Every year presents new technology trends and forecasts for the hotel industry. Some gather attention without being very substantive, while others offer hotels something truly new, solving the specific problems hoteliers face.
From a customer perspective, the hotel experience has become increasingly fragmented, with a multitude of touchpoints that don’t necessarily contribute to the overall experience. The result is customers who feel increasingly disconnected with the hotel brand, reducing brand affinity and loyalty. Hotels that respond by trying to offer more value face the problem of perks quickly becoming standardised. Free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfast and discounted dining are relatively easy to put a dollar figure to and are easily compared across hotels.
An alternative way to build loyalty involves offering a truly personalized experience, which can’t be replicated because each visit presents a unique opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind experience based on what you know about your guest. In the past, personalising guest experience has been a manual process for hotels. Now, major technological advances have transformed the concept of ‘personalisation-at-scale’ from a pipe dream into a reality.
Today’s customers are more educated and have more choice than ever before. Their customer journey with your brand happens online, on social media, through word of mouth, and in-person. Your guests retain context of their experiences across every interaction they’ve had with your brand; but does your brand retain context across every touchpoint you have with them?
The winners in this new era will be the brands who are cutting-edge enough to take risks, and visionary enough to leverage the right technologies in the right ways and integrate them together, to create a seamless omnichannel experience. We know that guests are wired and ready to go. They have the devices and the platforms that allow you to connect with them directly. Their tastes and preferences are broadcasted for everyone to see. The ball is now in your court to create a unique connection.