A New Reality: How to Become a Contactless Hotel
posted by Daniil Tarakanov on 10.09.2020
The coronavirus outbreak has taken the world by storm. It has changed the way we live our lives, while shifting the direction of business operations across multiple industries.
We’ve covered the basics of the contactless hotel experience in a previous article, but here we’ll provide additional information to help you maximise your potential.
The Hospitality sector has certainly felt the impact, where new procedures and protocols have been introduced to align with social distancing guidelines. If you’re responsible for a hotel, your number one priority is to ensure your guests feel peace of mind during these uncertain times.
This can be achieved using smart new-era practices which preference minimal physical contact between the service provider and the customer. Though we were operating in an increasingly digital business world anyway, today’s pandemic has accelerated the digital shift, while inspiring new practices to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 transmission.
Generally speaking, people are creatures of habitat, so introducing new hygiene and safety protocols to overhaul of the guest journey can be challenging. So how exactly should you navigate this transition and ensure you add maximum value to the customer experience?
Here are a few expert tips which will help you optimize and automate processes as part of the ‘new normal’ for the hospitality industry.
It might be difficult to conceive a check-in without physical contact, but banishing the lobby concept is a realistic prospect. Mobile check-ins eradicate the need for room keys, since newly integrated technology can represent a digital key for virtual check-in.
You can utilize a central messaging system to alert guests on when their room is ready. This can improve customer satisfaction because guests will no longer have to wait in a queue after a long trip. They’ll instead be granted direct access to their room after being allocated a mobile key.
What’s great about this technology is it provides an opportunity to convey additional information, like breakfast timings, Wi-Fi passwords, recommendations on things to do locally and more. The applications are limitless, and can be leveraged to increase customer satisfaction tenfold.
Enable Guests to Book Housekeeping Slots
Though cleanliness and hygiene are top priorities, you’ll want to keep contact between staff and guests to an absolute minimum.
This can be achieved by allowing guests to book housekeeping slots according to their schedule. For example, if a guest knows they’re going out at 11, they could book housekeeping at this time.
This will ensure a clean environment is maintained, without unnecessary contact. Guests should be able to reduce housekeeping frequency if they choose, to ensure their preferences and overall well-being are being safeguarded.
You can even present a more radical option for especially-careful guests, giving an option for the housekeeping service to be eliminated altogether. Another alternative is the concept of self-cleaning, where guests are given different bags to keep soiled towels, bedding and trash. When things are ready to be cleaned, guests can simply text the hotel and leave bags outside their rooms ready for collection by staff.
To maintain proper hygiene you can even downsize the content of rooms, so there are fewer chances for germs to spread. Items like extra pillows, excess linen and minibars are perhaps unnecessary in today’s climate.
Some hotels are even preparing in advance by leaving rooms vacant for 1-3 days before the next check-in arrives. This allows ample time for staff to clean and disinfect the area thoroughly.
Distant seating is a great way to meet today’s requirements, while keeping fewer tables and chairs and reducing the banqueting service. Restaurant menus can be provided digitally to avoid further contact, giving guests the option to order food via their smart device.
Seamless ordering can digitally transform your business and improve the ordering process dramatically. You can even implement a QR-code supported ordering solution, where guests can scan a code on their device and place an order without having to download an app.
Otherwise, guests can effortlessly order via a guest messaging portal, or via your hotel app if you have one. Regardless of your chosen approach, digital assistance will enhance your culinary considerations.
Encourage your guests to go cashless to minimize contact. Exchange of currency and cash handling are best avoided, and the likelihood is that guests will feel more comfortable with contactless transactions anyway.
Discard the practice of receipt handling and exchanging bills, instead using online invoices and contactless card payments to reduce the transmission of infection.
Mindful Room Allocation
Take extra care when assigning rooms, ensuring you strictly adhere to social distancing doctrines. You can separate guests more than you usually would, ensuring there is ample space and minimal contact among them.
Spacing guests out accordingly will provide peace of mind, in an area with minimal disturbance and contact between guests. Assign rooms sensibly and think practically regarding proximity with other guests.
Having established contactless touchpoints throughout the entire customer journey, it’s important to maintain this through to the check-out. This can be executed digitally with a simple text or check-out via an app.
When your guest checks out, it should trigger a thank you text asking for feedback which can be used to improve their next stay. It’s important to receive feedback during this stage so you can tweak your contactless approach as part of a continually improving process.
Leverage Guest Messaging
Guests will rely heavily on smartphone communications with the hotel. With a guest messaging service at their fingertips, guests can do everything from check-in to order food to their room. They can book additional services, get in touch with staff and ultimately check-out through a single portal.
This makes the process seamless, enabling an unhindered experience with next to no dependability on staff. This is the perfect setup for a contactless hotel realm, one which will elevate the confidence and trust of your guests if you optimize your messaging portal with lots of benefits for guests.
Do everything you can to keep customers coming back for more in today’s unprecedented COVID times.
Technology is here to stay, so it’s best to embrace it and use it to its best advantage. You can leverage a digital approach to personalize the hotel experience for guests, aligning your hotel culture with changes in consumer expectations and behaviors.
levels.digital is a full-service design and technology agency that specializes in creating innovative solutions for hotels. These can transcend your company’s business model while adding significant value to the customer experience.
If you think we can help your business, please contact our Chief Growth Officer Daniil Tarakanov at firstname.lastname@example.org
posted by Daniil Tarakanov on 10.09.2020
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