Should a hotel guest check in be more like the guest experience at an Apple Store?
The concept is not as far fetched as it seems.
There have been many ups and downs in the development of PMS software in recent years. But for almost all hotels, the fundamental process for interacting with guests through the PMS at check-in has remained fundamentally unchanged for decades: The guest arrives on property; waits in a line, sometimes for a very long time; and a front desk clerk buries his or head in a computer to check him in, produce room keys and try to take care of his other immediate needs.
But times have changed.
And the changes are being driven by consumers themselves.
“Travelers want greater automation in hotels. The majority of travelers would like to see greater automation of hotel services with over half wanting to use their mobile device to receive bills (58%), check-in (54%), checkout (57%), pay for hotel services (51%), and open their hotel room door (50%)” 2016 Cognizant Travel Survey.
In the past, automation was more associated with factory lines or robotics – or in the case of the hotel industry, with now-antiquated PMS systems.
Now, automation has come to be associated with consumer facing software that provides the ability to interact directly with back-office systems as opposed to going through a staff intermediary.
At StayNTouch, we think the implications of this are profound – and it begins with understanding what really constitutes excellence in “service” . . . and what does not.
First came personal computers (the word “personal” was important because before, these were business machines).