Automating hotel services to curate lavish experiences is not a new trend but rather a long-standing commitment. The world-renowned Sheraton chain was the first to introduce a fully automated reservation process in 1958. Since then, the resort industry has witnessed numerous advancements, such as robot servers and keyless entry systems.
Automation technologies introduced in the 20th century and early 2000s failed to actualize the true potential of artificial intelligence. These upgrades were discouraged because they depersonalized the hotel experience. But the last decade has witnessed groundbreaking developments in highly intuitive automation tools, harnessing artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms.
The B&Bs, family-run guest houses, and small hotels can leverage these automation tools to deliver resort-like luxuries and world-class amenities. Automation is an excellent strategy to free up human resources and offer extensively personalized services.
Read on to explore practical ways to automate your startup and develop a competitive edge in the resort industry.
Digitally Powered Housekeeping Solutions
Housekeeping is one of the most crucial aspects of a comfortable hotel experience, as it ensures robust comfort and hygiene standards. Modern-day guests are increasingly conscious of cleanliness, particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rigorous cleaning and social distancing rituals have left everyone flinching at the thought of beds riddled with germs.
Automating housekeeping processes, such as task management, in-house communication, and guest requests, can boost efficiency. Instead of communicating on walkie-talkies or smartphones, the housekeeping staff can manage their duties through dedicated apps. However, introducing in-house housekeeping software can eliminate inefficiencies by navigating housekeepers through their day-to-day chores. We recommend ResortCleaning as an efficient solution for resort housekeeping automation. It is a comprehensive, cloud-based software that helps you manage your in-house operations efficiently.
These tools can streamline communication between the housekeeping team and allow guests to make requests without interacting with the staff. A designated software can help streamline all tasks, allowing managers to track productivity with a glance. For instance, the maids can change the status of the room to ‘cleaned’ after finishing their tasks. Then, the manager can perform an inspection and change the status to ‘inspected’ or ‘ready for check-in.’
Automated housekeeping solutions are highly effective at managing day-to-day productivity and eliminating room cleaning and maintenance delays.
The rising popularity of vacation rentals and independently owned hotel suites has encouraged vacationers to seek independence and privacy. Finding one’s room with multiple staff members trailing behind is a thing of the past. Modern-day guests do not enjoy traditional check-ins and prefer the flexibility of self-service check-ins.
Research reveals that self-service check-ins and digital tools lead to an increase in booking traffic and guest satisfaction. These tools are a game-changer for budget hotels and small guest houses competing against all-inclusive resorts and hotel chains.
Introducing an automated or keyless check-in experience is a fabulous strategy to personalize the hotel experience. More importantly, this tech-savvy upgrade will take the pressure off your reception desk, allowing staff members to prioritize crucial tasks.
As a new entrant to the resort sector, it’s wise to minimize recruitment needs by infusing technology where applicable. Allowing customers to manage bookings and check-ins through smartphone apps will eliminate the need for a concierge or front desk staff.
Chatbots are all the rage in 2023, with innumerable applications across every sector, from e-commerce and hospitality to automotive and healthcare. AI-powered chatbots are considered a futuristic development to automate customer service and offer highly personalized responses.
Delays in customer service queries lead to disgruntled customers, setting the stage for customer dissatisfaction and disloyalty. An automated chatbot offers smooth and swift customer service, connecting with hotel guests at a more personal level. AI chatbots can tap into the guest’s history within seconds, offering personalized responses based on past experiences.
For a startup eager to penetrate the resort industry, automated chatbots can help reduce recruitment expenses without upsetting guests. These tools can convey service requests from guests to the staff, ensuring efficiency and speed. Guests can use the automatic messaging tool to convey their requests, food orders, room service needs, and other queries.
These chatbots can also streamline post-departure communication, such as obtaining feedback and sending offers and promotions.
Offering Smart Amenities
Hotel experiences are no longer confined to a luxuriously appointed king-size bed with down feather cushions and an extra bouncy mattress. Modern-day vacationers want to experience futuristic upgrades and amenities they cannot enjoy at home. For instance, guests adore the convenience of using a remote to pull back the curtains and enjoy the sweeping views.
It is common for guests to book hotel rooms after carefully examining the list of in-room amenities and smart appliances. Living without air conditioning, smart TVs, high-speed internet, and in-room refrigerators is ghastly and inconvenient. Infusing the guest experience with smart technology is the best way to maximize comfort and convenience.
When designing the room, examining every aspect and exploring how smart technology can enhance the experience is important. For instance, smart sensors that detect movements can automate the air conditioning systems, fans, and lights – ideal for convenience and energy saving. Likewise, a smart whirlpool bathtub can deliver a spa-like experience with features for sauna and steam.
Smart appliances like tea and coffee-making equipment, refrigerators, microwaves, and flat screen TVs transform standard rooms into an oasis of contemporary comforts. Discerning travelers who don’t enjoy ditching their comfort zones are attracted to high-end smart amenities. These amenities and upgrades also attract families with children and elderly relatives.
These smart tools will also help reduce the hotel’s overall carbon footprint by saving electricity, gas, and other utilities. Smart systems are also useful for streamlining repair and maintenance chores, with alarm systems indicating wear and tear.
As a hotelier, it is natural to be wary of technology and its tendency to eliminate the human touch. But once you realize the true potential of automation, you can enhance the human touch without burdening your staff. The essence of automation lies in freeing up team members from mundane and repetitive tasks, allowing them to focus on creativity.
Finding a balance between AI-powered guest services and personalized staff interactions is important. Hotel owners must also set priorities while planning their technology acquisition needs, focusing on aspects that maximize guest satisfaction. For instance, automated check-ins and in-house apps attract travelers seeking independence and privacy. It is crucial to remember that hospitality is the art of selling unforgettable experiences. Automation tools can help ensure satisfaction by addressing grievances and personalizing guest services.