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344405-0-PersonalizingGuestExperienceThr

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344405-0-PersonalizingGuestExperienceThr
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  As technology continues to drive the expectations of consumers, hospitality managers are faced with the need to perpetually upgrade their services in order to meet demand. Hoteliers have to stay current and informed if they are going to make smart decisions and accurately weigh the benets against the costs. An in-depth study conducted through Cornell University by   Dr. Rohit Verma, Dr. Spring H. Han and Lilia Karimi,  has shown some surprising results regarding upcoming tech trends and their impact on the hotel industry in the days to come.Today’s client clearly isn’t just looking for access to email. Hotels must now cater to multiple family members with numerous dierent devices that rely on wi- signals for everything from secure nancial transactions on their laptops to online games and video streaming for their children’s tablets, suggesting that strong, reliable wi- is no longer an option for hoteliers. “When we looked at people’s willingness to use new technology,” Verma said, “we used to ask, ‘Is it their age inuencing their readiness? Is it their education, their gender, or their income?’ What we are nding now is that all of those demographic dierences are going away.” Regardless of hoteliers’ ability to keep pace, customers are beginning to expect these services and providers must be aware of their capabilities and their costs in order to ensure they make the appropriate choices for their establishments. In the pre-arrival stage, Verma said, customers are nding value in QR codes  that can be scanned with their smart-phones, and cloud-based digital marketing systems  such as Buuteeq®, which oer responsive web design, booking options and integrated analytics hoteliers can use to tailor their websites to their clients’ needs.  Come check-in time, customers are trending towards self-serve kiosks and online check- in , although, Verma said, customer desire for a traditional, human concierge is by no means in danger of becoming obsolete. “The old format of going to the desk and checking in, that’s still there, and many people continue to use them, but increasingly, people have the ability to check in using dierent options.” Emerging mobile check-in apps can be useful in up-selling room upgrades and late checkouts, and innovative door locks can recognize the unique radio frequency of a customer’s mobile phone, alleviating the need for a room key.Despite the fact that hotels are spending less this year on in-room technology, the demand remains for luxury hoteliers to provide something unexpected to their guests. Some hotels have taken to providing guests with iPads to use for the duration of their stay, complete with built-in apps to control the temperature, lighting, television, music and blinds  inside of their suites.  Verma also said that the waning popularity of the hotel business center has been turned around by innovations which are making them more sociable and interactive. Food and beverage services have been added in many high-end hotels, and many now include iPads, tablets and laptops for guest use. Kimpton’s Eventi property in New York, he said, oers a “ business bar ” that includes iPad minis for guests to use, and guests are given the opportunity to reserve devices of their choice prior to arrival. Tablets have also proven useful to housekeeping sta   in Hong Kong’s “Upper House,” where they are used to determine whether guests are currently in their room, communicate requests from guests  and allow sta to translate requests to their preferred language.  Restaurants in upscale hotels are providing waiters with tablet-like point-of-sale systems that allow them to send orders to the kitchen while still at the guests’ table. Nobody can say for certain what the future will bring in terms of emerging technology , but Verma said that the customer preferences will continue to evolve along with it, and  a broader range of people are embracing it . “When we tried to link this scale back to individual demographics, their age, income, gender, and such, we found nothing signicant. Which means you could have a 60 year old man or a 16 year old girl, and they could easily have the same preferences in technology.”

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Jul 23, 2017
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