The growing high expectations of the twenty-first century traveler provides hoteliers with new opportunities to build customer loyalty through the personalization of the hotel guest experience. In addition to the personalization made possible through mobile apps, smart technology applied within guest accommodations can further improve the guest experience.
The implementation of smart or “connected” technologies, sometimes referred to as the Internet of Things or IoT, is transforming the in-room guest experience. The connected technology enables guests to control, either through their own mobile device or one provided by the hotel, all aspects of their hotel room. Environmental controls, such as lighting levels and room temperature may be set by the guest to their preferences. Services including ordering room service or requesting more towels can be accomplished by simply touching a screen.
The guest’s setting preferences may be saved and then be reverted back to hotel selected standardized settings upon check-out. Whenever the guest arrives at the hotel for their next stay, these preferences can be re-set and returned at will. These technologies can be even further enhanced with the utilization of voice and motion activation. Smart technology, through sensors in the room, can tell hotel housekeeping staff when a guest is not present in a room in order to prevent awkward intrusions. Additionally, sensors will inform front desk staff when the guests have checked out.
Travelers are now bringing their own entertainment content with them on their mobile devices. They desire television access to their various content services such as Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix. Smart televisions provided in-room will enable hotel guests to access their digital content. Added benefits such televisions offer is the elimination of external cable or satellite boxes and greater control for the hotel of content they provide. Some hotels are also revamping their in-room telephone systems with voice over IP (VoIP) phones. These also offer further options for guest personalization.
Hotels themselves also benefit from the implementation of these various smart technologies. For example, a hotel can garner substantial savings through the energy efficiency offered by smart thermostats and sensor technology, which detects the presence of hotel guests. The trend in hotel guest personalization is only going to grow as the demands and expectations of hotel customers are raised by the expansion of smart technologies. Hoteliers would clearly stand to greatly profit from their adoption and integration.
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