3 Key Factors to Keep in Mind When Making Your Next Tech Investment
According to the latest report from Hospitality Technology, 54% of hoteliers are planning to increase their technology budgets this year. Whether you’re responsible for managing a single boutique hotel or a large chain of branded properties, it is impossible to ignore the increasing role technology is playing in the hospitality space. From seamless mobile check-in offerings to digital access to services, amenities and hotel staff, it’s easy to see why guests find increased value from tech-enabled interactions. Meeting expectations in this area is often rewarded with higher guest satisfaction and loyalty.
While the advantages of offering a digital-first hospitality experience are clear, it can be difficult to navigate the sea of options on the market. Here are just a few strategies you can apply when looking to make smart choices that optimize your return on investment.
Look for Ease of Use
If you’re deciding which investments to make next, consider the importance of selecting a known platform that will make implementation a breeze. In a recent survey, 1 in 4 small independent hotels cited complexity as the biggest challenge for adopting new technology, and 1 in 3 indicated ease of use as the priority when choosing what tech to purchase. Regardless of the hotel or chain size, investing in any upgrades only to have them fall flat during implementation can be frustrating.
Embrace Mobile Technology
Cost is also a key factor in making coveted technology upgrades, but there’s good news for hotels of all sizes. According to Scotland-based hospitality firm Criton, guests’ mobile devices are “recognized as an essential tool for delivering and improving their travel experience.” More than 60% of respondents report using a hotel’s app, and 74% state they would use this option if their favorite hotel offered it.
“Increasingly, today’s travelers are downloading apps that help them get around and stay connected with their hotel,” Criton founder/CEO Julie Grieve said in a statement. “That level of tech awareness or even dependency also raises expectations for information, guest services such as check-in, digital key and offers and incentives to reward their loyalty.”
Hold Out for a Multi-Point Platform
While it may be tempting to select the most popular one-point solutions and try to fit them all together, you could be setting yourself up for a tech stack nightmare. To ensure technology investments are worth their space in the budget, start with a platform that offers comprehensive solutions and exceptional support. Complexity doesn’t have to be an issue, and ease of use should be the expectation. Both components will lead to greater adoption and ultimately, value.
To keep initial costs down, consider the possibility of using guest’s smartphones with a branded hotel app. Not only does research show the devices are readily available, but it also confirms guests are interested in the option. A branded app can provide a lower entry point financially while engaging guests and increasing loyalty. With the branded app solution, you’re also reaching guests long after they’re gone, increasing the opportunities for a repeat stay.