Hoteliers have recovered from difficult years, and the industry is on the rise again. A look at 2022 leaves us with some very interesting data and statistics that herald unstoppable changes.
We'll cover four fundamental trends, along with supporting data, that will ensure your hotel stays on top:
- Implement guest apps to boost the guest experience and revenue
- Change the game with real time surveys to boost online reviews
- Go green and jump into this industry’s bandwagon
- Digitize your reception: chats and mobile keys
Guest Apps: benefits for customers, staff… and revenue
Over the past few years, guest apps have gone from exclusive innovations to a must-have. By implementing this technology, a hotel can digitize all its service offering, streamline its operations, and provide maps and information on the guest's smartphone.
In addition, it allows the hotel to receive feedback in real time, improving its online reputation by being able to change a bad experience in progress. Just a few of the features you can expect to find in a renowned guest app.
📊 In order to support this trend, we want to highlight 2 stats.
1. 80% of hotel guests would download and use a hotel app to check out and receive information about any given hotel. (Hotel Management)
2. 47% of hotel guests would prefer to order room service if the hotel has the option of ordering via an app. (Hotel Management)
However, you are mistaken if you think the benefits of a guest app are only perceived by guests. These apps improve hotel staff effectiveness, agility, and organization. With technology, around 93% of hoteliers witnessed the biggest gains in terms of efficiency. In addition, around 89% of on-property respondents are likely to report their teams benefited from technology. (Hotel Operations)
But careful. More than 50% of hoteliers feel technology companies don’t understand their needs. (Hotel Operations)
That’s why choosing the right app is crucial to make the most of it.
Real-time feedback, 2023’s game changer to boost online reviews
There is a digital tool that can change the destiny of your hotel... for the better: The real time surveys. The reason is that instant feedback gives you an insight into what guests think while staying at your hotel, helping you turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Furthermore, it enhances a hotel's reputation online. In addition, it prevents bad reviews from appearing on external websites like Booking.com, which are so important for a hotel's day-to-day operation.
📊 Numbers speak for themselves:
1. Guest surveys were the most common hospitality technology implemented by hoteliers prior to the pandemic (Statista)
2. 40% of hotel guests are likely to write a guest review after a positive experience
3. 48% of hotel guests are likely to write one after a negative experience, according to ReviewTrackers.
That is why it is so important to be aware of what is happening in your hotel. In support of the above, there are numbers to back it up:
81% of travelers always or often read reviews before booking their accommodations, compared to 72% of travelers who read reviews before booking restaurant reservations or tour tickets.
In parallel, an Expedia study found that in 72% of cases, travelers will choose a hotel with a higher guest review score over one with a brand name or a lower price. For example, guests would pay 35% more for a hotel with a score of 4.4/5 compared to a hotel with a score of 3.9/5.
Any hotelier who excels in their profession wants to know what's going on at their hotel and act quickly to fix a disappointing experience before guests leave.
A real-time survey will be their best ally.
Sustainability, the big trend in 2023
The world seems to be in agreement: sustainability is something we must strive for. Protecting the planet as much as possible is our responsibility, so that future generations will be able to enjoy it as much as we do.
📊 Hoteliers in 2022 have realized the need to adapt to their customers' wishes as statistics bear this out:
1. 78 percent of travelers intend to stay at least once in an eco-friendly or green accommodation when looking at the year ahead. (Statista)
2. 81% of global travelers confirm that sustainable travel is important to them, with 50% saying that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices. (Booking.com)
3. And last but not least, 57% of travelers would feel better staying in a particular accommodation if they knew it had a sustainable certification (Booking.com)
What are successful hotels doing in order to meet their guests’ needs?
Digitizing restaurant menus
Implementing a digital directory
Offering maps through a guest app
Managing their restaurant through a smartphone to plan and avoid food waste
"Be Green" movement: providing discounts to guests who don't want their rooms cleaned every day
Once again. You don't have to agree or disagree with me about whether we should take global warming seriously. Your hotel's revenue can be boosted if you take this trend seriously and show your guests that you understand their concerns.
Receptionists will become ambassadors: Digitize your front desk (chats and mobile keys)
Using technology to automate the mechanical (and boring) tasks at the reception is becoming a trend, because hoteliers want to excel when it comes to guest experience.
If humans take care of mechanical tasks… who will take care of humans?
Thus, digitizing your front desk is crucial for your hotel for several reasons:
As aforementioned, your receptionists can now focus on what really matters: your guests
As the receptions will be empty, waiting times will be reduced
Through their social skills, your staff will be able to shine, resulting in lower turnover
Automating processes is useful in times of staff shortages
At reception, a lot of tasks are being automated. Among these, we highlight three:
Digitization of maps and information (aligned with sustainability)
Mobile key implementation
Chat bots (or chats managed by your staff, so that the human touch is not lost
A January 2022 study that surveyed hoteliers worldwide identified that chatbot usage in the hospitality sector was expected to increase by 53% in 2022. The use of this technology was expected to increase by 42% in branded hotels and 64% in independent hotels. (Statista)
There is, as mentioned before, a risk associated with this kind of tools: the lack of human touch. Nevertheless, some of the best hotel chat systems are operated by humans.
For any given situation, the guests will use their smartphones to communicate with your hotel’s receptionists and not a computer bot. We can now answer any question within seconds, without any need to visit the reception: a question about the heater, a pillow request, or tips or recommendations in the area.
The use of plastic keys also generates queues and a great deal of work. That's why mobile keys are so popular. Guests carry them on their phones, they don’t need to wait as they are created in a matter of seconds. In addition, a mobile key does not get demagnetized.
Furthermore, this technology lets you create a physical action through a virtual click on your screen. You should not underestimate this wow effect on your hotel's reputation.
Accordingly, 15% of hoteliers planned to implement mobile keys in 2022. (Statista). It is expected that the numbers will rise dramatically in 2023.
To summarize. Hotels at the forefront are meeting their guests’ needs by offering a more sustainable and digital guest experience and using tools to know how they are feeling during the stay and act accordingly if something can be improved.
Their best allies are guest apps, which enhance revenue, streamline operations, and turn receptionists into ambassadors. An enhanced guest experience tailored to today's world.