When guests check into a hotel, they expect the latest and greatest technologies. At the very least, guests expect to find the same level of technology they have at home. The hospitality industry has caught on to this trend and hotels are constantly seeking the very best in guest-facing technologies.
In the midst of this never-ending race to satisfy discerning guests, new studies are reporting a seemingly-contradictory trend: Guests crave the conveniences of in-room technology, but they are not looking for these devices to replace face-to-face interactions with hotel staff. Below are three reasons why the most successful hotels are not using technology to replace staff, but are instead meeting guests at the perfect intersection of technology and personalized service:
1. People bring your hotel brand to life in ways technology cannot
In a recent J.D. Power and Associates’ study of North American hotel guests, data suggests travelers care more about their experience, which is greatly enhanced by face-to-face interaction with hotel employees despite the advent of new technology.
Overall satisfaction among guests who interact with four or more employees beyond the check-in process was 856, about 79 points higher than the average. Satisfaction dropped to 724 when guests had no interaction with staff beyond check-in.
Instead of replacing human interaction with technology, many hotels are finding that technology can elevate the guest experience while still maintaining the personal touch of the brand.
2. The role of your staff is evolving but it is not diminishing
The front desk and concierge are no longer the gatekeepers of information. Technology has empowered guests to find recommendations and on-property services at the touch of a finger. Staff and technology can work together to offer guests more ways to source and select memorable branded experiences.
One hospitality professional at Rosen College of Hospitality Management in Orlando, Florida puts it best: “The current role of the concierge is to provide information and services to guests. Their role will never diminish, but it’s going to be a much more specialized type of service that they’re providing.”
3. Luxury hotel guests still want to feel pampered
Even with advancements in guest-facing technology, guests at luxury brands still expect to be pampered and demand the services of your staff. As guest expectations rise, it becomes more difficult for hotels to provide the best individualized service possible. Many hotels are finding that in-room technology frees up hotel staff to focus on supplying the human interaction that brings the hotel brand to life.
Learn more about the evolving needs of discerning guests with our free 2015 Luxury Hospitality Technology Report: