Guest expectations have changed. Here’s how tech can help

For years, hotels have adapted their business to meet evolving guest expectations. However, in the wake of COVID, the industry faced unprecedented change and everything from how travellers researched their trip to how they interacted with a property shifted. 

Contactless service has gained popularity and is the new normal for the hospitality industry. In fact, many tech-savvy consumers now expect self-serve solutions and have become the driving force behind contactless technology adoption amongst hotels. Accommodation providers that can meet and exceed the expectations of the connected hotel guest will benefit from higher occupancy rates and have frequent returning visitors. 

Niels Verspui, Market Head of RoomRaccoon South Africa, shares several new technologies that even small and independent hotels can leverage to meet new guest expectations: 

Research: 

It’s simple. The more people can find you, the more they can book you. According to Phocuswright, it is predicted that in 8 years, over 80% of all accommodation bookings will be made online. It is therefore critical that hotels invest in their online presence to meet guest expectations. To increase online visibility, hotels should consider having a website that is easy to find and navigate, using relevant social media channels, and being visible on major OTA sites or metasearch engines like Tripadvisor. 

Image caption: RoomRaccoon Channel Manager

A channel manager is an essential tool in the hotel tech stack and allows properties to advertise and distribute inventory to multiple booking sites from a single platform.

Booking: 

To maximise the guest experience during the booking stage, hotels should optimise their website with a booking engine that gives guests an instant insight into room availability and can securely process payments. Hotels can also consider offering direct booking discount codes to entice guests further and implementing chatbot technology to assist with online bookings, answer FAQs, and promote upsells. 

Hotels can also consider using Google Hotels to win more direct bookings. In most cases, metasearch channels are cheaper than paying OTA commission fees. 

Arrival: 

Typically, hotel guest check-ins can result in long waiting times, frustrated guests and flustered front-desk staff. Moving the process to an online check-in means guests can complete all forms and screenings before they get to the hotel, enhancing the guest experience while simultaneously cutting down tedious administrative tasks. 

Image caption: RoomRaccoon Digital ID Verification

Another way to save time and effort for guests is to let customers check-in online using digital ID verification software. 

Stay:  

In-room technology adds an element of convenience that improves the guest experience. Even small and independent hotels can leverage hotel room technology that travellers are looking for today such as Alexa for Hospitality, interactive TVs, digital room keys and automated text messaging services.

Post-stay: 

Building customer relationships is more manageable with hotel technology. Hoteliers with the right hotel management system can automatically trigger personalised mobile communication throughout the guest stay, including post-stay. 

Image caption: Customisable post-stay email

Hoteliers can consider creating a post-stay email with a redeemable discount code to encourage repeat bookings or a quick survey to show guests that you care about their experience. 

Save with RoomRaccoon

Join RoomRaccoon before the end of September and we will waive our standard activation fee worth more than R5000. The offer is valid for FEDHASA members who complete an order confirmation before 30 September 2022 and commit to a minimum of 12 months. 

Get the deal. 

About RoomRaccoon

RoomRaccoon is an innovative all-in-one Hotel Management System that empowers independent hoteliers with powerful cloud technology to boost operations, maximise profitability and deliver a memorable guest experience. The system is intuitive and simple to use and offers outstanding support, should you need it. Based in Cape Town, RoomRaccoon is trusted by thousands of independent properties across the globe and was voted as the #1 hotel management system by hotel operators and industry experts in the 2020 and 2021 HotelTechAwards.  

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