Digitalized Guest Experiences & Contactless Technology
No industry is vigorously preparing for the post-COVID world more than hospitality. Many countries dependent on tourism are getting ready to restart their economies – bringing hotels, bars, restaurants, and more prepared for a new wave of travel-starved tourists.
That’s not to say that governments and travelers worldwide are no longer concerned with the disease, however. The last thing many hospitality businesses want is to be the epicenter of a new COVID outbreak. Many take precautions by bringing digitalized guest experiences into the fray, backed by the rise of contactless technology.
What are digitalized guest experiences?
Digitalized guest experiences are hospitality features traditionally served by humans being transitioned to a digital medium. Examples include check-ins, ordering food and drink customer service, and scheduling an entire holiday itinerary.
Many top players in the industry are shifting these hospitality practices to the digital sphere, streamlining guest experiences. Online communication platforms, mobile apps, and voice-recognition devices are seen more frequently. Most importantly – contactless technology is facilitating these transitions into successes.
How will contactless technology facilitate these experiences?
The rise of contactless technology is no stranger to the world, even before the COVID- 19 pandemic. Payments by NFC (near-field communication) have become quite regular by phone and credit card. Online platforms take bookings for restaurants, travel, and hotels. Voice-operated devices are even taking orders for drinks and foods in some establishments.
The events over the past year have certainly accelerated the development of contactless technology. Food delivery has become one of the significant proponents of the practice – where ordering, logistics, and receiving restaurant food is completed without a word spoken to anyone.
People are finding these experiences are more ideal for keeping tabs on establishment processes. Customers find it easier to communicate their wants and needs. Service workers have clear instructions, and the resulting feedback data helps businesses improve their offerings.
The benefits of contactless technology for all parties are channeling digitalized guest experiences to become the norm.
Examples of digitalized guest experiences with contactless technology?
There have been plenty of digitalized guest experiences tried and tested in the hospitality field. As establishments prepare for the new world – efforts are ramping up to remove human contact as much as possible. Some of the current examples of digitalized guest experiences with contactless technology are below:
Automated ConciergeThe automated concierge has been experimented with for a while now. A hotel in Japan named “Henn-na Hotel” is a key proponent, offering robotic dinosaurs at the concierge and doll assistants in every room to help. Bigger hoteliers such as Hilton continue to invest in these technologies to streamline the check-in, check-out, and customer service process.
Ordering ApplicationsDuring a break in restrictions in the UK over summer 2020 – pub chain Wetherspoons made it essential to order their food and drink via an easily downloaded app. All payments and orders were taken on the platform, making the process simpler for all involved.
Digital KeysLosing hotel keys were always a concern for guests. Now that human contact is trying to be reduced, hoteliers are looking to bring their entire experience online. We already book and check out with apps – why not allow access to a room with your phone? Prominent brands like Marriott and MGM are pushing this more and more.
Customer Service BotsCustomer service bots are regular featured in logistics industries to offer to track packages. Hospitality sectors are now adopting the same ideas. Apps and platforms are being integrated for guests to get answers to questions and submit feedback. It’s a much more practical way to provide solutions – with no need for any human interaction.
Digitalized guest experiences and contactless technology as the future of hospitality where digitized guest experiences were developed to reduce costs and improve hospitality workflow, they have become essential in the post-COVID world. Contactless technology has facilitated these practices into reality. Considering the advantages they bring over traditional guest experiences – it’s hard to see how contactless technology is not the future of hospitality.