Is Digitalization Transforming the Hospitality Industry?
The pace of change in the hospitality industry is high. The good news is that innovation provides a valuable opportunity to improve operational efficiency and customer experience.
FREMONT, CA: The digital transformation that is taking place is changing the way things are done. Since customers ' demand for better service increases, the hospitality industry is adopting these innovations at a speed that was not previously known to meet their expectations.
Hotels automate and simplify the travel process, starting with finding a place to stay, reserving, and using services to ensure that guest experiences are more seamless. The industry is being changed by innovations such as one- or one-tap check-in, smart in-room applications, electronic concierge software, and enhanced straightforward booking engines.
However, with millennials dominating the world, tech-savvy travelers enjoy the use of applications and mobile websites for reservations of restaurant tables, booking of massages or spa treatments, and ordering room services. No wonder hotels are pressured to digitize their facilities for more personalized communication, to meet the needs of millennials.
The field of payment is another significant transformation. Customers expect a variety of transaction options. According to a Booking.com report, some 20% of consumers do not make reservations because their preferred method of payment is not available.
Advanced transaction systems offer customers a wide range of payment options at their point of sale and provide customer experience without friction. By safely vaulting account in a mobile app (e-wallet), hotels can use tokens to securely approve transactions so that customers need not re-enter card details for each transaction. This simplifies the transaction and dramatically improves the customer experience.
Most hotels are planning to develop loyalty programs. They also started to leverage consumer data to predict tastes and foresee what each customer wants. Travelers are searching for more tailor-made services and deals. Hotels can use technology to provide a more customized travel experience that may lead to higher customer loyalty.
Other hotels have already begun to incorporate advanced technology such as smart power systems in order to voluntarily minimize light bulb power during daylight hours. Hotels can track their guest's tastes and offer more curated advice by using the AI and ML algorithms.
Many technological advances include identification, from facial recognition to fingerprint scanning and retina, which accelerates payment processes and check-in or check-out processes. The virtual reality system enables potential customers prior to their reservation to experience their hotel room. Chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) will answer the most common questions from consumers, freeing the employees to deal with other more complicated matters.
The hospitality industry has already been maximally changed through digitalization. Nevertheless, much technological breakthrough is still to be accomplished.