By Austen Asadorian
Contactless services have become a part of everyday life over the past two years and, as travel begins to surge again, they are continuing to pick up steam in the hospitality world. So much so that, according to a recent study, 73% of travelers want to use their mobile device to manage their hotel experience.
Hotel guests now increasingly expect their experience to include contactless solutions that can uplevel their experience. By taking advantage of on-premises reservation capabilities from QR codes to the aggregation of guest data, hotel operators can successfully cater to the new guest of 2022.
Streamlined Online Reservations
For hotels that have popular on-premises dining options, a direct reservation platform can prove invaluable not only for stretched-thin staff, but for those guests seeking a convenient, streamlined booking experience.
By incorporating direct, white-labeled booking tools, operators can capture guest contact information to automatically grow a client database, getting to know the guest prior to their arrival. When a diner reserves their table online, they can see available reservation time slots across restaurants and tailor their dining experience to their needs – dietary or celebratory, for example – before arriving on property.
But a reservation strategy shouldn’t stop at the hotel restaurant or bar. In a post-COVID world where guests may still be wary of large crowds, integrated tech solutions can help hotels offer the option to book a service at the spa, a pool cabana or chair, or even a spot at the Blackjack table online. This enables more cautious guests to avoid what they may consider unnecessary interactions.
Having a 360-degree view of where guests prefer to dine or spend their time while visiting a hotel not only allows operators to streamline operations but also, more importantly, to begin collecting valuable guest data that can be used to deliver personalized service and exceptional experiences.
The Ever-Present QR Code
Like their restaurant counterparts, hotels have found QR codes increasingly useful over the last two years. And, as guests return, they still have an appetite to use them during their stay.
Operators should look to use, or continue using, QR codes to enhance the guest experience. This could take place outside at the pool deck’s F&B outlets, where guests can arrive at a table or cabana, scan a QR code and place an order without ever touching a paper menu or speaking with a server. Then, once the order is placed, they can process their payment immediately or at the end of their experience.
Menus aside, QR codes can also be used to manage waitlists for popular hotel attractions or venues, like a popular restaurant or bar, allowing entry for guests who may not have pre-booked a reservation but would like to experience it themselves. Guests can scan a QR code outside the venue, add their name to the waitlist, and receive a text or nudge from the host once table is ready.
From Solutions to Loyalty
While contactless online reservation capabilities and QR codes enhance the overall experience a guest can have while visiting a hotel, it doesn’t stop there for operators. These solutions also collect and aggregate valuable data on these guests – everything from their dietary preferences to their favorite cabana at the pool and more.
By diving into this information, operators can better understand their guests and create stellar experiences tailored exactly to them. For example, greeting a regular guest with a seasonal cocktail upon arrival or sending their favorite bottle of champagne to their room.
Even further, guest data can be used for post-visit marketing efforts – offering customers a special discount or exclusive experience to encourage them to return or visit their local property for a staycation or a day at the spa.
While it may seem daunting for some hotels to integrate these solutions, the benefits are endless – and today’s guests expect to see and use them.
By thoughtfully incorporating them and collecting and utilizing customer data throughout the entire guest journey, operators will be able to provide exceptional experiences while also helping drive more profits through direct relationships with their guests.