Why you should be embracing frictionless guest-facing tech
If COVID has taught us one thing, it’s that touch-free tech is here to stay. And not just as a convenient time-saver, (though that’s still a perk), but as an essential safeguard for guests and staff alike.
According to Kekst CNC’s COVID 19 Opinion Tracker, “people expect the impacts of the virus to last longer than they did a month ago or at the start of the pandemic.” Your solutions, therefore, need to have longevity.
Even though contactless functionality isn’t something new, the pandemic has accelerated its importance in the guest journey. That’s because the modern guest’s ever-evolving expectations are now firmly set on contact-free functionality to enhance their travel experience. Here’s why:
Guests feel safer
Evidence of providing a safe travel environment will remain a top priority for guests throughout the pandemic and beyond. A recent Globetrender survey revealed that 76% of international travellers would prefer to visit countries with touchless functionality. This will help alleviate their concerns around germs and safety and is, therefore, a crucial long-term investment for property managers around the globe.
It builds trust among guests
By leveraging technology, you can remain fully-functional while still adhering to government regulations. For example, having a built-in track and trace declaration that guests can digitally sign when they check-in online helps to regain the trust of past guests as well as instil confidence in first-time visitors. It shows that you meet the standards required but also that guest and staff safety takes precedence, as you are collecting the information electronically rather than at a physical check-in. Storing the declarations in your PMS for 60 days also ensures that you adhere to government regulations and you have a digital record of visitors, should contact tracing steps need to be taken.
Guests can self-manage their reservation
With social distancing here for the long-haul, many guests will want to limit face-to-face interactions where possible. Contactless tech, such as browser-based solutions, give your guests the convenience and ability to complete everything from their mobile device, enabling full control over their stay.
Another sustainable and smart technology solution is installing a kiosk where guests can check-in, pick up a key and check-out within minutes. Kiosk solutions (such as those from Altitude) can reduce queues, increase guest satisfaction and remove additional administration to make it a seamless experience. Elevate the guest experience by integrating with your PMS for instant guest profile syncing, real-time inventory updates, multiple payment options and direct folio posting.
It’s quick and convenient
Although many guests are prioritising safety, there are additional efficiency advantages to going contactless that appeal to a wide range of travellers. Speed and flexibility are major factors - the ability to check-in early, check-out from the room, make a payment or amend the reservation saves travellers time when they have the freedom to do so from their mobile.
For property managers, the contactless solutions need to be seamless; there’s no margin for error as this type of tech has been around for long enough that guests know what to expect with the process. Make sure your contactless app or portal is optimised for all devices (mobiles, tablets, iPads, etc.), the layout is user-friendly and the transition between clicks is flawless.
Adjusting to dynamic consumer needs
With more tech-savvy guests and a shared need to alleviate pandemic concerns, the demand for contactless solutions in the hospitality sector will only accelerate. Research by Criton showed that 80% of travellers would download an app to check-in/out of their hotel, a figure that has risen by 10% since March 2020. In the same survey, 47% of people said they would be more inclined to order room service if they could place their order via their mobile. These stats are indicators that travellers will rely on hotels offering mobile tech (app or browser-based solutions) to meet their COVID-safe needs. Whilst these stats are derived from hotel guests, they are an indicator of consumer sentiment.
Frictionless tech is paving the way for positive, post-COVID guest experiences. By investing in these tools, you can accelerate your reopening and meet the needs of your guests, now and in the future. See what we’re doing with smart guest-facing technology.