Here at SuitePad, our vision for the future starts in the hotel room, and we’d like to show you what it looks like.
Digitalization influences almost every area of modern life – from ordering a taxi to choosing the television shows we want to watch – but one area that seems to have arrived late to the digital revolution party is the hotel industry. All too often the seamless experience of our connected world ends at the hotel room, where a small strip of paper with an impossibly long Wi-Fi code and an old landline telephone with “Dial 09 for Reception” stickered on the front is as advanced as it gets. But, what if things were different? What would a hotel room as digitally advanced as the rest of the world look like?
Before looking to the future, we first need to look to the past
In their heyday, hotel rooms were all about innovation. For many people, features that today seem ordinary or even primitive such as pay-per-view TV, a minibar, and a building-wide interconnected telephone network were the pinnacle of hotel innovation. They allowed guests the freedom to indulge – at their own leisure – in a range of luxuries they would otherwise not have chosen while of course creating additional revenue streams for hotels. The thrill of ordering room service, conveniently helping yourself to a drink from the in-room mini fridge, or watching a just-released Hollywood movie on a TV at the foot of your bed was enough for most people, and they were willing to pay for it.
Times have changed, and as guests are now more digitally connected and have more refined tastes, their expectations have risen to a level that can’t be satisfied, let alone surpassed, with the simple amenities of the past. The digital revolution means customers are used to and expect seamless, informative, and personalized experiences everywhere they go – so a TV needs to be much more than a TV, a phone much more than just a phone, and guest directory much more than a guest directory! The guest of the future expects to consume information digitally and therefore it’s up to the hotels of the future to meet these requirements. Managing these expectations should be the first priority for businesses when looking ahead and so a centralized digital solution is exactly what is needed to give guests the experience they expect, and even one they relish.
The digital hotel room
What features will define this new era of digital hotel rooms? Should we expect hotel rooms to come equipped with flashing lights and screens that stretch from wall to wall like something from the Starship Enterprise? – Certainly not! Rather than barging into the hotel room like an unwelcome guest, a digital solution should seamlessly, discreetly, and intuitively bring connectivity to the hotel room. It should provide a platform where simple services that don’t require face to face interaction can take place while enhancing those that do. Much like its room service and hotel minibar ancestors, a digital solution should allow customers the freedom to connect at their own leisure, giving them greater control of the guest experience.
Guests could conveniently complete tasks such as booking a table at the hotel restaurant or a taxi for the following morning, or even set a wakeup call, all using this digital interface. But what if it could go further? Say, offering to show a vegan guest the vegan options on the restaurant menu, or notifying visitors how busy the pool or sauna is at any given time? Modern technology is certainly capable of offering these solutions so it’s about time the hotel industry embraced them in order to heighten the guest experience.
Keeping up with customers
Hoteliers will tell you exactly how fierce competition in the hotel industry can be. The stakes are even higher nowadays due to the development of online customer ratings and comment sections of hotel comparison websites. A bad rating or a few horrific customer comments can all but end a hotel’s business so it’s imperative that they not only meet but exceed the demands of customers if they’re to thrive. Giving guests the power to personalize and define their stay is a sure-fire way to get ahead of the competition, and early adopters will certainly see the results reflected in increased business revenue, demand, and customer satisfaction – factors that can all lead to better online ratings and positive comments.
A centralized digital solution would open new streams of revenue, provide cost-savings, and grow and develop as businesses, the industry, and customer demands evolve over time. Now is the time for hotels to join the digital revolution if they don’t want to be left behind, and the hotel room is where it needs to take place!
The outlook for the future
The hotel room of the future is not about faster WiFi and a wider range of television channels, and it’s certainly not about filling the room with extravagant yet unnecessary tech; it’s about providing guests with seamless, bespoke experiences with an increased, more convenient level of control. The hotel industry is on the cusp of a digital revolution and those who choose to adopt this new technology will inevitably benefit from everything it has to offer. For guests, whether traveling for leisure or business, the digital revolution in the hotel room will bring standards in line with what is expected in the digital age, heightening their experiences and providing more and more unforgettable stays.
If you'd like to bring your hotel into the digital age and reap all the benefits that come with it, SuitePad could be the digital solution you’re looking for. If you'd like to find out more, watch this free webinar recording by Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen all about the hotel room of the future.