How Can We Provide High-Touch Services Using Technology?

In the luxury hotel business, the most upscale brands pride themselves on using high-touch services. But these can also come at a great expense. And, if you couple this with outdated technology touchpoints, this may negatively affect your patrons’ satisfaction and your bottom line.

How Do We Keep Up With Customers’ Demands?

Hotels and hospitality services that want to close the gap in innovation and wish to excel when it comes to meeting their patrons’ demands, must put a focus on their IT infrastructures.

For example, providing mobile payments is an area that guests are now demanding. But according to data from Hospitality Technology’s  2018 Customer Engagement Technology Study, guest demand (52%) is outpacing hotel adoption (28%). And, more than half of the guests in the survey (55%) wanted guestroom controls, but only 17% of hotels offered it.

The reality is that today’s guests want digital-first technology in their hospitality experience. Gartner predicts that “by 2020, 85% of customer interactions will be managed without a human.” A combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and humans will power the guest experience. To do this, your hotel must look at how this will impact your overall IT strategy and infrastructure investment.

The right IT investments can create the infrastructure you need to support increasing demands on your network and your customer-facing digital services. But, how do you achieve this?

Who Can Help Us Do This?

Guest-facing technology requires a strong network infrastructure. Utilizing interactive digital signage, location-based technology, voice-enabled devices, and tablets will enhance your patrons’ experience with self-service options in a high-touch environment.

The right technology service provider can shore up your infrastructure to support transformative technology. This is a key goal for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. They are transforming their IT strategy with cutting-edge innovation to maintain their high-touch service.

“We were able to use that technology to build out additional applications,” their CIO told Hospitality Technology for their April 2019 cover story. “Getting the groundwork done allowed us to focus the next five years on delivering more transformative IT initiatives and really move our digital strategy forward.”

The pressure to deliver technology faster is a top challenge but difficult without a sufficient budget. The answer is to use appropriately integrated technology that directly correlates with having systems talk to each other and connect.

How Can We Get Our IT Infrastructure Up-To-Speed To Provide The High-Touch Services Our Guests Expect?

Technology infiltrates nearly every aspect of the hospitality industry. Guests, both businesses and consumers, expect advanced and smart IT capabilities for their meetings, conferences, and enjoyment.

By harnessing the power of rich rules engines, integrated with guest profiles from past purchasing data, you give your guests the personalized experience that they expect from any 5-Star hospitality business.

You can:

  • Give your guests a first-class experience.
  • Provide faster check-ins and check-outs.
  • Deliver focused service suggestions based on your guests’ profiles.
  • Help them access restaurant menus, family entertainment, nearby shopping or sightseeing venues.

How Can We Do This Without The High Costs?

We now live in a world where technology has become the centerpiece of guest service. It’s one of the critical determinants of guest satisfaction. The amount of change and the pace have been accelerating each year, challenging hotels and hospitality services to keep up.

Your IT provider is the best resource to help you provide your guests with the high-touch experience they demand while helping you contain costs. You can do this with the right technologies and an IT service company in Utah who works in the hotel/hospitality industry.

Unfortunately, most hotels are falling short. You won’t with the right IT provider and digital touchpoints that connect guests to your hotel networks. Look for a company that provides what you need to keep technology agile enough to meet the fluctuating demands of your guests and operations.

What Else Should We Look For In An IT Provider?

You can’t afford downtime. If your management or accounting systems go down, you’ll have to close your doors. Your IT service company should be providing Managed IT Services to help you stay ahead of potential problems with:

  • Regular maintenance to ensure optimal operation.
  • Installation of updates and upgrades to stay current and safe from cyber threats.
  • Help in planning for tomorrow because no technology lasts forever.
  • Monitoring of your technology to watch your systems 24/7 for dangers and anomalies.
  • Remote support to save you the hassle of having techs in your office disrupting your staff’s workflow.

What About IT Security? How Do We Ensure Cybersecurity?

With today’s viruses, ransomware, and phishing you need 24/7 protection that:

  • Eliminates loopholes and weaknesses that can be exploited by hackers.
  • Installs the proper updates and upgrades to remove backdoors.
  • Ensures you’re using the right anti-virus, anti-spam, and firewalls.
  • Provides scanning capabilities to check your systems constantly for signs of trouble.

Ask your IT provider for infrastructure and vulnerability assessments to identify any gaps in your IT environment. Following the assessment and remediation of any security risks they find, they can then implement robust monitoring and maintenance protocols.

You need a 24/7 cybersecurity solution that protects the core of your IT infrastructure from intrusion and the prying eyes of criminals. And your IT provider can do this for a fixed, monthly fee.

Your IT Security Service should be customized, just like your other technologies. You should be protected with next-generation IT solutions like:

  • Email Protection to prevent spam and viruses from reaching your network or your inbox.
  • Email Archiving to securely store and archive all email communications for compliance and regulatory requirements.
  • Web Filtering to block malicious or inappropriate web content while enhancing employee productivity.
  • A Managed Firewall to configure, maintain and monitor your firewall to block malicious traffic.
  • Intrusion Protection that monitors and maintains your network to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Wireless Information Security to determine and implement the most secure wireless setup for your business.
  • Vulnerability Analyses to pinpoint the weak spots in your network.

As computer security reaches a tipping point and to provide high-touch service without the risks, you need IT solutions that employ new algorithms, isolate threats, use machine learning and more to shore up your defenses.

Will Our IT Company Use Technology Customized To Align With Our Long-Term Goals?

This is an important question to ask. IT must be leveraged to meet your organizational goals and grow your hotel or hospitality business. Investing in the right technology can help your management team solve problems and reach defined and measurable goals.

Your technology should provide a continual stream of automated and real-time data, so your management can execute policies and processes that remove inefficiencies, increase productivity and provide high-touch service to move your business forward.

A Strategic IT Plan and an IT Budget aligned with your plan will determine how with the right technology investments you can propel your hospitality business to a higher level of performance and achievement.

A lack of an IT budget and outdated technology architecture will prevent you from reaching this goal. The pressure to deliver technology faster is a guaranteed challenge if you lack IT budget planning.

In The End

To utilize the customer-facing technologies required to provide high-touch services means the ability to utilize and deliver technology services that use the right system integrations while meeting your long-term goals and budgetary restraints.

The challenge is for integration that directly correlates to having disparate systems connect and talk to each other to provide what your guests demand. The right technology and IT service provider is vital to achieving this balance.

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