Everything You Need to Know About Contactless Hospitality in 2023

The COVID-19 crisis sparked concerns about contamination risks, leading to a rise in the popularity of contactless hospitality. To adapt to these new circumstances, the travel and tourism industry has enthusiastically embraced contactless interactions as a way to promote social distancing.

The impact of the pandemic has greatly accelerated the adoption of self-service technology, surpassing all expectations by several years. Juniper Research says contactless transactions can skyrocket to over $10 trillion by 2027. Just imagine that!

For hotel owners, managers, and hardworking staff embracing contactless technology can bring numerous benefits. It helps meet the evolving needs and expectations of guests and ensures a safer and more convenient experience for everyone involved.

Contactless Experiences in the Hotel Industry

Contactless hospitality is all about using innovative technology solutions to enhance the guest experience at hotels. These solutions, commonly called “contactless,” aim to minimize or even eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions between guests and hotel staff.

The hospitality industry has made tremendous strides in recent years, embracing once unimaginable advancements just a decade ago. Today, the concept of a completely contactless experience has become a prominent trend that is here to stay.

Thanks to contact-free interfaces, guests can now book and pay for rooms without ever having to set foot in the lobby. Hotels equipped with contactless apps provide guests with all the necessary information for arrival or check-out on their phones. The power of smartphones allows guests to engage in various services, such as communicating with the front desk, ordering room service, booking wellness treatments, and accessing other amenities.

The ultimate goal of contactless hospitality is to ensure utmost customer satisfaction by creating a seamless and enjoyable guest experience. By incorporating these technologies, hotel management can elevate their business operations while meeting the evolving expectations of their guests.

Why is Contactless Guest Experience so Important?

When we talk about contactless technology in the hospitality sector, we refer to allowing guests to carry out various activities during their stay using their smartphones. That particular approach offers numerous benefits, including increased operational efficiency, reduced waste (paper and plastic), lower energy consumption, and immediate service availability.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of contactless hospitality was already gaining traction among hotels. However, the pandemic further reinforced the importance of modern technology in adapting to the changing world. Today, digital transformation and contactless hospitality have become the new standard.

The customer experience now relies heavily on contactless solutions, including contactless payments, digital concierge services, and real-time decision-making tools.

Benefits of Contactless Technology for the Hotel Industry

Contactless technology is not just a fad; it has a significant impact on enhancing the guest experience, creating new revenue opportunities, and reducing operational costs for hotels. In a world shaped by the aftermath of COVID-19, contactless guest experiences promote safety and convenience.

Modern travelers have high expectations for instant action, such as accessing their rooms through mobile keys, speedy check-out processes, convenient communication channels, and opportunities for additional purchases within an app. By leveraging contactless solutions, hotels can deliver services in a fast, personalized, and contemporary manner.

Investing in contactless technology offers numerous advantages, including:

More Safety

Research indicates that personalized experiences strongly influence travelers when making booking decisions. Some 8 out of 10 travelers are more likely to choose properties that offer personalized experiences, with nearly 50% willing to share personal data to enhance their stay.

Contactless solutions reduce check-in lines and empower guests with self-service options, enabling hotels to provide efficient service while meeting guests’ expectations for a personalized experience. Additional benefits include improved hygiene, streamlined communication, and opportunities for in-app purchases.

Minimized Human Touch 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made us more aware of the risks associated with crowded spaces and frequent physical contact. People now prioritize avoiding mass tourism destinations and practicing social distancing.

To adapt to this new reality, the hospitality industry has accelerated its digital transformation, embracing contactless solutions to minimize the need for guests to touch physical objects. Implementing cutting-edge technology ensures that guests feel safe and reduces the risk of contamination. Hotels that fail to embrace these changes and continue relying on traditional methods may struggle to retain customers.

Competitive Edge

Hotels that proactively update their technology and invest in contactless solutions gain a competitive advantage over those lagging in technological advancements. In today’s digital world, guests expect high-tech resources at home and while traveling.

A survey among hotel visitors revealed that 80% preferred hotels with apps offering features like room service ordering and check-in. By modernizing operations with contactless technology, hotels can attract more guests and secure their position in the market.

Secure Key Cards

Traditional key cards can be easily misplaced or fall into the wrong hands, compromising security. That’s why nearly three-quarters of hotel guests prefer using digital keys accessed through the hotel’s app or digital access control solutions.

Digital keys provide secure and quick room access and can be integrated into wearable devices like bracelets. This ensures that even guests without smartphones can benefit from the convenience of contactless technology during their stay.

Improved Customer Experience

Prioritizing exceptional customer service experiences can lead to increased revenues. Studies have shown that businesses focusing on delivering outstanding customer service can achieve revenue growth between 4% and 8% above the market average.

Contactless technology enables guests to schedule room service, request laundry services, and make appointments at the hotel spa, all with the ease of their own devices. It also simplifies tasks such as reserving conference rooms, making travel more convenient for both guests and staff members.

What Technology Solutions Enable Contactless Services

Let’s explore some examples of trending contactless experiences in recent months. While there are many more solutions available, we’ll focus on a few notable ones:

Contactless Check-In

Efficient contactless check-in solutions enable guests to check in easily from any mobile device without additional app downloads. By clicking a text or email link, hotel guests can complete the check-in process in just a minute, significantly reducing waiting times compared to traditional check-in procedures.

Studies have shown that 60% of travelers are more likely to choose hotels offering contactless check-in and smartphone-based room keys. To create a holistic contactless hospitality experience, it is crucial to enable remote check-in and upgrade requests, leverage web-based technology for seamless guest engagement without native app downloads, and facilitate independent guest interactions throughout their stay.

Guest Messages

In a world where nearly 90% of people always have their smartphones easily accessible, it’s no surprise that mobile communication has become the most intuitive way to stay in touch. When sending a text message is the most convenient way for guests to contact the hotel, it can lead to an influx of questions and comments for the front desk teams.

But incorporating texting into your hotel’s operations doesn’t have to be a hassle. Instead of using the valuable time and resources of front desk agents, a guest messaging platform can automate routine communication tasks, such as replying to frequently asked questions or routing guest inquiries to the correct department. That streamlines the process, ensuring that guests receive prompt and accurate responses while freeing up staff to focus on other important tasks.

Self-Service Technology

Industry reports and research have shown that self-service solutions are gaining popularity among guests. For example, a recent Oracle Hospitality and Skift Research report revealed that 71% of guests are likelier to choose a hotel that offers self-service technology. Contactless Checkout is one such solution that helps hoteliers meet modern consumer needs and address staffing challenges.

With this technology, guests can input their expected departure time into a web-based form, which checks them out of the hotel and alerts the housekeeping team about room readiness for turnover. That eliminates the need for housekeeping staff to knock on room doors to check if guests have departed, making the process more efficient and guest-friendly.

Contactless Payments

The future of contactless payments is incredibly promising. According to a forecast by RBR Global, it is anticipated that over 80% of consumer credit cards will be equipped with contactless payment technology by 2026. This represents a remarkable growth rate of close to 120% compared to the current usage.

By embracing contactless payment technology, hotels can cater to their guests’ evolving needs and expectations. Whether providing secure and seamless transactions at check-in or integrating contactless payments into hotel operations, contactless payments can enhance guest satisfaction and streamline business processes.

Digital Concierge Bots for Hotels

Imagine being able to get instant help from a digital concierge right on your phone or laptop. The digital concierge serves as a virtual assistant, providing guests with information and answers whenever they need them. That enhances the guest experience and allows hotel staff to handle tasks more efficiently.

A hotel’s digital concierge can assist guests in various ways. For instance, late guests don’t need to worry about someone being available to check them in. With just a touch of a finger, guests can request an early breakfast or find their way around the property. They can even seek guidance on adjusting the room temperature, request extra bedding or pillows, and obtain information about local attractions or events.

How HelloShift Enables Contactless Hotel Technology

The contactless hotel experience is crucial for modern establishments, driven by safety, convenience, and improved guest experiences. HelloShift offers a comprehensive solution to address contactless challenges.

With HelloShift, hotels can provide personalized experiences, minimize physical contact, gain a competitive edge, enhance security with digital keys, and improve customer satisfaction.

Embrace contactless solutions like check-in, guest messaging, and self-service options. Keep up with evolving guest expectations. Stay competitive and ensure a safer, enjoyable experience. Choose HelloShift to revolutionize your hotel operations. Upgrade to contactless hospitality now.

Hotel guests receive automated, routine messages, consult hotel digital guidebook, and pre-checkin via their mobile device. Hotel teams use HelloShift to work together across buildings, floors, shifts, and departments with up-to-date visibility into room status via the Housekeeping app.

Go digital with Guest Messaging, Contactless Checkin, Website Chat, Staff Collaboration, Housekeeping Management and more.

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