Think about the last time you went on a trip and didn’t bring along your phone or laptop. That time probably only existed prior to purchasing your first addictive device, which, let’s face it, was years and years ago. Now every time you go to pack for a trip you double check, sometimes triple check, that you have your phone charger, laptop charger, and of course, your trusty phone in your pocket.
Hotels know this technology dependence has evolved. They have watched and taken note on how to successfully ride the wave of digital trends that have overtaken every other aspect of customers’ personal lives. Some of these trends are still taking shape, but most trends have already altered the way hotels and their guests function. Which is why when you walk into a hotel today, you can bet your new iPhone 7 that they have anticipated and calculated your technology needs.
One of the biggest trends currently in hotels is mobile accessibility. Say goodbye to the days of fumbling through your pockets, purses, or briefcases to find that inexplicably lost room key, or standing in a 20 minute line at the front desk to check-in. In today’s world of tech, hotel branded apps are solving these nuisances, popping up on the market with easy to use services and online help. These apps replace dated hotel keys with mobile check-ins and allow you to check-out online, or access your room details so that you can skip the lobby and head straight to your room. Maybe you’ve already used a hotel app, or you’ve stood your ground and remained true to the traditional booking methods, either way, expect hotel apps to become more common as hotels themselves are pushing apps as a new form of streamlined digital communication and care.
Alongside those savvy apps, hotels are catering more and more to customers’ expectations of technology services. This means trying to match the technology experience that people have at home by increasing budgets for new HD smart TVs, better WiFi, and faster networks. According to a J.D. Power survey, customers rated WiFi as the number ONE most important amenity at a hotel. As the reigning most important amenity, WiFi connection and speed therefore determine the fate of most customer opinions. Hotels have no choice but to live up to the digital needs of a modern day netflix-streaming, facebook-roaming, conference call-making, WiFi-thirsty guest.
Another key component of mobile accessibility and use is the storage of customer data and its, knock-on-wood, security. Hotels have pooled together information about customers that allow guests to experience personalized stays. Notes about customers’ eating schedules, favorite wine and annual convention stays are useful for hotels who don't just want to impress a guest but also make that guest remember their excellent stay for future reference. However, having an abundance of stored personal information makes hotels desirable targets. Increasing every year, hotels’ budgets for data security have overtaken other previously top of the list expenditures. Although the cost is large, it is the price hotels have to pay in order to maintain customers’ trust.
Technology has jumpstarted a new age in the hotel industry. In this new age, making guests happy and chasing technological advances are one in the same. Improved customer communication and faster services are just some of the perks to the new and improved digital era of hotels that we’ve now entered.