In today’s hospitality arena, guest expectations have become very high. From wanting keyless entry to pervasive Wifi, most guests want their needs to be continually met in a completely frictionless environment.
While new innovations are keeping guests happy, there may be a converse situation happening: perhaps the new technologies themselves are causing friction? Or perhaps the idea of a keyless room or a digital concierge will cause more stress for certain kinds of guests?
For example, while Millennials are more apt to embrace a mobile experience, the Baby Boomers may be resistant to some of the technology changes happening in hospitality. A new mobile app for guest check-in and concierge services may actually cause stress for those from another generation.
When developing new innovations, hoteliers should consider focusing on the unique personas across all generations of guests. Customized and personalized solutions can help bridge this gap and please every type of guest. This is no small challenge, but it can be achieved.
In terms of the bigger picture, the reality is that there is no margin of error in hospitability. One unhappy guest has the power to influence many others to consider going with a competitive property through social media.
Rather than moving quickly to beat a competitor to announcing a new innovation, it may be best to step away from the rapid PR rush and focus on the guest. New technologies are laudable, but all degrees of potential “friction” should be considered with developing and testing these innovations.
For some people technology is very exciting, while for others, it can be scary and stressful. Considering the wide-range of technology users will help hoteliers develop innovations that will reduce the friction for everyone.