Hotels Build Digital Infrastructure
Hotels have been using proximity tech for years towards personalizing guest experience and reaching out a younger, tech-savvy audience. Smartphones are capable of so much more with each passing year. Here is list of 9 ways that hotels can take advantage of our phone’s functionality.
1. Choosing a Hotel: Hotels are taking advantage of geo-fencing to send contextual advertisements to near passers-by. Whether you’re a tourist in a big city or a local needing a break from the run-of-the mill, Eddystone’s Nearby Notifications and applications have been highlighting nearby gems.
2. Check-Ins and Navigation: No more queuing at front-desks. Guests can access a hotel application and do a self-registration without the inconvenience of lines and interacting with staff. Bluetooth Beacons can trigger a prompt to download the hotel application. Anyone with Bluetooth activated on their smart device can take advantage of this self-service. Hotels have been leveraging Bluetooth Low Energy beacons to facilitate indoor positioning systems. While GPS is effective outside, Bluetooth takes over indoors, helping guests find their rooms and hotel amenities. Beacons can also facilitate interactive tours of hotels and resorts. By interacting with Bluetooth beacons in different regions of hotels, guests can access information on points of interest and hotel policies. Beacons provide your typical, blue-dot mapping experience but can do so much more – sending targeted suggestions to upsell nearby services.
3. Cellphones as Room-Keys: When guests have self-checked in using their phones, a digital key is sent to their smartphone via an application. With a wave or tap, a cellphone unlocks a guests hotel room. Beacons placed on each door pick up on the proximity of a guest’s phone and trigger the unlock mechanism. No more lost cards.
4. Automated Lighting: With Bluetooth beacons, rooms can sense when guests are within and enable guests to control temperature and lighting, television channels and volume, and room service through their mobile phone, taking clap-on, clap-off technology into the present.
5. Enhanced Dining: Beacons transmit small packets of information to nearby smart-devices. In this way, guests can view menus for hotel restaurants, itineraries for nearby festivals and events, and hotel policies from their phone. Not only is this convenient for the guest, hotels can save on printing and staffing costs.
6. Loyalty Programs: Hotels can deploy beacons to offer guests ‘location-specific offers’. Beacons create targeted ‘micro-locations’ which trigger an alert based on guest proximity. These alerts could be an offer or a discount for drinks to a guest who is already at or near the bar. Instead of bombarding all guests with all offers, beacons would only send context-specific coupons and offers when guests approach specific areas of a hotel. Location-based marketing has high conversion rates and can drive brand loyalty.
7. Analytics: Hotels are making guest’s stays better by leveraging the power of analytics to automate systems such as heating, cooling, lighting, pool temperature, and to trigger staff actions. Beacons come equipped with sensors which gather data ambient light, temperature, motion, humidity, and barometric data which inform management decisions. Beacons can also send links to quick surveys to gather guest opinions which improve staff efficiency, staff productivity and guest experience.
8. Staff Efficiency: Beacons can be used to measure dwell times, measuring how long visitors spend at locations in the hotel. Management can deploy appropriate staff to high-traffic areas. Since beacons work in real-time, all guests with bluetooth-enabled smart devices can be monitored in real-time. This data is anonymous and used to ensure that amenities are constantly available through appropriate staffing deployments.
9. Staff Productivity: Beacons can also sense the presence of housekeepers and maintenance crews. This data can be logged and circumvent the need for paper records. Alerts can be sent to management if rooms do not detect an interaction between housekeeping and a vacated room. Knowing how long staff spend on various tasks can allow management to manage the productivity of their workforce and find ways to maximize efficiency.
Next time you have a hotel stay, turn on Bluetooth and see how it’s your key to IoT. Take advantage of the digital infrastructure meant to improve your stay.