“We should never get to the stage where we replace human interaction. Technology should enable and make processes that have taken too much effort become seamless, or connect us globally to make us better service providers.”
- - Justin Malcolm, GM of Aloft Bangkok
With recent developments of self-serve check-ins and mobile room keys, the amount of time hotel personnel interacts with the guest seems to be dwindling. While this may seem counter-intuitive for a service industry, the technology is actually enabling better, more personalized interactions that lead to more memorable and pleasant experiences - in short, technology aims to take the friction out of the guest experience.
Prior to arrival the concierge checks-in with the guest and finds information from previous purchases to help assemble a welcome basket. Lyft picks them up from the airport and alerts the hotel how far away they are and what the guests look like.
Upon arrival the concierge greets them by name and has a song from their Spotify account playing as they walk in. The guest walks to the button-less elevator which senses they are coming through their smartphone and opens automatically, then takes them to the correct floor. A reader-board outside the elevator tells them where to go to find their room, and the door swings open when they approach it. The bed senses their sleep patterns and alerts the kitchen as to when they should take up breakfast, which will probably be delivered by Botlr.
Post-Check Out the guests receive a guest satisfaction survey that first asks them only about the concierge, then about their hotel stay as a whole. With this system, the concierge can have a file of positive guest reviews to add to his portfolio.
While some of this technology may seem intrusive, it is not far off from the direction hotel tech is going. Through each of these steps, technology is leveraged to give the guests a memorable, luxurious, and seamless high-touch service experience. When these technological advancements are implemented correctly, the hotel industry will be able to create a better relationship with their guests, and introduce invisible hospitality to the world.
What are you doing to eliminate friction in the guest experience?