The Next Generation Experience

Always take the time to read quotes, they can give you a summary of thoughts and allow you to build your own. It’s great finding leaders and writers that have used their research passion and experience to inspire you and your team, making you think or rethink your ideas. This is something we can all do to build our skills in research and writing, to understand our business and use ideas in all sorts of organizations to allow us to rethink business concepts. Before going deeper into this blog, I wanted to recommend a great read for any manager or executive “The Next 5 Steps” by Patrick Bet-David. It’s more about taking your business to the next level but isn’t that what we are all trying to achieve? The inspiration for this blog came directly from the quote below, from a respected Hotel Operator that has always kept his brand at the top of the even against much larger competitors it inspired me to share what I am seeing and learning from the technology and customer engagement perspective I hope this helps you and your organization. 

“It’s important to look at technology not as a way to replace something but as a way to allow your guests to have a choice.”
Guston Burman,  Montage Hotels

In this statement, he has opened what is likely the most important thing for all managers to understand. Using the opportunity, we all have to embrace technology with our customers in mind. Since we all understand digital is becoming the primary way our customers experience our brands, we can evaluate different options knowing It’s not an all or one situation not even between digital or human interactions or between different types of devices. This is about evolution and the tools that will become the pinnacle of each of our lives, things such as voice activation, AI, and the connection between micro or digital on-demand services will impact our lives and our businesses, and our customers want all you can give them. So, you must evolve, and you must focus on finding the right mix of these experiences. You can start with the primary first step; talk with your customers, watch and listen to them and see how they engage and experience your locations.

People approach me frequently about automation and how they should be or are providing tools for onsite customers. They typically say we have a mobile-first website, and I say that’s nice, but it has nothing to do with the experience on-site or on-property for guests and visitors. What we do at True Omni is fill that gap not because it can’t be filled in other ways but to fill it in the right way. Anyone can build you a site or an assumed good Kiosk but only the good ones can build you a scalable solution, and experience. It’s not much different than our favorite hotel, or restaurant, anyone can make you a plate of food it’s the people that do it consistently and out of their passion for what they do that makes it special. 

I tell my employees if you don’t have passion here, find it somewhere, not that every day is a dream but if you are passionate, like to learn, and want to do something different, by using your imagination to carve your own path then I want you here.  So, find your passion and imagination to help solve challenges for your customers it’s likely you have experienced similar things in your travel.

Now back to the quote above – how I interpret this in my world is that I hope I can help you on this journey of finding and creating your own digital experience.

Building this solution is not just a mobile solution which it seems most are convinced of and it’s not just Kiosk its choice and each within the technology eco system supports the other, providing seamless opportunities to engage, learn, purchase, and navigate the way our guests and visitors want.

What you want to look at is how to embrace technology in easy first steps, you have to provide choice and convenience through digital this is a fact and if you don’t start realizing it, I fear the worst for your organization.  To get started, sit down with an experienced self-service provider and review key areas of efficiency, and experiences, and how these can align with your goals.

 

Here are my top 5 things based on owning and operating my own hotel, and over 20 years of travel and technology experience.

  1.  Invest in good systems. An example, a PMS system without an API for check-in or digital features needs to be replaced. If your content is sitting in an outdated CRM or CMS/website system, get it centralized, and ensure an API for sharing data and content.
  2. When looking at Self-Service or interactive systems look for one that can leverage your existing systems, look for one that can leverage your existing systems but as well that can offer additional sets of services and that has invested in cloud infrastructure that provides agility, security, and scalability.
  3. Find your technological mix, and think about all devices and options. Mobile isn’t the only answer. There are other factors and options you must consider. Interactive solutions and kiosks can provide an added level of touch and experience.
  4. User Experience isn’t just a designer term; it’s about understanding how to help your customers through a process, whatever that may be, in a simple and easily controllable manner. I need to check in, and I want a key. I want to get from point A to B, and I want to know what’s nearby. You should be easily providing this.
  5. Brand and identity.  connect your solutions through your brand, taking the same values and core experiences, ensuring that it connects for your guests, and take every opportunity to learn from your customers, see what they like and what they don’t.

      1. Bonus technology has to be part of your experience part of your hospitality, and you have to in some cases use it to change guest behavior pushing them to try something that they just may like, and with this you can open more efficiency and focus on your core experiences.
      2. Ensure the technology you invest in has solid analytics, people counting, and more.  You want to take this opportunity to use technology to give your company better data and information on your guests and visitors.
 

I hope this helps you on your journey, please reach out to me directly or contact us through our website. We would be happy to do a free evaluation and share with you what we have learned. Contact us today at info@trueomni.com or call 888-334-6664, and let’s work together! 

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