For hoteliers, guest service has always been the key factor that drives the higher average daily rates that grow profitability. With guests seeking more memorable experiences, service expectations will only continue to increase as they become accustomed to hyper-personalization and real-time conveniences that technology provides in their everyday lives.
Looking forward, the key factor influencing guest satisfaction, brand preference and customer lifetime value will be how successfully hotel management integrates new technologies - virtually and in real life (IRL) - to improve the physical product and service delivery that enhances perceived value.
Strategic tech deployment is the new battleground
Hotel managers face the daunting challenge of selecting and implementing technologies that provide the faster, better, cheaper methods required to simultaneously satisfy the growing and increasingly complex needs of guests and the profitability requirements of property ownership. New system installations will also need to minimize operational disruption and retain valuable historical data. An additional challenge will be the balancing of personalization and convenience against privacy and security.
While sexy new technologies may distract some (2014's Starwood Preferred Guest app for Google Glass may come to mind), the hotel industry must rebuild its technology platforms by first addressing the foundational system architecture, so data may be efficiently captured, secured and shared with minimal replication across various software applications.
Phocuswright's latest travel research report, It's All About the Experience: How Will Technology Improve the Hotel Stay?, outlines how hotel companies have implemented and deployed strategic tech into hotel product design, guest service touchpoints, and operations and staff efficiency.
Subscribe to Open Access to gain access to this report and the rest of Phocuswright's comprehensive library of research and data customization.
For even more insight, register to attend the 2018 Phocuswright Conference (November 13-15 in Los Angeles) where the most successful and influential companies and leaders in the lodging sector interact to create new partnerships, exchange ideas and understand what competitors are doing. Here's a preview of lodging-related sessions:
- Hospitality Marketing Innovation ThinkTank: Featuring top hospitality companies, the interactive ThinkTank includes research presented by HSMAI as well as a panel discussion with C-level hospitality executives. Learn more here.
- Keynote and Interview: Maud Bailly, Chief Digital Officer, AccorHotels: Strong leadership and fresh ideas have energized Europe's largest hotel company as it bravely navigates the digital age. Find out how Accor's chief digital officer is nurturing talent and creating a culture that will redefine the chain's role in global hotel distribution for years to come.
- Executive Interview - Kellyn Smith Kenny, Sr. VP and Chief Marketing Officer, Hilton Hotels: Hospitality distribution, direct booking campaigns, loyalty programs and evolving the hotel guest experience are only a few items at the top of this new CMO's agenda. Listen in on fresh ideas and what's to come for the hospitality giant.
- In a special presentation, STR and Phocuswright will present key hotel trends based on benchmarking data that brings to light their projections for the hotel industry.
- Executive Roundtable - Travel and the Future of Cities: Travel's disruptive new ideas carve new grooves in the urban landscape, while a global surge in guests flocking to hot spots sometimes erodes what they came to enjoy. Home sharing, ride hailing and travel itself have cities grappling with an unprecedented array of consequences and opportunities. Leaders from travel and advocates for better city living discuss the best path forward.
Check out the full program here and register here (save $200 through Oct. 31).