10 hospitality technology trends to watch in 2022
The term hospitality refers to the friendliness and generosity of a host towards guests, and it’s an absolute must-have in the hotel industry to stand out in a saturated market. By implementing the right technology, hospitality businesses can enhance guest experience, as well as provide seamless management and increase revenue. Technology is always advancing, so it’s imperative to stay on top of the trends; read on to discover 10 hospitality technology trends to watch in 2022.
- Property management system
In the past, hotel businesses managed oversight of their operations using cloud computing. Now, hotels need to use a property management system (PMS) - “the core operating system that can streamline operations whether you're a vacation rental to a massive resort with dozens of outlets” (Hotel Tech Report). Each system varies, but hotels generally require features for making automated reservations and bookings, a payment platform and reporting dashboard. A PMS should also manage operations as well as tasks for housekeeping and maintenance. Having a PMS will reduce the number of mistakes made and enable more automation across the entire business.
- Online booking system
An online booking system can be integrated into your PMS and link to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) - third-party websites - as well as your own website platform to market room availability. The more sites that list your rooms, the more business you’ll receive, as long as your system is joined up to avoid double bookings. You’ll take bookings in real-time from a global audience. As it’s automatic, your staff won’t need to spend time processing bookings and sorting rooms manually, as they'll instead work on more efficient tasks which helps you cut costs.
- Virtual check-in
Virtual check-in systems were already popular before the pandemic, but restrictions accelerated the need for contactless experiences. Moving forward, hospitality businesses will need to adapt to new security and hygiene requirements, according to SALTO Systems access control solutions. Virtual check-in allows guests to check themselves into your hotel before or on arrival, thus reducing the number of staff required. Having a friendly face at your front desk is welcoming, however, there are times when your concierge is too busy fulfilling customer requests that they might leave a new arrival waiting too long. This leads to a bad first impression. Additionally, if your staff can’t communicate with guests due to language barriers, this will negatively impact the customer experience. Consequently, virtual check-in is a win-win on both sides.
- Access control solutions
Access control solutions, such as keyless entry, provide even faster check-in experiences. Guests will feel satisfied receiving their keys on or before arrival. The latest advancements in access control technology mean that these solutions are now available on smartphones, and your team won’t need to deal with lost keys again! Integrate access control solutions into your system and grant guests access across your site. Whilst guests manage their stay, you’ll stay on top of security; access control solutions log people coming in and out of your buildings, including external service providers.
- Smart rooms
Hotels are a home away from home. With more households purchasing smart technology, including voice search, smart heaters and lighting, it’s about time hotels implement this technology into their spaces too. Smart technology is more accessible for a wider audience. It’s also much faster, so it improves customer experience. Smart rooms can be energy efficient; according to Stasher luggage storage, hotels that install smart lighting and climate control systems can save up to 20% in energy costs, and cut their carbon dioxide emissions by 70%. As energy prices are currently higher than ever, this is surely a smart solution for hospitality.
- Guest apps and devices
Equip guests with an app or device in their rooms and, with a touch of a few buttons, they can order room service, book a spa treatment or purchase additional housekeeping services. This increases sales, as guests are more likely to purchase upgrades and add-ons if they can do it online with efficient touchpoints. Avoid disappointment by showing restaurant availability, and provide the option to book a table via your guest app. Overall, providing a guest app and devices enhances their stay.
- Collecting customer feedback in real-time
According to our recent blog post on how to increase customer experience in a hotel, 81% of travellers read reviews before booking a stay. They want to ensure that your hotel is up to scratch and provides amazing guest experiences. Subsequently, you’ll need to capture guest reviews. Many businesses send customer surveys after guests have checked out, however, this results in a low response rate as customers won’t be incentivised to respond. Consider collecting feedback in real-time. With YOOLOX Insights, guests can respond to one question in exchange for a wireless charging session. Their answers are collected in the insights dashboard, where you can fully understand the overall customer experience and make improvements accordingly.
An exciting trend in hospitality technology is the rise of robotics. With contactless options, robots make guest experiences safer and more hygienic. Robots also offer guests novel experiences; they’ll enjoy the interaction with AI. Using robotics will cut costs, as you can programme them to offer multiple functions including housekeeping, room service and concierge. Consequently, your team can focus on higher value tasks and manage operations more effectively.
Guests will always have plenty of questions to ask when they first arrive at your hotel; where can I find the gym? What’s the best public transport to explore the city? What time is breakfast? With chatbot solutions, your staff won’t need to spend time answering the same questions over and over again. Predetermine frequently asked questions and store them in your system. Your online support hub can also resolve issues, including anything that’s broken or essential items missing from a room. Requests are raised in real-time, so your team can fulfil them faster and provide overall positive guest experiences.
- Device recognition technology
To create more personalised experiences at your hotel, use device recognition technology to save guests’ preferences and favourites. With the YOOLOX ordering system, your guests can order food and drink as they wish, without leaving their table. Returning guests can see their favourites and order them again, the personal experience will make them feel more loyal to your hotel brand.
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