From curbside pickups to virtual cocktail hours, people increased their use of digital technologies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw mobile app usage surge 40 percent, and the average person now spends 4 hours and 20 minutes per day on their smartphones.
Your hotel guests are now accustomed to using touchless tech and their personal devices to accommodate social distancing and hygiene considerations, and that’s not going to change any time soon. Hotels looking to survive and thrive in this post-pandemic world must understand that people are now deeply entrenched in the “Bring Your Own Device” culture. And crucial to your success, is your ability to incorporate those devices into the guest experience.
Going contactless: high touch to high tech
When guests arrive at your hotel, they’re no longer willing to wait in line to be manually checked in and receive a physical key card. They want to avoid the crowded lobby, limit physical interactions and minimize shared touchpoints. As a result, demand has accelerated for contactless technologies such as mobile check-in/out, keyless entry and contact-free payment services.
Contactless check-in through personal mobile devices lets your guests skip the line while speeding up the entire process so they can get on with enjoying their vacation. In fact, 8 out of 10 travelers would choose one hotel over another if it offered the option of a fully contactless mobile check-in. Furthermore, over half of your guests expect to be able to unlock the guest room door using their mobile phone. And when it comes to making payments, a Mastercard study revealed that 74 percent of cardholders will continue using contactless payment even after the pandemic crisis is past.
Self-service is the new reality
When at home, people are using their mobile devices to control lighting, thermostats and even operate the TV. They expect these same conveniences when staying at your hotel. Nearly 90 percent of your guests want the ability to completely manage their stay through a mobile app.
Guest messaging solutions help you improve guest satisfaction by allowing you to quickly respond to service requests and deliver high-touch experiences in a completely contactless way. And by putting hotel amenities and local activities at guests’ fingertips via a mobile concierge, you satisfy many travelers who prefer to get that information on their personal mobile phone versus in-person. You can also increase food-and-beverage sales when you give guests the ability to preview menus and order food with an app on their mobile device.
Happy staff mean happy guests
Labor costs eat up roughly 50 percent of your total operating expenses. By implementing these forms of contactless and self-service technology, you streamline and automate processes, giving you the ability to work more efficiently with less staff. You also make workers happier by eliminating time-intensive repetitive tasks. Team members are then free to focus on the more enjoyable job of getting to know guests and delivering personalized, memorable experiences that enhance their stays, boost loyalty and earn you lucrative repeat business.
The right technology helps you thrive
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced hotels to make dramatic shifts in the way they do business. Contactless and self-service technologies are here to stay and have become a deciding factor for customers choosing one hotel or resort over another. If your hotel isn’t providing the experience that today’s travelers expect, you’re going to lose market share to those hotels that do. Using the right technology to create an experience that makes guests feel safe, secure and special is the key to thriving now and in the future.
Want to learn more about solutions that will help you meet the needs of today’s travelers?
 Perez, Sarah. Coronavirus Impact Sends App Downloads, Usage and Consumer Spending to Record Highs in Q2. TechCrunch, 9 July 2020, techcrunch.com/2020/07/09/coronavirus-impact-sends-app-downloads-usage-and-consumer-spending-to-record-highs-in-q2/.  “Survey Reveals Tech-Supported, Contactless 'New Normal' For Hotels, Resorts and Casinos Amid COVID-19.” Metova, 10 Nov. 2020, metova.com/news-survey-reveals-contactless-new-normal-for-hotels-resorts-and-casinos-amid-covid-19/.  “Customer Engagement Technology Study 2020: What Do Guests Want Now?” Hospitality Technology, 10 Feb. 2021, hospitalitytech.com/Customer-Engagement-Study-2020?from=gate.  “Mastercard Study Shows Consumers Globally Make the Move to Contactless Payments for Everyday Purchases, Seeking Touch-Free Payment Experiences.” Mastercard USA, 29 Apr. 2020, www.mastercard.com/news/press/press-releases/2020/april/mastercard-study-shows-consumers-globally-make-the-move-to-contactless-payments-for-everyday-purchases-seeking-touch-free-payment-experiences/.  Ibid., (2)  “The Hotel Services Americans Think Will Be Made Easier Through Technology.” Hotel Online, 15 July 2019, www.hotel-online.com/press_releases/release/the-hotel-services-americans-think-will-be-made-easier-through-technology/.  “STUDY: 80% of Consumers Willing to Download Hotel App to Enable Contactless Experience.” Hospitality Technology, 18 Aug. 2020, hospitalitytech.com/study-80-consumers-willing-download-hotel-app-enable-contactless-experience.  Eisen, David. Hotel Budgeting Season Is Here: Oy Vey! But It Doesn't Have To Be. Hotel News Resource, 12 Oct. 2020, www.hotelnewsresource.com/article112834.html#:~:text=Labor%20costs%20average%20roughly%2050,top%20of%20any%20