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Due to the pandemic, hotels have given guests more of what they want: self-service, cross-device communications and direct messaging with staff. As people become even more used to doing everything with their digital devices, the guest preference for digital-first and real-time interactions only increased.
Guest messaging platforms. There’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to booking travel today. The guest messaging platform can build automation somewhere close that automatically keeps guests appraised of the latest travel updates. Then, when they’re on property, guests have a direct line to make requests and manage their experience. With a self-service communication channel in their hands, guests don’t feel inconvenienced by less staff. They prefer it: Added benefit for hotels: these platforms become ancillary revenue generators by facilitating room service and other add-ons.
AI-based chatbots handle many of the most frequent guest requests. To communicate with guests without face-to-face contact, the chatbot can handle guest requests and route them to a team member if needed. This type of guest experience automation is going to become more commonplace, as hotels eliminate repetitive tasks and focus human resources on the highest impact guest interactions. During the pandemic, when guests may be more inclined to stay in their room, chat bots also helped short-staffed kitchens manage incoming order flow. By not having to dedicate a team member to the phone, hotels can maintain service standards despite constraints.
Many hotels are reluctant to enable a contactless guest experience, as there was a fear of losing the human touch. The pandemic flipped that on its head: the fear of human touch drove hotels to adopt contactless as a standard operating procedure. That shifted everything: guests have more control over their experience, allowing them to self-serve when appropriate and to signal for help when needed. Contactless gives guests control — and also makes operations more efficient. And it’s not just at check-in and checkout. Contactless resonates across the operation: For instance, when restaurant guests can split the bill between patrons on their smartphone, it’s easier on staff, who don’t have to process several cards at a POS station.
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“The 2021 HotelTechIndex Market Leaders Report is created by HotelTechReport.com based on insights collected from 10,227 hoteliers globally during the annual survey period. No company has paid for inclusion in this report and every vendor featured is included based on data from verified hotelier product reviews. Whistle has a 12-month non-transferable license to leverage this content for the purposes of marketing and lead generation. You may find the original copy of this guide at https://www.research.