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Genz's Preference for Contactless Services Sets a New Trend in Hospitality

A contactless guest experience is becoming increasingly popular. Today, many hotels leverage digital solutions to streamline the check-in, stay, and checkout processes for guests. Due to the growing awareness of the potential risks associated with physical contact and touch, COVID-19 has significantly increased the popularity of contactless technology. Because of this, Hotels are putting more money into creative ways to provide visitors a hands-free experience.

Contactless hotel experiences are not entirely a novel concept, though. Numerous firms in the hospitality sector have adopted self-service technology like smartphone door locks, instant messaging, and others during the past few years. At the Aloft hotel in Cupertino in 2014, Starwood, one of the biggest hotel chains in the world, unveiled two new robotic butlers. These robots communicate with the hotel software using a combination of sensors and WiFi/4G connectivity, and they navigate safely to and from the rooms.

A robot concierge (two feet tall with arms and legs) that can assist guests in finding anything on the hotel grounds was also created via a collaboration between Hilton and IBM in 2016. When a guest requested for directions or assistance, Connie the robot could move himself to gesture in the proper direction. In order to convey comprehension, perplexity, and other human emotions, Connie's eyes also change color. By creating Connie, Hilton aimed to improve operations, surprise guests, and get rid of consumer annoyances like standing in line to ask inquiries at the front desk



WHAT IS A CONTACTLESS GUEST EXPERIENCE AND WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Generation Z, also known as the digital natives, have grown up surrounded by technology and are very comfortable using it in their daily lives. They expect the same level of convenience and efficiency when it comes to services such as checking into a hotel or ordering food at a restaurant. Contactless services allow them to do this without the need for face-to-face interactions, which aligns with their preference for privacy and social distancing.

In the hospitality industry, this has led to the development and implementation of various contactless services, such as:

  • Self check-in and check-out: Hotels are using kiosks and mobile apps to allow guests to check in and check out without the need to interact with a front desk clerk.

  • Mobile ordering and payments: Restaurants are allowing guests to place orders and make payments using their smartphones, without the need to interact with a server.

  • Virtual concierge services: Hotels are offering virtual concierge services that allow guests to ask questions, request services, and make reservations using their mobile devices.

Overall, this trend towards contactless services in the hospitality industry is driven by Generation Z’s preference for convenience, efficiency and privacy. It is expected to continue to grow as technology continues to advance and more businesses adopt contactless options.


BENEFITS OF CONTACTLESS EXPERIENCE FOR GUESTS

There are several benefits of a contactless experience for guests, including :

  • Enhanced safety and hygiene: Contactless experience reduce the need for physical contact, thereby reducing the risk of transmission of germs and viruses.

  • Increased convenience and speed: Guests can complete transactions and access services quickly and easily without the need to handle cash or cards.

  • Improved guest experience: Contactless experience can enhance the overall guest experience by providing a more seamless and efficient service.

  • Better data collection and analytics: Contactless technologies can provide valuable data on guest behaviour and preference, allowing businesses to improve their services and marketing efforts.

  • Cost savings: Contactless experiences can reduce costs for businesses by reducing the need for cash handling and reducing the risk of fraud.


EXAMPLES OF TECH-DRIVEN CONTACTLESS EXPERIENCE

As safer and more efficient self-service choices take the place of in-person touchpoints, technological solutions are upending the hospitality sector. In-app mobile hotel navigational instructions, contactless in-room entertainment, AI-enabled voice assistants, and even concierge robots are examples of self-service check-in and checkout kiosks.

  1. Digital concierge bot for Hotels: A digital concierge bot for hotels can provide a number of benefits for both guests and hotel staff. Some of these benefits include:

  • 24/7 availability: A digital concierge bot can be available to guests at all times, providing quick and convenient assistance with a wide range of services and inquiries.

  • Personalization: A digital concierge bot can be programmed to understand and respond to guests' individual preferences and needs, providing a more personalized experience.

  • Multilingual support : A digital concierge bot can be programmed to understand and respond to guests in multiple languages, which can help hotels cater to a wider range of guests.

  • Automation : A digital concierge bot can automate many tasks, such as booking reservations or answering frequently asked questions, which can help reduce the workload for hotel staff.

  • Improved Guest Satisfaction: A digital concierge bot can provide guests with a more efficient and convenient service, which can lead to improved guest satisfaction and positive reviews.

  • Cost savings: A digital concierge bot can help hotels save costs by reducing the need for additional staff to handle guest inquiries and requests.

2. Using Voice Technology to Engage Guests in Leading Hotels:

Voice technology can be used in a variety of ways to engage guests in leading hotels. Some examples include:

  • Voice-controlled room controls: Voice technology can be used to allow guests to control various aspects of their room, such as lighting, temperature, and entertainment systems, using simple voice commands.

  • Voice- enabled concierge services: Guests can use voice technology to ask for information about the hotel and its amenities, make restaurant reservations, and request other services, such as housekeeping or laundry.

  • Voice-enabled in-room assistance: Guests can use voice technology to interact with virtual assistants that can answer questions, provide recommendations, and play music or other audio content.

  • Voice-enabled check-in and check-out: Guests can use voice technology to check in and out of the hotel, eliminating the need for traditional check-in and check-out processes.

  • Voice-enabled feedback and surveys : Voice technology can be used to gather guest feedback and conduct surveys, allowing hotels to improve their services and guest experience.

Overall, using voice technology can provide a more seamless, efficient and personalised experience for guests, increase guest satisfaction and engagement, and even save costs for hotels.


3. Automating the accommodation experience from check-in to checkout can involve various technologies and processes. Some examples include:

  • Online check-in and check-out: Guests can check in and out of the hotel using a website or mobile app, eliminating the need to visit the front desk in person.

  • Keyless entry: Guests can use their mobile device or a credit card to open their room door, eliminating the need for physical room keys.

  • Room controls: Guests can use a mobile app or in-room device to control the room's temperature, lighting, and other settings.

  • Self-service kiosks: Guests can check in and out, make payments, and print their own room keys using self-service kiosks located in the hotel lobby.

  • Chatbots: Guests can use chatbots to communicate with the hotel and receive information, assistance, and support.

Overall, these technologies can help to improve the guest experience by providing more convenience and flexibility, while also reducing the workload of hotel staff. However, it is also important to consider data protection and privacy laws as well as the hotel's reputation.


4. Delivering a Personalized Experience to Hotel Guests:

Delivering a personalized experience to hotel guests can involve several strategies and technologies. Some examples include:

  • Guest data collection and analysis: Collecting data on guests' preferences, behaviors, and demographics can help hotels to understand their guests' needs and tailor their services accordingly.

  • Personalized communication: Hotels can use guests' data to personalize their communication with guests, such as sending customized email or SMS messages.

  • Room preferences: Hotels can use guests' data to pre-set room preferences, such as temperature and lighting, before guests arrive.

  • Upselling and cross-selling: Hotels can use guests' data to suggest relevant additional services or products, such as spa treatments or restaurant reservations.

  • Personalized loyalty programs: Hotels can use guests' data to create tailored loyalty programs that offer rewards and benefits based on guests' individual preferences and behaviors.

  • Smart Room Technology: With the help of IoT, hotels can offer a more personalized experience to guests by using smart room technology such as voice commands and personalized TV menus.

Overall, these strategies can help hotels to provide a more personalized and satisfying experience for guests, which can help to increase guest satisfaction and loyalty.


5. Serving Guests with Safe, Seamless, and Personalized Hotel Experiences.

Serving guests with safe, seamless, and personalized hotel experiences involves a combination of strategies and technologies to ensure that guests have a pleasant and safe stay, while also providing them with personalized services and experiences. Some examples include:

  • Implementing safety protocols: Hotels can implement safety protocols such as regular cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing measures, and contactless check-in and check-out to protect guests from the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

  • Contactless experiences: Hotels can provide contactless experiences such as digital check-in and check-out, mobile keyless room entry, and digital menus to reduce the need for face-to-face interactions and increase safety.

  • Personalized services: Hotels can use data analysis and machine learning to personalize services for guests such as room preferences, recommendations, and customized offers.

  • Seamless integration of technology: Hotels can integrate various technologies such as mobile apps, smart devices, and automation to provide seamless and convenient experiences for guests.

  • Smart Room Technology: With the help of IoT, hotels can offer a more personalized experience to guests by using smart room technology such as voice commands and personalized TV menus.

  • Personalized communication: Hotels can use guests' data to personalize their communication with guests, such as sending customized email or SMS messages, this will also help to keep the guests informed about the hotel's safety protocols.

Overall, hotels that prioritize safety, seamless experiences, and personalization will be better equipped to meet the needs of today's guests and to stand out in a highly competitive market.


  1. Improving Connectivity and Convenience for Hotel Guests:

Improving connectivity and convenience for hotel guests involves providing guests with easy access to various services and technologies that can enhance their stay. Some examples include:

  • High-speed internet: Providing guests with high-speed internet access allows them to stay connected with family, friends, and work while they are away from home.

  • Mobile apps: Developing a mobile app for guests to use during their stay can provide them with a convenient way to access information about the hotel, make reservations, and control room settings.

  • Smart room technology: Installing smart devices such as voice assistants, smart lighting, and temperature control in guest rooms can provide guests with more convenient and personalized experiences.

  • Self-service kiosks: Installing self-service kiosks in the lobby or other common areas can allow guests to check in and out, make payments, and access other hotel services without having to wait in line.

  • In-room entertainment: Providing guests with a variety of in-room entertainment options such as streaming services, games, and music can help to enhance their stay.

  • Luggage storage and delivery service: Offer luggage storage and delivery service to guests, this can help to make their travel more convenient, especially for those who have early check-in or late check-out.

Overall, providing guests with easy access to various services and technologies can enhance their stay and improve their satisfaction with the hotel.


CONCLUSION : In conclusion, the preference for contactless services among Gen Z sets a new trend in the hospitality industry. As the first fully digital native generation, Gen Z is more comfortable with technology and expects to use it in every aspect of their lives, including during their travels. Hotels that can provide contactless services such as digital check-in and check-out, mobile keyless room entry, and digital menus will be better equipped to meet the needs of Gen Z guests and to stand out in a highly competitive market. Additionally, the focus on safety and hygiene due to the pandemic, has increased the demand for contactless services even more. Therefore, hotels that can provide these services while maintaining a high level of safety will be better positioned to attract and retain guests in the future.



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