Contactless solutions for great guest experience.
The global travel, hotel, and hospitality industries have borne the major brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic that began in early 2020. In the UK alone, international, and local travel restrictions, reduced occupancy, as well as social distancing rules have hammered business turnover in the hospitality industry. Simultaneously, fixed costs along with debt have stayed where they are, leading to a massive downward spiral impacting over 1.6 million jobs at their peak. In 2020, hospitality businesses that have halted operation number at 55% compared to the industry average of 24%. 2021 promises to be different: with vaccinations at 90% of the adult population with the first dose and 70% with both doses, a major turnaround is already underway.
This is the right time for hospitality businesses to kick into high gear and get ready to take advantage of the current summer surge as well as the long-term uptick as everything goes back to business as usual.
The price of doing nothing could be extremely high, given that there is a way to use technology to dramatically enhance your guest experience. Using a Contactless Guest Experience Management App like EZStay™ can help you dramatically enhance your business and the guest experience, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction while seamlessly dealing with social distancing restrictions
What is Contactless Guest Experience?
Simply put, Contactless Guest Experience is using software technology to help customers access all your hospitality services through their smartphones while maintaining social distancing norms. Typically, since guests access hotel Wi-Fi anyway, they simply use a Contactless Guest Experience solution like EZStay™ to check-in to your hotel, request room service, book appointments at your restaurants, spas, or other facilities, and finally pay and check out of your establishment, all without any direct human contact! While Contactless Guest Experience solutions have been around for a few years, Covid-19 restrictions have catapulted this approach to the forefront, making it a great solution to several challenges posed by the pandemic. Contactless Guest Experience solutions like EZStay™ can help your hospitality business achieve greater efficiencies while simultaneously greatly enhancing a customer’s experience of your hotel, resort, or spa.
What is Contactless Guest Experience?
Any Good Contactless Guest Experience Solutions should provide these features at a bare minimum.
Online check-in and check-out are a primary, must-have feature of any contactless guest experience solution worth its salt. For guests, there is a dual advantage – the convenience of check-in or checkout and payments, as well as safety in terms of social distancing for Covid-19.
Any good solution will have a room service feature where customers can access all room service options on the smartphone device itself. This dramatically increases the convenience factor for customers while reducing the support load on your hotel.
Since the hotel or resort room was itself booked online in all probability, it is a simple extension of that to have customers book a restaurant, salon, spa, or any other facility directly from their smartphone using the contactless solution, rather than having to call a service desk.
Payment integration is a critical, must-have feature of any Contactless Guest Experience Solution. Typically, check-in, check-out, facilities, or room service would be integrated with a payment gateway so that customers can pay on the go. This way, the entire process of dealing with financial transactions can be handled automatically.
A good Contactless solution will be able to integrate well with your existing software systems, ensuring that your investments are protected and that you don’t need to rip and replace them..
EZStay™ can be seamlessly integrated with your existing hotel management or ERP systems ensuring that your customer facing systems are modernised and upgraded, while protecting your backend systems of records. You can continue to use your existing backend systems which also eliminates the need to re-train employees on a new backend system!
Today, chat as a service is so ubiquitous and customers’ preference to use text chat for any kind of interaction is so high that it makes complete sense for any decent Contactless Guest Experience Solution to incorporate live concierge chat in multiple languages.
Any Contactless Guest Experience Solution needs the ability to add or build any custom features that a business may require. For example, Digital Door Keyless Entry is one such optional feature that hospitality businesses can use. In the case of a Contactless Guest Experience Management App like EZStay™, you can integrate your check-in and payment features so that a customer can access their room using the Digital Door Keyless Entry option. This eliminates the need for cumbersome key management which requires in-person dealings with the customer.
Strictly speaking, security is not a “feature” in that it is not optional. An insecure Contactless Solution is no solution at all. Any robust Contactless Guest Experience Solution needs to have security baked into all its features and functions. For instance, at check-in time there needs to be a secure but user-friendly option to authenticate customers and provide access to the right set of facilities.
Again, having an intuitive user-centric design as well as a personalised experience must be built into a Contactless Guest Experience Solution. User experience matters because a good, intuitive user interface means that everything works seamlessly, and guests can use the app without having to figure it out. This way, guests can focus on what they are there for: to enjoy your hospitality experience.
Additionally, the app needs to be personalised for each guest based on their room type, personal preferences, and special requirements. Customers will remember a great personalised experience, especially if the app remembers their choices and makes appropriate recommendations. For a hotel, this is an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell services that a customer would like.
Benefits of contactless hotel solutions
There are several benefits of Contactless Guest Experience Solutions to both customers as well as hotels, resorts, and spas.
Contactless Guest Experience Solutions like EZStay™ can be highly customised to meet your hotel’s exacting needs. Your logo as well as brand guidelines, colours, and visuals are used to create a branded customer experience for your customers. Additionally, EZStay™ can be set up to use customised workflows to map to your hotel’s processes for everything from check-in and check-out to room service and concierge.
EZStay™ has been designed by user experience experts and is both easy to use and intuitive for even first-time users. This way, customers have a seamless experience and focus on having a great time at your hotel.
Since the hospitality industry is still reeling from the impact of Covid-19, EZStay™ is available with flexible and innovative payment options to meet your exact financial needs. There is a Perpetual License option where you pay a one-time lump-sum fee, along with a small annual maintenance charge for updates and upgrades. Another option is a monthly subscription model where you optimise your hotel’s operational expenses by making a monthly payment.
Benefits to your hotel
Contactless Guest Experience Solutions like EZStay™ offer several benefits to your hotel, resort, or spa.
Simply announcing to potential customers that your business offers a 100% Contactless Guest Experience will attract many more customers leading to both greater occupancy and revenue, with a direct impact on your RevPAR.
Greater occupancy will directly lead to greater revenues, with a direct positive impact on your RevPAR. Additionally, all the upsell and cross-sell options available in EZStay™ will again help increase customer spend on your property. A customer survey shows that up to 50% of customers would order more room service if they had that option on their smartphone.
Given that social distancing norms seem to be here to stay with us for a while, it is safe to say that your establishment will comply with government health safety and social distance norms that are in force.
Benefits to your customer
It is not just your hotel that will benefit from your EZStay™ Contactless Guest Experience Solution. Your consumers will thank you for all the benefits that they enjoy
Most customers will be happy that they and their loved ones can adhere to social distancing norms for everyone’s benefit. Contactless solutions offer exactly this benefit
Today’s digital natives are very comfortable with technology and surveys show that 75% of guests would be happy to use a Contactless Guest Experience Solution like EZStay™ from a pure convenience perspective. After all, there would be no need to carry door keys, remember room service, concierge, or reception desk numbers and they could make reservations at a spa or a lounge bar from anywhere
Technology and the future of contactless solutions
Contactless experiences have been possible primarily due to the rise of smartphones along with the internet. Although at the back-end there are large and complex technology platforms doing all the heavy lifting, as far as your customers or your employees are concerned, all they need to do is access their respective applications either on a smartphone or a workstation.
A PwC survey shows that implementing new technology solutions has led to a 135% increase in revenues, a 71% reduction in customer complaints, and a 19% increase in ratings. There can be no better evidence that technology is having a lasting, real positive impact on the hospitality industry, In the meanwhile, technology is also rendering the traditional concierge obsolete with the rise of text-based support options that are the go-to communication channel for today’s digital natives.
The future is contactless
Contactless Guest Experience Technology and Solutions are growing in leaps and bounds. In the future, those who do not adopt this approach will be rendered obsolete very quickly. Additionally, powerful analytics tools, as well as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms, are quickly adding tremendous benefits to customer acquisition, service, pricing, revenue, and profitability for hotel businesses.
Contactless Guest Experience Solutions like EZStay™ are here to stay and the only question is when (not if) hotel businesses like yours choose to adopt this approach towards better profitability and customer satisfaction. We at EZStay™ Solutions will be at Stand 362 at the Hotel360 Expo being held on 28 – 29 September 2021 at ExCeL, London. Make sure you visit us at Stand 362 to get a live demo of our EZStay™ Contactless Guest Experience Solution and learn how you can exploit EZStay™ to increase your occupancy, revenues, and customer satisfaction ratings while lowering expenses and effort.