availability and make reservations with the touch of a finger. If they have a question, they should be able to seamlessly initiate voice, video or chat sessions with dining room staff.
- Provide exclusive loyalty member perks: Consider how you can further differentiate service for loyalty program members with exclusive perks and incentives. For example, special coupons or discounts (a preference noted by 85% of loyalty program members) or points/rewards for social media likes (noted by 58%).
- Deliver amenity control: The traditional hotel room transforms into a connectivity hub with increased amenity control. Consider, for example, guests being able to use a hotel’s wireless printer right from their rooms, or being able to see a real-time count of people using the fitness center. This kind of visibility and management is key for amplifying the overall guest experience.
- Provide in-room control: 71% of guests want a smartphone or tablet to control their in-room needs (i.e., TV, curtains, thermostat). Consider the ARIA Resort & Casino, which allows guests to automatically control their curtains, climate, lighting and “Do Not Disturb” status. Guests can even set a mood to their room using a “Scenes” feature, and coordinate alarm clocks with the opening of their curtains.
- Support location-based offerings: Nearly 75% of hotels surveyed in 2016 reported plans to implement location-based technologies within the next year. Consider, for example, location-based coupons, noted as a preference by 70% of guests. Or, location-based alerts (i.e., open tables/machines, spa availability, golf course tee times), noted by 64%.
- Offer activity-based services: Imagine customizing the in-room experience based on guests’ in-room activity or knowing when they enter and leave their rooms. Tracking location can help significantly improve quality of service. However, be sure to consider guests’ level of comfort—60% express some level of concern about hotels tracking their location and movement. Overall, 80% want to control how their personal information is used to tailor their experience.
- Streamline surveys/reviews: Customer satisfaction data is vital to improving the in-room experience. Let guests take a satisfaction survey, or leave a review through reputable sites like Expedia and TripAdvisor, right from their rooms before checking out. This is especially important for loyalty program members, cited as a preference by 72% of such guests.
Now, how can hotels begin seamlessly delivering this advanced in-room experience? This largely depends on the tools and technologies that are implemented. Learn more about how an open, customizable desktop device can support next-gen initiatives in “A Look at the Radical New Desk Phone You Never Knew You Needed.”