How hotels are driving digital transformation
Everything in the hospitality industry drives towards one goal: the happiness of the guests.
Hotels have long catered to the whims and fancies of their guests but are now looking to leverage technology to take this guest-focused approach to the next level.
According to a new report from travel tech company Sabre Corporation and research firm Altimeter, the digital transformation of the hotel guest experience will be what gives hoteliers the competitive edge this year. The report reveals that digital transformation is proving a challenge for the industry and offers advice on what brands can do to boost the guest experience.
Innovation and flexibility
With apps and services such as Uber, Airbnb and Amazon Prime catering to the every whim of customers in real time, the hotel industry has been drawn into the on-demand economy.
As guest behaviours and expectations evolve, so too must the approach hotel brands take to using innovative technology. And that means leaving ‘legacy’ foundations behind and trying new things to ensure the transformation is meaningful as well as digital.
Speaking about the report, president of Sabre Hospitality Clinton Anderson explains: “In order to meet the expectations of today’s tech-savvy consumers, hoteliers must adopt flexible solutions that allow them to further [personalise] both the guest’s digital and physical experience.”
The Digital Transformation of the Hotel Guest Experience uncovers the secrets of digital transformation in the hotel industry and identifies the priorities. Here are some of the key findings of the report.
Connecting with the connected guest
If a digital transformation project is going to thrive, it needs a clear purpose. And in the hotel industry, that purpose is the guest experience.
Today’s guests are digitally savvy. They know what they like and have high expectations of any hospitality experience.
“This is an opportunity for hoteliers to innovate and use digital transformation to introduce new levels of experiences that change the game for the entire industry,” explains Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter.
In order to make a transformation meaningful, hospitality brands need to adapt to guests’ preferred methods of interaction. For example, building a one-stop mobile application that allows guests to complete the booking process in one place.
Continual evolution is key
The most successful brands today are agile and aren’t afraid to experiment with technology. As a result, they are able to cater to user expectations and preferences.
Technologies designed with experience in mind ensure that products, services and the user journey intuitively meet these on-demand expectations. This focus on experience also means that whether it’s mobile, desktop, in-app or web, these technologies create a more personalised user experience.
In turn, more personalised engagement at every touchpoint helps create a link between the digital and physical worlds.
Follow your guests
From the time someone starts thinking about a trip (even before they do), a company needs to be there.
As the report states: “Google refers to the beginning of the mobile-first consumer journey as micro moments. This happens when consumers want to begin or continue the process of choosing where to go, stay, what to do, etc., using the device closest to them at all times – their smartphone.”
Brands need to stay with their guests at every step of the journey. They can do this by focusing on these ‘micro moments’ by creating tailored web content, making smart use of social media, and investing in intuitive apps.
The more value a hotel brand can offer a traveller, the more value they receive in return. Brands need to do what they can to stay relevant, placing the guest at the heart of the transformation and leveraging technology to create meaningful experiences at scale.
According to the report: “Brands must evolve as consumers and markets evolve. Many businesses are captive by their own legacy processes and perspectives – making it difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with trends as they emerge and advance.”
If they want to gain a competitive edge, hotels need look beyond the hotel industry and towards the wider hospitality industry (and beyond).
If you would like to find out more about the current trends, emerging technologies and key disruptors within the hotel industry and other industries, speak with Adare International. We can help you place your guests at the heart of your digital transformation journey.