August 10, 2018
Reading time
3 min

Digitalisation in the hotel industry: for the guest, not bypassing them

Digitisation - a powerful word on everyone's lips. Everyone is shouting about it, everyone wants to join in, everyone wants to invent something new. But not everyone asks themselves the question first:

"Does my hotel even need this? And more importantly, "Do my guests really need it?" The answer is: don't jump blindly on the digitalisation bandwagon, but approach the matter carefully! 

Room service by robot. There is such a thing and your competitor already offers it. Sure, you want that too, after all, the future lies in robotics, you might say. But is an electronic employee the right choice? Then it's more likely to be a check-in via smartphone before arrival at the hotel. Sounds more realistic! In order not to miss the boat, you should ride the digitalisation wave, but be critical and turn the right screws! 

Know your target group(s) and check measures

Before you invest money in the digitalisation of your hotel, think about your guests first! What needs do they have, what do they attach particular importance to, what don't they like at all? The big players like Booking and Google show us how it's done. There, everything is subordinated to the credo "customer first". Think about which digital steps make sense and how you can offer your customers added value. Also scrutinise your current booking and handling processes and identify the need for optimisation. Find out how you can increase the satisfaction of your guests and at the same time reduce the running costs in your company. But also note which possibilities are not possible, because not every measure is suitable for every hotel. If you have done this important preliminary work and always keep your customer segment in mind, you are ready for your individual digitalisation.

Observe and weigh up trends

The advancing digitalisation is evident in the hotel and hospitality industry in many ways. From booking a hotel to evaluating their stay, travellers are going digital. In between, they use smart technologies such as tablets, smart TVs, key cards, facial recognition or even robots to enjoy the maximum comfort of a hotel. With all the innovative ideas, one quickly runs the risk of getting carried away and wanting to bring these electronic gadgets into one's own hotel, but the hotel industry is still a business field in which the focus is on personal contact with each individual guest. Digitalisation makes sense where it simplifies processes. However, it cannot replace the valuable exchange between travellers and hotel employees! 

Simplifying processes and creating positive experiences

Digitalisation in the hotel industry does not mean that employees should be replaced by robots and artificial intelligence. Rather, it is about simplifying or automating processes. This not only helps your guests, but also your employees. Self-check-in instead of queuing, tablet with up-to-date guest information instead of outdated paper guest folders, SPA reservations via smartphone instead of asking at reception - all this saves time, nerves and money. And the time that employees no longer spend on pointless operational work can be invested in meaningful service in the future. We live in a service industry with problems in recruiting new staff. We will have fewer employees and have to become more efficient. There is no way around that. In addition, when choosing a job, employees will also look at how modern a company is.

A choice of pillows when booking online, a personalised welcome on the TV, entertainment via voice control - it's often the little things that stay in the guest's memory and lead to a positive rating with potential for recommendation. When you ask yourself how you can please your customers, think about what you yourself would like to be surprised with. Become a guest yourself and mentally go through all the stages from booking to departure.

Digitalisation: the way to the future

Inform yourself about the possibilities of digitalisation in the hotel industry and then make your decision. Invest in those measures that suit your hotel and customer segment. Focus on simpler processes, self-explanatory booking systems and positive experiences so that there is more time for interpersonal relationships. Because that's what your guests love: your attention! Show your guests that you understand digitalisation and build a long-term customer relationship step by step that moves with the times! Your (future) employees will also thank you.