Must-have technologies for hotels

Technology

Usage of technology is now one of the most crucial elements for sectors around the world as they help to save time and increase efficiency. The hospitality industry has incorporated the use of technology in their day-to-day activities to streamline tasks resulting in customer satisfaction. Additionally, inculcating softwares helps to cut down on operational costs and the number of complaints that are received from customers.

Having a hotel management tech or a workflow management system such as WrkSpot in place has multiple benefits that are of utmost importance now more than ever. With the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s essential to implement operations that can run without the need for physical contact with one another, right from check-ins within the hotel to taking service orders at restaurants.

Currently, there are various kinds of softwares available in the market which have replaced multiple operations that previously required physical intervention. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Panic Button
Technology is constantly evolving and emerging with newer and unimaginable ways in which it can enhance human lives. One such technology that is a must for hotels and the hospitality industry as a whole, is the presence of the panic button when it comes to employee safety. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is approximately 6% decrease in turnover in the hospitality industry. At many instances, it has proven to be a lifesaver when employees were harassed within the hotel premises.

IoT in hospitality
IoT refers to the network of connected objects that communicate in sync and automatically. Having IoT within hotels seemed futuristic earlier but it is a reality today. Making them a part of conducting operations within hotels can help to reduce costs and provide your guests with a better experience. IoT may be used to automate the rooms of the guests where guests use a remote to adjust lights or by connecting their mobile devices to the hotel network, can reorganize their stay using their device. This makes it possible to understand guest preferences for meals, stay requirements, and it also helps to save money because most functions are automated.

Chatbots
One of the latest additions to the technology in the hospitality industry is the chatbot service. A chatbot makes use of AI to enhance and customize the guest experience. Installing a chatbot within the hotels helps minimize physical contact as most frequently asked questions can be answered via a chatbot, it can know the guests’ preferences while staying at the hotels, and it can also help sell other services within the hotel such as sauna in the spa, and so on. This helps provide them with a customized experience based on their preferences. As this is taken care of through chatbots, the staff is then left with more time on their hands to manage activities that require to be done manually.

Account Management
Investing and installing a hotel accounting technology is a must for the hotels of today. In contrast to the earlier days of administering accounts manually, a management system takes care of generating invoices and account statements, producing payslips, revenue and expense management, and so much more. Automating of routine accounting duties helps to reduce human errors and provides greater accuracy when integrated with a top-notch property management system.

Employee Retention
Employee retention is a critical issue for the hospitality industry. It is important that efforts are made to retain the employees that are leaving their jobs on account of the burden they experience due to manual tasks that could have been automated. This, due to turnovers, have an effect on the guest experience. Hotels must thus invest in technologies that help ease the burden of employees by automating certain tasks, training them to stay on top of their tasks, and the employees are in accordance with the labor-management laws.

Blockchain
Blockchain and cryptocurrency have come a long way since they were first introduced to the world. Today, these are multipurpose and used widely across sectors since they provide transparency, security, and control of electronic transactions. Hotels and vacation rental marketplaces can make use of Blockchain-based technology since it helps to manage bookings and can help offer services at a lower cost than other industries.

Conclusion
Inculcating technologies within the daily workings of hotels is a must for the guests of today and future young travelers. Having an all-in-one property management system helps to eliminate the worries of having to look for multiple forms of technology. WrkSpot is one such property management system that is created with the aim to simplify hotel operations to turn hotels into smart properties. With a focus on compliance and employee engagement, WrkSpot is an ecosystem that helps empower teams to run the hotel better. technology

Ways in which tech can help run the ‘New Normal’ hotels

Tech

The emergence and prevalence of COVID-19 pandemic have left economies around the world shaken and in bits in more ways than one. Although it has been a situation that could not have been anticipated, it has undoubtedly acted as a wakeup call to sectors, economies and individuals around the world. After a brief lockdown, it is now time to open up and join the world and start a ‘New Normal’ life that is built on the learnings brought by the pandemic.

It is important to follow new protocols of social distancing and to implement better health policies than what was present earlier. As much as these may be tracked manually, implementing technology into this equation will only help serve your guests better. For a while, after the lockdown is lifted, guests may be a little apprehensive to crowds and thus, expect higher standards of hygiene. They would greatly appreciate if hotels follow social distancing and minimize the need for person-to-person contact.

Ideally, the hospitality industry thrives on serving customers in a face-to-face manner. This may now have to be replaced with self-service technology as below:

Contactless payment modes
WHO is encouraging sectors to move to contactless payments as a method to combat COVID-19. This is because the spread of the virus via unsanitized paper notes or card payments is relatively high. Both these modes undergo exchanging hands and therefore coming into contact with the virus through these modes is easy. Hotels, can, therefore, switch to contactless payment methods of digital wallets such as GooglePay, PayPal, etc. or the “tap and go” payment platforms. This curbs the need to come in touch with physical contact and thus lessens the spread of the virus.

Check-in/Check-Out facilities
Traditional methods of check-in/check-out include customers having to join a long line of customers at the front-desk resulting in them having to make conversations with each other and later the exchange of identification details at the desk. All of this puts both the staff of the hotel and the customer at risk of spreading and contracting of germs. Switching to mobile-based self-service technology breaks this link. A guest can make use of a mobile-based technology or a self-service kiosk placed at various stations to check themselves in or out. With a kiosk that is AI-enabled for facial recognition and ID scanning, the guest need not touch the screen at all.

Keyless Room Entry
Since guests can make contactless check-ins through the kiosks or their phones, this can also help them enter their rooms without the need for a room key. Fuel is one such provider of guest-facing hotel software solutions for the global hospitality industry that allows your guests to access their rooms using their mobile phone as a digital key. This application is also designed in such a way that it eliminates the need for guests to stop at the check-in counter and directly move into their rooms since it helps them check in remotely.

Digital menus
Guests that move in the hotel may have to visit the restaurant for meals. As a place that has the potential to bring in crowds, hotels need to look out for alternatives to the same. The best solution for this would be to implement applications such as MyMenusOnline. This is a form of a new touchless digital restaurant system. All a guest has to do is scan their tableside QR code to view the restaurant’s menus online on their mobile device. In case of upgrades concerning food in the restaurant or addition such as ‘daily specials’ will be updated automatically in this menu keeping the customers abreast with the updates in real-time This is a better alternative to making use of disposable menus that will only increase the operating costs of the hotels.

Housekeeping Software
The most significant change that hotels need to implement is a heightened need to keep their rooms and other areas impeccably clean and germ-free at all times. Therefore, having a hotel management system that can take care of these operations is the utmost need of the hour. Many countries are now upgrading their hygiene standards for their hotel rooms. Singapore has implemented an SG clean standard for its hotel rooms that make it compulsory for housekeeping to be more stringent when it comes to practices such as temperature screening of employees and policies for dealing with outside suppliers. Having a mobile PMS ensures quicker efficiency since it can be run through a tablet. On the other hand, a cloud-based PMS enhances housekeeping management checklists, to ensure that the hotel is in sync with the latest COVID-19 guidelines.

Conclusion
COVID-19 has wholly turned the hospitality industry and a “new normal” awaits once the pandemic subsides and people begin joining the world. Incorporating self-service tech that assists a guest to move through the hotel without human contact will help a hotel stand out. Hotels that invest in self-service technology will be in a better position to thrive in the ‘New Normal’ world that is more conscious of health, hygiene, and social distancing. All of this while increasing the convenience of their guests and personalizing their stay at the hotel.