Hotel guests are more empowered today than ever before—thanks to new technology. And as technology evolved, so have guests’ expectations.
To stay relevant, hotels are improving the guest experience with technology they’re familiar with. For example, hoteliers are replacing the need for phone calls to the front desk with simple taps on guests’ smartphones.
Another improvement mirrors a growing trend in the US: smart TVs. A recent Nielsen Total Audience Report found that 31 percent of US households have an Internet-connected TV, a number that’s projected to continue growing. Smart TVs allow guests to stream media, browse the Internet and check social media.
What does all this technology do? It makes guests feel at home, and that’s what they expect. Here are four hotel tech trends hoteliers need to capitalize on in order to help their guests feel at home.
Guest expectations begin on screen
In many hotels, when guests turn on their in-room TVs, a customized message welcomes them to the property, helping to start the visit on a positive note. From there, guests can cast, meaning they are able to stream content from most providers (think Netflix, Hulu, etc.) directly to the TV from their personal devices. This process can be clunky, often requiring guests to download additional apps and complete multiple registration steps.
New technology upgrades enable hoteliers to offer PAN (Personal Area Network) technology to guests through advanced providers. PANs enable guests to seamlessly sync or pair their mobile devices to the TV without the need to download a third-party app.
This is good news for guests everywhere. A recent study shows that 74 percent of respondents were interested in streaming from their own devices to their hotel room’s smart TV.
Control in their hands
Guests want more than streaming content. The study mentioned above reveals 41 percent of guests want to see recommendations for local restaurants, attractions and events on their in-room TVs. They also want to make dinner reservations, schedule spa appointments, control the lights and temperature, and more.
Further, guests want to order food on their TVs, just like they can at home with on-demand delivery apps. Increasing demands have prompted hotels to offer TV-based food services through partnerships with local restaurants. Guests can view restaurant menus, order food and return to streaming entertainment with the ability to track delivery from their room.
Hotels learn from the tech
While these enhancements help keep guests happy, hotels can use the same technology to further improve the guest experience. It’s all thanks to system integrators (SIs) that connect the complex networks involved in running a hotel and with immersive guest experiences. With SIs, hoteliers can integrate the property management system with the video entertainment and WiFi experience using reliable fiber Internet.
Here’s what that looks like: when a guest submits a request on his or her TV for a service like extra toiletries, hotel staff receive a mobile device push notification. Requests are assigned to a staff member and logged in the hotel’s system, removing any margin for error. This staff member can then message the guest through their smart TV to answer any questions and provide updates, eliminating the need for guests to make a phone call – something they increasingly don’t want to do anyway.
Hoteliers can track these requests and use data analysis to identify the most popular offerings. Not only does this make the hotel more efficient and allow them to determine what services to focus on, it removes the burden of tracking guest phone requests manually. It’s a win for both hoteliers and their guests.
Home away from home
Interactive experiences like these set hotels apart from those who aren’t yet providing them. Guests receive a “home away from home” experience without a learning curve – something that helps establish loyalty.
Moviebeam has partnered with Spectrum Enterprise to help hotels provide the experiences guests expect. Learn more.