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Tech tools hotel operators need most

As the hospitality industry ramps up for fuller capacity and summer bookings, there’s a flurry of upgrades and activity. In addition to new health protocols and regulations, many hotel operators realize it’s also a great time for a tech makeover. But where to begin?

While things have changed a lot over the past year, there are still necessary core essential tools for hotels. The key right now is realizing how to integrate change that best suits you, your guests and your operating budget.

Venue sourcing software:

Many traditional hotels and estate type properties balance their outreach between advertising and enhanced word of mouth via social media and reviews. But sticking to what worked until now also means that hotel operators could be ignoring potential guests. Even worse, groups and planners looking for something a bit different might have no idea of how to find them.

When event planners search for venues, they often start with tried and true solutions. It doesn’t matter if you hosted 40 successful conferences if event planners don’t know about it. By signing your hotel up for various databases, you automatically put your property in the running. You also have ways to easily update your promotions, include city guides or dazzle event planners with all your amenities and extras.

Cvent has a fairly easy sign up process along with intuitive tools to help you grow your presence. There are also guides for helping you figure out how best to offer virtual, in-person or hybrid events.

Hotel chatbots: 

In 2013 Expedia released a study where they shared the fact that potential travelers visit about 38 different travel sites in the month or so before booking a trip. Since that time there have been so many drastic upgrades to the industry that no doubt the competition has simultaneously become more fierce and sophisticated.

Machine learning is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a one-size-fits-all industries endeavor. Chatbots in the hotel industry can act as time savers, by offering weather, booking information or even menu details. Chatbots can also engage a potential guest who’s on the fence about booking, by presenting a fun or friendly virtual presence.

An article on HotelTechReport.com some more popular chatbots for the hospitality industry.

We think these could most help with hotels:

  1. Reservations agent chatbots offer a more personalized experience when booking or researching your property.
  2. Customer care chatbot allow hotel operators to monitor any customer service issues before guests take to social media to air their complaints.
  3. Local concierge chatbot helps your guests understand the local culture, hangouts and hidden spaces.

Another highlight of having your own chatbots is the increase in security and protecting your guests and their sensitive information, which leads us to our next suggestion.

Panic buttons:

If you’ve been following the changing legislation, you already know that it’s a matter of time before every hotel will have panic buttons for all frontline staff. And while in theory the process can feel overwhelming, it’s actually pretty easy to choose the best panic button possible. When outfitting your staff, keep in mind things like reliability, ease of use, shared network and an immediate understanding of next steps.

Another few technological updates that will attract and reassure guests include:

  • The cleanest stay possible. Smudged water glasses are no longer an annoyance to guests, as much as a reminder of a potential threat to one’s health. These days even the most casual hotel guest expects sophisticated cleaning and disinfection. Setting up an automated cleaning plan with an app that monitors everything from empty rooms to food spills should be a given at all hotels. Hilton even recently made an announcement about their partnership with RB (makers of Lysol & Dettol) as part of their CleanStay program.
  • Reliable wifi. Having a connected hotel room is no longer a luxury, but something almost all guests expect. Unless you manage a yoga retreat or tech escape, constant connectivity is a must.
  • Digital conference facilities. Along those lines, nearly all conferences rely on visuals, digital equipment and heavy use of AV. While most of us can figure out how to connect our smartphones to the provided projectors, it’s always a plus when the hotel can offer a seamless conference experience for both hosts and attendees.
  • Smart room keys. While it’s charming to offer old-school keys, most guests expect to be able to swipe a card or their phone to gain access to their room.

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