When Not to Upgrade
What to consider before investing in technology for your resort.
From virtual reality to robot butlers, the latest exciting innovations in the hospitality industry can improve operations and guest experience. However, before racing to adopt new technologies, take the time to assess the associated benefits and challenges. “It’s not about technology for technology’s sake,” says Jo Berrington, vice president of brand at Yotel. “The process for looking into potential upgrades really focuses around what guests actually want and need.” Below are three aspects to consider when deciding whether to upgrade.
When weighing a proposed technology, see if there are ways to simplify the upgrade. Red Lion Hotel Corporation’s new InfoGlass, a touch-screen concierge that lets guests search things to do in the area, runs on the same content-management system as the brand’s mobile app, Hello Rewards. Using the existing system lowered costs and simplified operations because there was minimal change on the back end, and it didn’t require new software.
Before investing, map out a detailed implementation strategy. “Consider whether to implement [a technology] first as a test in one property, or to launch as a brand standard into all properties,” Berrington says. For upgrades such as energy efficiencies, an all-property launch would be ideal, but a scaled-back or phased installation that allows for pilot testing may be better for other improvements, such as keyless room entry.
Gauge how owners may react to an upgrade before moving forward. Yotel is currently reviewing keyless room entry. “We can easily do this at a relatively low cost without replacing door locks,” Berrington says. Ninety-five percent of Yotel’s guests use self-service kiosks to check into their rooms, so introducing keyless entry is a natural progression for the brand. “While it might not be the highest priority for guests, it’s definitely something they’d like,” Berrington says.
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