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29 March 2017 | Hoteles

Hotels & technology

In an ever-changing world, every sector of society is increasingly affected by advances in technology, and hotels are not an exception.

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In an ever-changing world, every sector of society is increasingly affected by advances in technology. We are surrounded by devices, software and applications that are supposed to make our lives easier. Up to here, we have become used all this gadgets without even realizing it, and it is difficult to conceive our day to day without them.

And the hotel sector is not unaware of these technological advances. For some years now, international chains have been gradually introducing changes in the day to day of guests in order to improve their stay and experience from the traditional key to the magnetic cards (and today, we can even access the room via Bluetooth with our cell phone); from telephone to online bookings; from  checking-in at the hotel to doing it from home to have the room ready upon arrival; or from the typical employee who stores your bags to a futuristic mechanical arm that takes care of them. Constant evolution seems to have no limit.

The arrival of booking Apps to mobile devices has made shopping experience easier for customers and, in turn, has opened new sales channels (both direct and indirect) to hoteliers. Booking a stay in a few minutes is possible at any time and from anywhere: win-win.

And that's not all! Now the "chatbots" (English combination of the words "chat" and "bot") seem to be  here to stay. This software, capable of communicating with people using artificial intelligence, promises a long and successful path in the tourism sector, which has received them with open arms. Nevertheless, all of them expect technology to be improved in order to make its use easier.

Some of the benefits that the mentioned chatbots can bring to the industry are: automation of customer service, allowing a 24/7 service both as a reservation channel and also to improve the guest experience, either before arrival or once there; the use of a flexible and real-time commercial tool; and an implementation of customer analysis tools, among others. In addition, chatbots offer the hotelier the possibility to have their staff performing tasks of added value, and leave chatbots to carry out more mechanic tasks, which means, at a long term, a cost reduction while offering a better service.

In any case, it should be understood that, as in all fields, technology can not (and should not) completely replace human touch nor services that people offer (even if there are humanoid robots willing to do so), but rather improve and help both hoteliers and clients to benefit from it. And this is only the beginning…

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