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DO's and DON'Ts of Hotel Technology in 2022 | By Terence Ronson – Hospitality Net

As the world emerges from COVID lockdown and adopts contactless as a norm, marketing teams place greater dependency on social media, and technology is used to help provide customer service while at the same time, compensating for the shortage of manpower, we have updated the DO’s and DON’T’s of Hotel Technology.


  1. Make internet access as simple as possible to log on to. Not everyone wants to surrender their email address for 1-hours’ worth of free Wi-Fi and then be bombarded by spam.
  2. Use digital signage instead of printed posters.
  3. If you provide a mini-bar fridge, put some free bottles of drinking water inside so that they are nice and cool for the guest.
  4. Check all the peepholes on guest room doors to make sure they are secure and the right way around.
  5. Mount irons on wall brackets in closets instead of placing them on the floor or shelves – tidier and easier for Guest access.
  6. Consider PTT (Push to Talk) alternate services/apps that can run on Smartphones i.e. Zello.
  7. Clearly display any broadband charges and have a disclaimer sign-on page especially if your government requires it and show which types of websites may not be available in order to avoid any confusion by the guest.
  8. Make it easy to switch off all lights in the guestroom from either side of the bed – especially the bathroom and Vestibule lights. Likewise, if you just need a single light on in the middle of the night, make that easy to accomplish and without the need to light up the entire guestroom.
  9. Simplify the process of plugging in a hairdryer, shaver, or electric toothbrush in the bathroom.
  10. Make the lighting in the bathroom bright enough for doing makeup/grooming – ask a Woman to help check it.
  11. Have an illuminated make-up/shaving mirror in the bathroom.
  12. Have a de-fogging mirror in the bathroom. You probably hate rubbing the mirror with a towel after taking a shower just to see your own image.
  13. Have universal power sockets with USB power sockets beside the bed, at the desk, and easily available for guest use in public areas, especially Lobby Lounges, Dining areas, Club Lounges, and Poolside – also have international power adaptors handy – just in case.
  14. Position all Guest use power sockets at a reasonable height. Be mindful of the AFFL.
  15. Have an emergency torch/flashlight readily available in the guest room and test it frequently.
  16. Offer free boarding pass printing in Business centers or via the Front Desk.
  17. Have a selection of gadget power cables available for guests to borrow. These are easily forgotten at home or misplaced.
  18. Use wireless mice at the Front Desk – avoid unsightly cables.
  19. Work with your system providers so that they produce eForms and not printed reports – especially Registration cards and Folios.
  20. On checkout – show the guest a review copy of their folio on a tablet – do not print unnecessarily.
  21. Email the Folio receipt and provide a PoS type [3”] receipt at the Desk – not everyone needs to walk away with an A4 receipt printed onto letterhead and then tri-folded into an envelope.
  22. Encourage MBM – Management By Mobility. Issue your Team with the right tools to help accomplish this.
  23. Take note when reviewing write-ups about your comp set on TripAdvisor what is said about their tech, and how you can leverage off those comments.
  24. Make sure excess power and data and power cables are neatly tied or cut to the right length. If that is not possible – cover them somehow. Aesthetics matter. Ask an Interior Designer.
  25. Have a simple but easy-to-read digital clock in the bathroom.
  26. Encourage staff to bring laptops or Tablets to meetings and use them for note taking – steer away from using paper pads. This helps them multi-task and at the same time, be paperless.
  27. Have easily accessible universal power sockets with USB power sockets in Meeting rooms since more and more people bring tech with them and need power – as well as Wi-Fi.
  28. Have your Concierge know where the closest Apple Service Center/Apple Store is and also other popular brands like Samsung.
  29. Have a person or system constantly monitor social media sites for mentions about your hotel. Then respond appropriately and in a timely manner – make responses sound like they are from humans, and not just scripted by bots.
  30. Check Guest satisfaction scores and carefully monitor how tech deployments impact these positively and negatively.
  31. Have competent front-line staff on-property who can deal with Guest tech queries – make sure they have the requisite troubleshooting skills, as well as social and interpersonal skills. If they don’t have it – know how to get it, and quickly.
  32. Realize that when you buy technology – you need a support agreement as well – and this often doubles the Tech cost over 4-5 years. Always work out a 5-year TCO before purchasing.
  33. Check your TV channel reception from time to time and make sure they are nice and clear and that the sound is in sync with the picture. Also, check that the right channel is reflected on the channel line-up menu – sometimes these get out of sync.
  34. Have a simple and easy-to-use remote for the TV – having one with 20 buttons is often confusing for the guest, especially when not all the buttons are operational, or needed.
  35. Try and stream/cast from your Netflix account onto the TV in the guestroom and see how easy, or complex it is. Especially note the process to add and then delete login info.
  36. Make sure the electronic door lock on the guest room door closes quickly when the door shuts.
  37. Check the speed, noise, and effectiveness of the air-con fan unit in the guest room. You may be surprised at its level of functioning efficiency, and cleanliness.
  38. Note that pictures sell – the ones on your website, on your social posts, and in your app should be awesome! They must conjure up a feeling of “I want” to be able to sell – that’s what helps turn a looker into a booker.
  39. Check with your Room Management System [RMS] provider to see if a fast-cooling mode can be activated when a guest checks in – i.e., via the PMS interface. That way the room is pre-cooled by the time they arrive inside – a cool feature. 
  40. Print IM addresses onto your business card – may be using QR codes.
  41. Think of your social media presence as more than just your owned accounts, but your total surface area on the web, spanning across platforms.
  42. Put an internet browsing station in the Staff Canteen for Staff to check email and fill up forms or various requests during breaks.
  43. Encourage your Guests to also perform a virtual Check-in to such sites as Facebook and Instagram when they physically Check-in to your establishment. Free promo for the property.
  44. Understand that Guests are likely to post photos of their food on Facebook, and Instagram – so consider printing your name and hashtag on the chinaware or placing a small [creative] flag so it’s captured in the photo – free advertising.
  45. Get your technology vendors to update you twice a year on their roadmap – maybe under a NDA.
  46. Add CCTV cameras inside your Data Center – have them directed to the server racks [front and back] and another, to the entrance door.
  47. Use electronic locks with audit trails on your Computer Server racks – do not use metal keys.
  48. Remember that guests trust their mobile phones to wake them up more than they do your wake-up call service or an alarm clock next to the bed.
  49. Perform regular and complete system and data backups and store them off-site or in the cloud. Your vendors should guide you on this.
  50. If you offer in-room check-in, have the staffer offer to help guests connect their computer to the Wi-Fi as well as make them an Espresso should you have such a machine in the room.
  51. Allow guests to tailor-make their fruit basket if you plan to give them one – not everyone likes green apples and pears – same goes for turndown amenities – not everyone wants or can eat chocolates or sweet items. Do use local fruits where available.
  52. Offer ePostcards from your website and have them link to Instagram and Facebook.
  53. Understand the various touchpoints of the customer journey and how it is impacted by tech as its moves across those siloed systems.
  54. Have a shelf inside the toilet cubicle where guest’s can place their mobile phone/Tablet and maybe a book – an adjacent power supply is always welcome. Know that this location is supremely important for good Wi-Fi coverage…
  55. Work in your own guestrooms from time to time and see how [un]comfortable and [in]practical it is – especially the height of the chair in relation to the desk – or location and size of the TV, quality of lighting, location of power sockets, and speed of the internet.
  56. Use a biometric reader or PIN pad for staff entrance/egress that is linked to the Time and Attendance/Payroll System.
  57. Make sure that any light inside the wardrobe does switch off when the door is closed.
  58. Make sure your room safe is bolted down to the floor or wall and cannot be easily removed.
  59. Monitor the TV volume in the guest room so that it can go down very low and also not too high. Some guests like to leave the TV on all night but at a very low background volume.
  60. Have the TV sound mute when the in-room phone rings.
  61. Have a very low nightlight in the bathroom/toilet – preferably a pinpoint over the WC.
  62. Deploy the very best cabling backbone you can – especially fiber to the room (GPON).
  63. Avoid fluctuations in the shower temperature. Have a proper electronic regulator fitted.
  64. Give thought to using Robots in the operation to replace those tasks which are repetitive or menial and usually performed by people. This could be especially helpful during these recovery times when recruitment is both difficult and expensive and valuable resources can be assigned for other purposes.
  65. Have an SLA and process for responding to customer feedback and complaints coming in from social media.
  66. Allow Guests of Residential Conferences to use the same LOGIN ID and Password that they use in the Guestroom for access to the WI-FI in the Meeting Room – don’t make them pay or Log-in twice.
  67. Give your IT Manager a seat at the Management Table and have them openly discuss IT matters, and how they impact the guest journey and employee efficiency. BUT, know the responsibility of system efficiency, is not 100% theirs – Operational System Owners need also to accept responsibility.
  68. Note Voltage and Hz [cycles] on your power sockets to be used by guests.
  69. Encourage Guests to communicate with your hotel through popular Social Networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter and/or chatbots. Consideration should also be given to using popular chat platforms like WhatsApp and WeChat.
  70. Create “social media ready” photo spots that inspire guests to capture moments on their own.
  71. Label all essential power sockets “DO NOT UNPLUG” and preferably use colored plugs.
  72. Have air-conditioning auto cut-off in the Guest room if balcony doors are left open after a set period of time e.g., 5 seconds
  73. Make USB power sockets available at tables in all-day-dining facilities. Wireless charging is also a nice feature.
  74. Install Room Management Systems Units (RMS) in guest rooms interfaced to the PMS to help reduce expensive energy costs.
  75. Consider using Motion/Presence [PIR] detectors rather than placing key cards into a wall reader to control energy usage in-room.
  76. Check from time to time in-the-floor power sockets – the metal type which are supposed to lift when the clip is flicked – most often they stick after a while having been covered with floor polish and dust.
  77. Consider issuing Panic Buttons to Housekeeping Room Attendants.
  78. Consider having a secure place where Guests can deposit their valuables and gadgets at the poolside or beach should they want to take a dip in the pool or use the sauna – perhaps making Ziploc bags available for storage.
  79. Always sanitize the TV remote control and place a label to say “sterilized”.
  80. Have [great] Wi-Fi at the poolside and Beach. Encourage remote ordering via a QR code-based menu.
  81. Encourage Guest contact staff to attach a VCF [virtual contact file] into their emails.
  82. Install a 2nd internet line to your property for backup/redundancy just in case your main line goes down and also load balancing. When investigating this, make sure the cable feed to the property comes in via a different route than the main one to add to the redundancy. If they share the same route/pathway, then you have not achieved the objective. Satellite-delivered internet [such as Starlink] is an option to consider.
  83. Consider using PDF files accessed by QR codes to replace your printed materials. However, don’t overdo the use of these and turn your property into a maze of QR codes. Also, note that fake QR codes could be [easily] planted into your property potentially taking your customers to nefarious sites.
  84. Recycle used laser toner cartridges.
  85. Think about installing a mobile hotspot in the Airport Limo so the Guest can use the service to/from the airport.
  86. Have your IT team join such organizations as HFTP and HTNG so that they keep up to date with Hotel Technology – you should also sponsor them as well as have them attend various Conferences and Exhibitions like HITEC.
  87. Consider carefully all the implications of Cloud Computing to include loss of connection, data security, data privacy, and the cross-border movement of data.
  88. Look into using an MDM system – Mobile Device Management if such devices are connected to your network and/or supplied by you.
  89. Regularly check and install Service Packs and software upgrades to all software and firmware patches. Don’t forget anti-virus.
  90. Perform stress tests on your systems as well as a threat analysis – from both inside and outside of your property.
  91. Imagine every step of the guest journey and how it’s impacted by your tech systems – endeavor to make it as frictionless as possible.
  92. Hold regular cybersecurity briefings to all staff especially advising them NOT to open any suspicious emails or click on unverified links – malware is real.
  93. Consider installing at least one EV charging station – or knowing where the closest ones are located.
  94. Have your PMS regularly (e.g., three times per day) produce these Emergency reports and email them to a Gmail account that is only accessible by authorized personnel [such as GM, FC, FOM, Sales Manager, and head of Security] – these can be easily accessed from anywhere and is a good off-site backup should a catastrophic incident occur:
    • 7-14 days arrival list
    • 7-14 days departure list
    • A/R Report
    • Inhouse Guest list with Balance
    • Forecast for next 30-60 days
    • Room Status Reports showing – Occupied, Due out, Vacant, and Vacant ready
  95. Inhouse Guest List both by Room Number and Alphabetical
  96. Consider adopting a similar business continuity strategy for other critical systems such as HR, Accounting and Sales & Marketing – to name a few.
  97. If you use mobile keys versus a traditional key card, be sure you have staff on-site [or easily available] 7×24 to handle any problem a guest may encounter with the system.
  98. Consider carefully when looking to install a Voice Assistant on your property. Guests may have fears over security and data exposure. Carefully vet the vendor and their offering to ensure safety, security, and a smooth pain-free experience for the guest.
  99. Process payments at tableside to avoid delay in processing time, and overhandling of the credit card.
  100. Understand that tech is just a support tool to help staff better perform their jobs.


  1. Use Walkie Talkies in public areas without issuing staff with discreet earpieces. Not everyone needs to hear the chatter.
  2. Put a bedside clock that makes a ticking sound.
  3. Charge for local phone calls unless you really must.
  4. Make it difficult to use a mouse on the Guest Room desk by having one with a glass surface – if you do – then [please] place a mouse mat in the drawer.
  5. Automatically do dynamic currency conversion on credit card transactions – be sure to have the customer approve this in advance.
  6. Charge exorbitant rates for printing a couple of A4 sheets in the business center or scanning 1-page.
  7. Issue replacement room keys without first seeing a valid photo ID.
  8. Open a Guest Room door without first seeing a valid photo ID or some other form of guest ID validation.
  9. Allow staff to use thumb drives in computers or connect mobile devices – this is often how data is lost and malicious software introduced.
  10. Print reports – circulate PDF versions only.
  11. Send faxes when you can send PDF attachments with emails.
  12. Use worn out ribbons on printers – especially Point of Sale printers in F&B outlets. Make sure the print is clear and easy to read. After all, this projects your brand image.
  13. Assume your backup power generator will auto-start if there is a mains power failure. Test it regularly and make sure you have sufficient reserve fuel and consumables to last a few days or even a week or so. Remember Hurricane Katrina and Super Typhoons Haiyan and Odette? There is also the possibility of earthquakes and other Acts of God.
  14. Print folios – only email them if the guest needs a copy.
  15. Use paper registration cards – use electronic ones – or better yet, encourage pre-check in via the hotel app.
  16. Install both wired and wireless internet in your Guest Rooms when doing a new installation. Just having Wi-Fi is acceptable by most people and will save you a lot of money.
  17. Put “last updated…” on your website, especially if you don’t do it frequently.
  18. Put the number of visitors to your website – no one really cares.
  19. Put a chair at the desk, which is difficult to pull out, heavy or is uncomfortable to sit in – even if it looks nice.
  20. Think that the tech in your hotel needs to be better that what your guest has at home – but it should be at least as good as…
  21. Assume it’s the system’s fault – it could be an insufficiently trained user. Constant training is one of the key pillars to success.
  22. Just limit guests to connect two or three items to the Wi-Fi in the guestroom – often guests carry many more devices, especially if a couple are staying and with children. Average quantity is 10 devices per room.
  23. Clutter the desk with collaterals and printed materials – make them digital and multi-lingual – e.g., in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic and Russian.
  24. Just believe that by putting loads of technology into your hotel that the guest experience will be enhanced or that the guest will appreciate it. This is especially the case if it’s hard to learn and troublesome to use.
  25. Place a loudspeaker in the bathroom unless it has a volume control, and the sound quality is good – and can be turned OFF.
  26. Just rely on the technology to operate your business – know it will fail and at the worst possible time such as the eve of a busy holiday weekend – when your property is experiencing high demand. PLAN FOR THAT!!
  27. Make sure you have a
  28. contingency and business continuity plan in place for ALL systems and test it periodically – sometimes without warning staff of the plan to do so. Try running manually for a full 24 hours and see how well that goes.
  29. Change any configuration on a guest’s computer unless they ABSOLUTELY agree, and you keep a detailed written record of the changes made – screenshots can help this process.
  30. Have multiple phones in the Guest room unless you really need to. One placed at the bedside is usually sufficient.
  31. Allow staff devices in the workplace to be connected to your computers – even if just for charging purposes.
  32. Print anything – only have electronic versions of all your collaterals.
  33. Make it complicated for guests to use your technology – they may only stay one night and have no time to learn how to use all the gadgets, and more importantly, may not be as tech savvy as you think they are. Do you really expect them to spend all their free time trying to learn how to use the tech?
  34. Overcharge for IDD calls. Besides, many guests will now use their own devices for such calls.
  35. Lend guest’s headsets in the gym unless they have been pre-sterilized, and you can prove it.
  36. Allow social networking connections on workplace computers unless it’s for work purposes.
  37. Have water pipes inside your computer room.
  38. Position your computer room so that it has outside facing walls.
  39. Just have a single cooling source for your computer room – have a backup and be sure to test its efficiency on a hot day.
  40. Underestimate how fast the cashless movement is progressing. However, consider the service impact it may have on your guests as they morph to this new way of life.
  41. Have so many TV channels that it’s difficult for the guest to quickly access what they really want to watch. Then make sure that when the TV is re-switched on, it goes back to the last channel watched and only re-sets upon check-out. Don’t keep reverting to that [often annoying] Barker channel playing your brand theme tune.
  42. Let staff use undersized monitors to perform their work. Make the experience more enjoyable – especially when they don’t need to squint at small fonts.
  43. Operate a 1-button Call Center unless the staff who take the calls are fully trained to handle ALL queries, and preferably, in various languages.
  44. Put a 4-in-1 copier/scanner/printer/fax machine in the guestroom with just 2 or 3 sheets of paper inside for the guest to print on – include at least 20 sheets of free paper.
  45. Use a cloud printing service to the in-room printer you are providing – some guests are bound by company confidentiality policies not to send data outside of their network and so cannot use such services, even if they are hosted by a so-called reputable company. Just add a USB cable or communicate via AirPrint.
  46. Have electronic curtains/drapes unless they can be opened/closed from the bed as well as via a simple wall switch. Make sure that the guest is aware of the switch location. Use silent running motors.
  47. Put a hairdryer in the bathroom that is underpowered – and don’t hide it in an unmarked drawer so the guest needs to hunt around looking for it with dripping wet hair. Ask a Woman to check it before selecting the model.
  48. Put a reading lamp at the bed which is so powerful and direct that it can burn your Guest’s forehead.
  49. Adjust the temperature in the Guestroom if the guest sets it at a certain level. Only reset it upon check-out. Room attendants are notorious for this.
  50. Just put a keycard reader on one side of the elevator car if you have floor call buttons on both sides. And from time to time, check they both work.
  51. Put off performing periodic security checks inside your Guestrooms for hidden cameras and listening devices.
  52. Install a flat screen TV in such a away that the Guest cannot access the HDMI port and by doing so, can directly connect their own devices for playback. Keep it simple!
  53. Just valet park a car – try and upsell by offering to clean it [at least the fly encrusted windshield] and refill the drinking water.
  54. Create an app for your hotel just for the sake of it – and then all it does is make reservations. Let it be informative about your property and a guide to all the various services and amenities you provide as well as local points of interest. It will after all be your Shop window in the palm of someone’s hand and directly reflect your brand values. Make it sticky!
  55. Write “Data Center” or “Computer Room” on the door of such a place – you are inviting trouble. Better to write “Authorized access only”.
  56. Use illegal or unauthorized software – do a software license audit check from time to time.
  57. Offer bottled water in rooms – add a drinking water spigot and encourage guests to refill their own re-usable water bottles.
  58. Use Chatbots unless they can handle ALL queries by Guests, and in a timely and professional manner.
  59. Underestimate the required bandwidth and density of mobile device handling in Ballrooms and Event space. People will live stream events and upload HD photos and 4K videos of their participation. Having them encounter a buffering message is just not acceptable.
  60. Say “someone will respond in xx minutes or x hours”, or “We’ll get back to you shortly” if they are not going to. This is part of your Service Promise.
  61. Take longer than 24 hours to respond to an email – not everyone is on the same time zone as you – this is an international, 7×24 business.
  62. Assume a Guest will use a tablet because you place it by the bedside – there must be compelling reasons to do so.
  63. Let a phone ring more than three times before answering it.
  64. Write the room number on a key card.
  65. Just trust your Wi-Fi network – frequently check that rogue Access Points [Aps] have not been installed disguised as your hotel network [SSID].
  66. Forget CRM means “Customers Really Matter”.
  67. Staff your social media accounts with interns. Social media is the primary way most people interact with businesses, you should have someone strategic at the helm.
  68. Spread yourself too thinly on social media. Prioritize. Be on the platforms that have the most influence on perception, both from new guests and returning guests.
  69. Let your guest only check-in at 3pm and leave by 11am. Offer flexible check-in and check-out times. Talk to your PMS vendor how to add this facility and allocate manpower accordingly.
  70. Repost the same content across all your accounts. To maximize engagement, create content native for each platform.
  71. Just have one person in your IT team. Like all things, you need a backup, especially if that person is sick or on vacation. The #2 must possess the requisite skills to fill in as required.
  72. Scrimp on bandwidth – all guests know how to perform a Speedtest.
  73. Underestimate the number of coffee [Nespresso, Keurig etc.,] capsules a guest will drink per day – and if there is more than one person in a room, double that number. And not everyone drinks decaf…
  74. Underestimate the number of power sockets a guest may need to simultaneously use – especially when just arriving from a [long] flight.
  75. Think Contactless is an excuse for providing a lesser quality of customer service. This is the hospitality industry. Service matters.

Terence Ronson
Managing Director
Pertlink Limited
Hospitality Net membership explained


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