What’s in it for me?
The moment the word “automation” is put to use, a lot of people tend to think that it is the ultimate presiding power eliminating completely the need for a human figure in the tasks performed in the hospitality sector. That’s where they go wrong! This article will acquaint you with the idea that while automation certainly helps in eliminating extra effort and boosts productivity, it works very much in tandem with human power to enhance and improve the hotel guest experience.
Development in various aspects of hotel automation technology coupled with the pandemic norms such as contactless and personalized services have changed the world of business forever.
Hoteliers are automating SOPs more and more with each passing day to meet the evolving guests’ expectations. Automation has the potential to be a game-changer in the hospitality industry as it grapples with multiple issues in the post-pandemic era.
While the human aspect of providing a sweet experience with face-to-face interaction still remains, there is a need to introduce technology to amplify the guest experience.
The majority of hoteliers that survived the pandemic had to slash their operating expenses and lay off staff. Hence, the hotel automation system can help properties deal with a lot of issues post-pandemic and boost operational efficiency.
Hotel automation technology can be regarded as the process of converting manual, time-consuming procedures and tasks into automated processes. Automated hotel management system utilizes digital systems to complete hotel processes that aid the employees in expediting and completing their tasks and various other hotel operations, even if no one is actively present to manage the systems. It is used to increase efficiency, improve productivity and performance, and enhance the hotel guest experience.
A recent survey carried out by Duetto showed that a whopping 77.7 percent of participants expressed the intent to enhance their hotel tech investment in the coming three years. This indicates that technology will take a central stage helping the manual tasks to take a backseat while keeping the core functionality intact. The reason behind increasing the use of technology in their properties by hoteliers is keeping in mind the incredible role played by automation in hospitality.
The rapid advancement of technology in the hospitality industry has widened the reach of hoteliers and also benefited them in various ways. The hoteliers now feel more connected to their staff across all departments as they can access the hotel management system whenever they want and from wherever they want on their phone, tablet, or computer/laptop.
This, in turn, has contributed to the critical role that communication plays in such a setting. Hence hotel automation technology can be regarded as a game-changer as it can very well change your property’s fortune for good.
The modern era relies heavily on utilizing technologies such as AI and automated messaging solutions. Hotels have increasingly begun to invest in technologies such as automation and robotics to cut down on expenses, increase efficiency, streamline operations and expand revenue.
A lot of people tend to look upon automation as the process of completely overtaking the tasks performed by humans. However, it must be understood that automation does not imply an eradication of human roles. It rather boosts human productivity which enables the hotel staff to do tasks more efficiently and effectively.
All these automated tasks are performed within a structure established by the human user implementing the process. Automation can be implemented with one system at a time.
The COVID-19 pandemic amidst all the devastation and chaos has also provided an opportunity to implement hotel automation technology. Technology usage in the hospitality industry has increased during this phase with changes in customer expectations and demand for personalized and contactless services making things more challenging for hoteliers.
Automated messaging services are also providing visitors with prompt and fast replies. A lot of hotels have already adopted such technologies and implemented them in their service to turn themselves into smart automatic hotel.
However, the balance between both worlds should be maintained even if the most technology-savvy guests seek personal services and the human warmth that software cannot replace. Nothing lights up your day like a warm smile, not even the most efficient robot butler programmed to take care of your needs.
Therefore, in order to be successful, the key is to find the perfect balance or harmony between both worlds and utilize them to the fullest and reap benefits in the long term.
The race behind automating systems in hotels is due to the vast array of benefits that it offers in various areas of hotel operations and guest experience. Implemented at multiple touchpoints, automation can help transform the entire guest experience.
That being said, here are the few most prominent benefits of hotel automation technology:
The following section contains some automation in hotel industry examples across the various operational departments in hotels:
Nowadays, the majority of hotels and an increasing number of B&Bs, vacation rental properties, hostels, and so on are increasingly relying on automation as the solution to their shortcomings. Hotel front desk automation in the form of PMS (Property management system) acts as the central hub for other similar applications such as facilitating reservations, room assignments, access automation, and check-in among other tasks.
In addition, other functions such as maintenance processes, digitalization of task management checklists, streamlining housekeeping along with automation alerts ensure the completion of tasks within time and efficiently.
A number of hotel automation technology solutions are available nowadays in order to automate day-to-day marketing operations and tasks. This usually includes CRM solutions and email marketing that send targeted promotional emails to guests.
Automation can help you enhance the quality of service provided by you and improve customer experience during their stay in your hotel. In addition, aspects such as guest engagement and self-service can also be increased with the help of different automation technology tools such as an automated hotel check-in system, upselling, pre-arrival messages, and automated email confirmations.
Guest engagement tools can be implemented by you to maintain direct communication with your guests during their stay. You can easily reply to your guests’ queries or send texts in their preferred medium of communication such as WhatsApp, WeChat, and SMS among others.
You can also choose to automate responses to frequently asked questions in real time with the help of chatbots and auto-replies. Moreover, you can also generate valuable feedback from your esteemed guests with the help of automated email requests for an online review or survey.
The primary advantage of using hotel automation technology is that it helps in increasing operational efficiency and streamlining overall performance. Various important and laborious tasks such as collecting reviews and responding to them can be easily done with the help of automation. Not only this, sending out vital messages and emails containing booking confirmation, reservation id, pre-arrival surveys, questionnaires, brochures, digital concierge pages, mid-stay feedback, payment receipts, etc. becomes easier through automated messaging solutions.
This helps in enhancing operational efficiency as less time is wasted and the employees can focus on more vital tasks in hand.
Automation is especially useful for properties that have limited resources, both in terms of monetary and human. Smaller properties can immensely benefit from utilizing automated technology and tools to bolster their performance and address their shortcomings.
Hotel automation products help handle and manage time-consuming and repetitive administrative tasks. This, in turn, helps to better utilize limited resources effectively and increase productivity.
If you have ever wondered how to provide contactless services or how to improve the hotel check-in process, automation solutions come with features such as digital check-in with mobile key, express check-in, automated guest messaging, and so on.
Features such as self-check-in in the hotel automation technology provide guests with the benefit of simply showing up at the hotel and going to their respective rooms bypassing the front desk. This can be regarded as one of the most important yet necessary examples of smart hotel room automation.
With properties being caught unaware by an odd day and facing staff shortage, automation can help cater effectively to the guests’ needs, timely and responsibly. Internal team communication helps staff fulfill requests on time with efficient time management and alerts. In short, new technology in hotels can help in keeping track of tasks along with their efficient distribution.
Since hotel automation technology is helping to streamline operations, hotel operational expenses can be reduced with a lower staff strength. All-in-one technology takes care of bookings, SOPs, billing, online reviews, housekeeping, and other operations, thereby eliminating the need of having a dedicated resource for each department. Consequently, it saves time and cost.
With well-integrated messaging, AI-powered chatbots, and email communication-service requests, feedback collection, and mid-stay recovery become possible. You can swiftly cater to a guest asking for extra creamers in a certain room or a guest wanting to browse through a digital menu card.
Review links can be shared easily through guest messaging, enabling an easy collection of reviews and feedback from your guests to improve your popularity ranking and ratings on online platforms. Guests can instantly get in touch with staff in case they require any particular service which eliminates the unnecessary role of middlemen.
Automation is really the modern-world answer for hotels that have limited resources and simply can’t afford to spend a huge fortune on advertising. The plethora of issues that are usually plaguing hospitality institutions can be easily addressed with the implementation of hotel automation technology.
It also helps in upselling by sharing end-to-end amenities and highlighting offerings through digital concierge or amenity page, thereby bringing in additional revenue. Hence, automation in hotel helps you create a great first impression, thereby providing greater control over your hotel’s operations.
The COVID-19 pandemic can be considered both a boon as well as a bane for the hospitality industry. Along with wreaking havoc across the sector, it has also presented a unique opportunity to embrace the advancement in the field of technology such as automation in the hospitality industry.
In a way, the pandemic has accelerated the process of automation and digitalization, especially concerning internal operations and customer interactions. The hospitality industry was compelled to turn to automation solutions to meet the ever-changing customer expectations and demands such as contactless services and dealing with staff shortages.
Automated hotels are usually more effective and efficient when it comes to dealing with guests. A seamless and stress-free experience can be easily provided to guests with the help of various automation tools and services.
The machine-level reliability that can be achieved through hotel automation technology is bound to increase the level of trust between the hotel and the guest and, in turn, help deliver a remarkable stay to your guests every time without replacing human warmth and interaction.
Streamline operations, cut down on additional expenses, boost your sales, drive revenue, streamline communication, automate guest feedback collection process, and acquire operational insights for a boosted operational efficiency and be ahead of the curve.
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