Innovate to answer today’s informed, connected and well-traveled guest needs

EHL Students - Bachelor | 20 May, 2016

New trends in hospitality allow industry players to experiment, test out new services, and offer technologies that guests want. We invite you to explore with us some of the latest hospitality innovations in order to get a feel for what guests want and how to deliver tomorrow's trends in your signature style.

THE FLEXIBILITY AND FREEDOM OF A SERVICED APARTMENT

Increasingly, guests want to stay in serviced apartments instead of hotels, enjoying the opportunity to truly make themselves at home while on the road. This up and coming trend is especially popular among business travelers, expatriates who may see the serviced apartment as their home while living abroad, and family travelers who want the convenience of multiple bedrooms for all family members.

Like at one of the Wilby residences in Singapore, renting a serviced apartment provides guests with more privacy and the ability to manage their budget with a la carte services.

Closer to EHL, Base Management also embraces this philosophy of do it or let it do: “Our guests are offered the choice between cooking their own meal in the comfort of their room’s kitchen or enjoy the hotel's Italian restaurant: Luigia.” explains James Fry, General Manager and Co-founder of Base Management.

CHANGING THE CHECK-IN EXPERIENCE

It's nothing new that hotels strive to deliver the utmost customer service... but what is new is that hotels are training front desk staff to multitask and better meet guest needs. We have all heard about the check-in self-service kiosks trend and can relate to the time saving advantage.

Many Hyatt facilities for example already offers both a kiosk and a traditional front desk check-in but the group is now taking the concept one step further by proposing their Gold Passport loyalty program members with online check-in that automatically activates their personalized card for the reserved amenities.

Hotel Interactive editor Glenn Haussman explains that this trend helps hotels increase revenue and customer satisfaction while saving money on staffing.

“Self-check-in kiosks offered us the opportunity to have our staff forgo administrative tasks and concentrate on delivering a greater experience to our guests instead. It is translated in our motto: Getting the basics right is our focus, providing an experience is our goal!” shares Marina Ostinelli, AEHL 2013 and Assistant General Manager at Base Management.

MODERNIZING THE HOTEL EXPERIENCE

Hospitality management is always looking for ways to keep guests satisfied while streamlining the hotel experience. By taking familiar aspects of hotels and improving upon the experience, hotels can innovate without changing the basic service model.

The first introduction of room service by the Waldorf Astoria in New York in 1930 is a great example. Still today F&B offerings are often the basis for innovative concepts. Take the buffet breakfast, for example. For hotels, buffets lead to a lot of waste.

“Instead of having the buffet, why not have guests order off a brief menu? The concept is very simple, you just pay for what you want and then you enjoy your breakfast in the privacy of your own room without time constraint.” describes James Fry, General Manager and Co-founder of Base Management.

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REVAMPED LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Having a loyalty program makes your hotel brand instantly attractive to users. But management knows there is a big difference between those guests who sign up for the loyalty program and those who are truly loyal brand enthusiasts.

A great tactic for hotels is to exclusively reward the active loyalty program users with perks and upgrades while incentivizing all loyalty program users to become "truly loyal" to the brand. By taking advantage of guest data to offer services before guests need them, hotels can shine on customer service and prove their value to guests. As a result, guests may be more likely to return to the hotel brand on their next trip.

There are original applications of loyalty programs out there: “Our truly loyal guests are offered the opportunity to fill in a Base Box (BB) with personal items such as clothes or books. For no additional fee, we act as keep safe for their valuables until they return.” continues Marina Ostinelli, AEHL 2013 and Assistant General Manager at Base Management.

SWITCH TO DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT

Guests have long enjoyed premier cable and entertainment options at hotels, but now savvy hotel brands are taking things one step further. At some exclusive Marriott locations, one can use the hotel's account to watch movies and TV on Hulu and Netflix and can stream music through Pandora. It goes without saying that now Wi-Fi is not an optional add-on for guests but something that is expected for free in rooms.

“Hotels have to switch from the old pay-per-view television and invest in digital media streaming technology – We have bet on individual room routers for example - in order to allow guest to access their personal entertainment at high speed at any given time.” concludes James Fry, General Manager and Co-founder of Base Management

Finally, hospitality managers should always strive to stay in touch and implement innovative trends to attract the next generation of guests while maintaining a comfortable and customer focused experience.

Author: Marie-Alix Soreau, EHL Bachelor Student

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