We’ve all heard about smart homes, but what about smart hotels? Automation is a big factor in efficiency and when it comes to one of the single largest industries in the world, hospitality is no different. So how and where can the IoT help?
It can help improve customer satisfaction
The IoT is a powerful tool because of its flexibility. It can be used in any number of ways. For instance:
A web portal which a user can log into can help them control certain things. Easy check-in/check-out changes, searching movies before they arrive, and making sure requested features are there before arriving.
That same web portal could be used to set the temperature of your room for your arrival. Something that might seem like a small feature, could be the difference between going to one hotel over another.
It could even be used to order room service at any time, set alarms, open and close blinds, or even unlock the door for visitors without ever getting up.
It can improve costs, too
With features, like those seen above, helping you customers, it means less work for employees to do. That’ll leave those employees to do work in other areas, cutting the cost of employees needed.
It can also help cut heating and cooling costs, as vacant rooms won’t be using the system. If you take things a step further and connect sensors to the balcony door or windows, you can even turn off the air conditioner when the window is open or door is open.
One of the biggest things it can do for any hotel though is to lower the cost of improvements. The fact is that most hotels right now are not the top of the line, but that doesn’t mean they can’t become that with a few improvements.
For instance, most hotels come with a phone for calling reception. Well, what if that phone had more uses? It could help deliver important instructions for an emergency or an introductory message when a guest checks in.
Know when and where to improve
In hospitality, you can’t go too far. After all, most customers still prefer the experience of talking to a real person at the front desk, in the kitchen, or on the other end of the phone. Automation is a great tool but overuse can be detrimental in an industry focused on the human experience.
Improving your service and efficiency is a great use of the Internet of Things. Trying to remove the employees in lieu of more technology, however, is not. If in doubt, think about what an average Joe would want in a hotel. Chances are, he doesn’t want that hands-free body-washer you were planning on installing in all the showers.