Whether they’re hitting the road for pleasure or business, today’s travelers are looking for the same technology conveniences they enjoy in their own homes and offices. That is, they want connectivity and convenience, and they want it now.
That’s why we see so many businesses working to streamline their services through technology by offering Wi-Fi, apps and other devices that foster interaction and improve the customer experience. Some have taken to calling it the “digital customer experience.”
How important is technology to customer-service businesses? Very.
One company reviewed 53 million online reviews. The most commonly cited word in those reviews (more than 2 million times) was “Wi-Fi.”
Research indicates hotel and motel guests rate quality Wi-Fi over almost anything else these days, including the quality of breakfast. (You thought the cool, self-service waffle-maker was enough to guarantee a return stay? Nope.) Guests use their smartphones or tablets to stay in touch with friends, search for attractions or book travel arrangements, and they expected a perfect Internet signal as much as they expect a toilet that flushes.
According to Hospitality Technology, the firm Magnani Caruso Dutton surveyed 1,000 consumers about how hotel amenities that could make them return again for their next stay. Seventy percent of travelers said a “hotel’s website, app and other digital tools impact their decision to book a stay.”
But websites, apps and Wi-Fi aren’t the only ways hotels are engaging guests through technology.
Push-button Paging Brings Service Closer to Guests
One way hotels are incorporating more technology to better serve customers is with push-for-service paging systems.
While guests are relaxing by the pool, service is literally at their fingertips. Instead of waiting for a server to stop by or – even worse – getting up and looking for someone, the guests can simply press a button to page a server. Devices are weatherproof, so they’re perfect for poolside convenience.
Guest Pagers Ease the Waiting, Boost Revenue
Few things put a greater damper on the hotel check-in than having to wait for a room to be ready. Hotels can ease the wait with the use of paging devices that free guests from the front desk.
Instead, they can check their bags and take a small pager to the hotel’s restaurant and bar or enjoy the spa or gift shop until the room is ready. Pagers offer the added benefits of eliminating congestion at the front desk and boosting revenue in other parts of the hotel.
Tablet Surveys Allow Hotels to Stay in Touch With Consumer Sentiment
Most people these days are used to staying plugged in 24/7 – via smart phone, tablet, or both. Because customers are so accustomed to those devices, it makes sense to start asking for feedback with tablets.
Whether the tablet is installed in rooms, presented in hotel restaurants after a meal or at check out, hotel managers can get instant feedback from a larger pool of their guests with a customized digital survey tool. This is much more effective than asking guests to fill out reviews after they leave or, worse, fill out comment cards.
With real-time data, managers can monitor service levels over time and pinpoint areas that might need improvement.
Those are just a few ways that today’s leading hospitality businesses are raising the bar on the customer experience through the use of technology. Vying for customer loyalty now goes beyond customer service.
Find Out More About New Technologies Enhance the Customer Experience
Complete the form below to download the free eBook, The Value from Technology, for more detail about how using technology can improve the guest experience while making you more efficient.
Jason Barge is a marketing manager at LRS and an expert in communications for the hospitality industry.