[Jan. 2, 2019] The same technology pervading homes is entering the hospitality space. As we have witnessed over the past year, integrated smart devices and voice technology are here to stay and only expanding. Hotels can take advantage of the trends by making wise decisions to begin with the technology that makes most sense for the property and then selecting a knowledgeable provider as a partner to help implement.
Here are five things hoteliers should think about as they invest in new in-room technology.
1. Weigh the guest benefit of the enhanced experience with the impact to the property’s operational experience.Ideally, technology is a win for both—with efficiencies for the hotel and convenience for the guest. A lot of technology even offers savings such as the energymanagement or additional revenue opportunities to offset a bit of the investment. Plus, guests are often delighted by the new technology and include mentions within their reviews or satisfaction measures.
2. Choose technology the guests will know how to use—it should be familiar or intuitive and easy to learn. If not, choose a different provider or wait for the tech to improve.
3. Don’t trade a personalized experience at the risk of guest privacy or unsecured personal data.No one wants their property headlining a data breech so minimize or eliminate those risks.
4. Consider your components and hardware.How many components and endpoints will now be in the room to maintain and secure and can they all work together? Look for minimal footprints as well as compatibility with other systems and components already in the room. Reap the benefits of tagging on to existing in-room systems—such as using the in-room TV to adjust the thermostat or contact the front desk or using voice to control the TV. The right product and provider can integrate the technology to work together without replacing all those components or having everything fail if one component stops working.
5. Don’t neglect maintenance and support.Today’s technology makes it possible for devices to self-report so you can be confident everything is working before a guest walks in the room. Data reports should also tell you how much your investment is being used. A good provider should offer those tools along with fanatical 24×7 technical support for you and your guests.
Great products are out there and tested and ready for the demanding use of the hospitality setting. There are also providers who can identify and shoulder the burdens associated with bringing in something new. The combination of the right product and the right provider is what will create that futureproof investment everyone desires.
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