As the hospitality industry ends 2021 still dealing with the global pandemic, there’s a mix of hope and trepidation leading into 2022. Hoteliers, many of whom spent the last year making major shifts to mobile or smart-room tech, are wondering if next year will bring a full reopening and a return to pre-pandemic revenue levels. Over the last two years, our Customer Experience team at INTELITY has worked alongside our customers to strengthen their tech presence, find solutions for pandemic-related barriers, and helped meet the changing expectations of tech-savvy guests. As we prepare for the upcoming year, we must consider how the past year pushed the hospitality industry to evolve, specifically in regards to new tech.
Solving Urgent Problems With New Technology
The hospitality industry was not alone in facing staffing shortages. Globally and across every industry, businesses struggled to keep their teams staffed and some were forced to temporarily shut down. The need to support understaffed and overworked teams motivated many hoteliers to seek out tech solutions. Properties that had not prioritized adopting new technology before the pandemic, now became eager to find digital solutions to assist lean teams and help preserve quality guest experience. Tech that could help reduce the number of front desk phone calls and service requests were top of the list. Pivoting service requests to digital allowed guests to get what they needed without overloading front desk staff. Mobile check-in and room key also alleviated the front desk workload while allowing guests a more convenient, safer and contactless experience. As properties reopened from lockdowns, digital storefronts helped recoup some revenue by increasing accessibility and visibility to their guests.
New technology also enabled hoteliers to streamline their lean team workflow through automation. Implementing our GEMS platform made communicating booking details, tasks, and work orders easy and efficient. 2021 was a year with less or even no onsite IT support. With IT departments having to be outsourced or even cut altogether, the upkeep of hotel tech devices fell to GM’s, Directors of Rooms, or even housekeeping staff. Utilizing our multi-functional platform, hoteliers were able to get through the pandemic with their lean teams and as well as continue to provide quality guest experience.
What’s Coming in 2022
After nearly two years of volatility caused by the pandemic and consumers becoming more accustomed to using their mobile devices to conduct their daily lives, hoteliers are now widening their tech budgets to include back-of-house and guest-facing solutions. More hotels are investing in mobile apps and tablets that allow guests to set room controls, make service requests, and have more control of their stay. Plus, many hotels are adding phone cablibiltes to their smart-room tablets, which eradicates the need for both clocks and landline phones, giving each room an elevated sense of luxury without losing any amenities.
Whether guests view the hotel guest app on their mobile device, on a smart-room tablet, or, better yet, on a combination of both, the key word for the coming year is: Communication. As hotels, resorts, and casinos continue to reopen and as events continue to ramp back up, communication will be crucial. Many of our customers are implementing more robust content and eye-catching visuals on their hotel app to inform guests about their amenities, services, dining options, and more. From hours of operation, to event schedules, to safety alerts, to special promotions—everything guests need to know can be communicated clearly and effectively through a hotel guest app.
Finally, hoteliers realize that informing guests about their app and what it can do for them is critical in boosting app adoption such as including app information in welcome emails or having staff help guests download their app. Hoteliers are also focusing on driving revenue through their apps. Targeted promotions, in-app ordering, and an emphasis on microtransactions and incremental upsells are just a few ways hoteliers are laying the groundwork for increasing revenue in 2022.
If I had to sum up where the hospitality industry is today in regards to customer experience, I would say that the industry as a whole is more open to tech, which means it’s more open to growth. From my team’s and my view of things, we’ve been and continue to be focused on supporting staff to help deliver an enhanced guest experience. We are looking forward to another year of helping hoteliers reach their goals and achieve success.
For more information about INTELITY’s platform, reach out today to start a conversation.
INTELITY is the global leader in contactless guest experience technology, uniting mobile, in-room, and operational tools into one fully-integrated hospitality platform. Built for the hotel, casino, and luxury residential markets, INTELITY has been named the “Official Mobile and In-Room Technology Provider” by the distinguished Forbes Travel Guide for five consecutive years and is in use at boutique properties, casino-resorts, and global hotel brands, including Marriott, Fairmont, Hard Rock, and more.
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