Every technology disruption provides an opportunity for hotels to reevaluate the way they run their businesses and communicate with guests. This is when innovative experiences are often born. It happened with the computerized property management system, it happened with email and online booking, and it happened with smartphone adoption, to name a few examples.
Today, it’s happening once again with contactless technology — ranging from check-in kiosks to keyless entry and new guest messaging platforms. The concept of “contactless” may feel a little strange, and even uncomfortable, for some in the hotel business. After all, the hospitality industry is built upon the importance of personal interactions.
But as the industry is challenged by a pandemic and an economic downturn, hotels need to rise to the occasion. To do this, they must prioritize ways to create meaningful moments, despite having to deal with the reconfiguration of operations and unfamiliar circumstances, two obstacles that prevent them from engaging in the face-to-face service so critical to the industry’s identity.
How is contactless technology helping today’s hospitality industry meet the moment? The data and insights shared in this report show that hotels are increasingly turning to contactless tech not only to reduce friction for guests and meet customers on devices and channels where they spend most of their time, but also to create new, unlikely ways to communicate with and serve their guests during the Covid-19 era and beyond.
Skift and Medallia Zingle partnered on this analysis of five trends proving 2021 will be the time to invest in the adoption of contactless technology. No one knows how Covid-19 will affect the hotel industry in the near future. But we do know that people will want to travel, and they will need safe, reliable, and personalized hospitality services.
In the face of a challenging economic environment and consumer uncertainty, 2021 will be a time to be bold. It will be a time for hotels to harness unmissable opportunities to elevate the travel experience and improve customer service models that will set them apart. These trends will shape not only how hotels interact with their guests in 2021, but also how contactless technologies will boost operational efficiency and enable human-focused hospitality far into the future.