Anyone who operates a business in the service or retail industries has already learned a host of lessons in the adaptation as the world continues to deal with the consequences of COVID-19.
Hotels, by their very nature, have an even greater responsibility when it comes to implementing things like contactless payment, sanitation, and post-COVID safety practices. After all, people might spend an hour or so in a restaurant or retail establishment, but they can spend days in a hotel. With that kind of exposure, guests will want to know that the environment is as safe and sanitary as possible.
Luckily, a variety of tech solutions have come to the rescue. Here are some important ways you can use tech to reassure guests that yours is the safest place to crash during their travels.
As the most obvious first line of defense against the virus, proper sanitation of facilities is no longer just important; it’s vital.
Of course, much of the process of maintaining proper sanitation has to do with good, old-fashioned, non-technical cleaning, and the CDC, along with local government agencies have plenty of guidelines that you’ll want to keep abreast of to ensure proper compliance. The standard cleaning methods, however, can still result in inadvertent contamination of or by the very people charged with keeping things sanitary.
Tech has the answers.
Filtration: We’re talking HEPA filters and modern air purification systems here. HEPA alone has the capability of removing 99.9 percent of airborne viruses and bacteria from the air, making it a no-brainer addition to your air circulation system (if it’s not already in place).
In addition to this older technology, however, are a number of more modern air purification solutions with the ability to not just filter out airborne pathogens, but kill them where they float. Some of these systems have already received FDA clearance for use in a variety of environments (including hospitals) while others are still in development.
Robots: OK, they’re not the sentient androids of Star Trek fame (yet), but robots are quickly making inroads into many areas of the service industries.
One of these robotic applications can amble throughout your property to blast guest rooms and other areas with purifying rays of ultra-violet light, eliminating up to 99.9 percent of the surface and airborne pathogens while using no chemicals and leaving behind no residue.
Contactless tech: Even the best sanitation, however, can’t eliminate the risk involved in the simple act of handing over a credit card or room key, or room service tray. Contactless service is the new watchword in every service industry, and there are countless technological solutions available to help you provide continued top-flight service to your guests while simultaneously reducing touch points—and actually increasing convenience. Bonus!
Check-in/out: It’s one of the most high-contact elements of the hotel experience, what with all the exchanging of items and trying to maintain proper social distancing as guests line up at the service desk.
From apps that allow guests to check-in and out from their own mobile devices, to location detection and geofencing technology that can automatically initiate touchless check-in when guests arrive at the property and prompt them for payment when it’s time to check out, technology has got your back on this as well.
Communication: Thanks to chatbots that harness AI to answer guest questions and fulfill their requests, apps that allow guests to access hotel services from their mobile devices, and solutions that allow guests to message hotel personnel from the convenience of their favorite standard messaging app, communication is no longer dependent upon finding or catching the attention of an actual person.
That’s not just a safety-booster, it’s a convenience-generator that can help your guests get what they need when they need it without unnecessary contact.
Dining: Bookings and guest services aren’t the only areas that can benefit from technology. Contactless solutions like those from OneDine can streamline your dining and food-service capabilities to efficiently and quickly serve customers with a leaner workforce and in a way that keeps everyone safer.
Patrons can order via their mobile device, without waiting for overworked wait staff to get to them. They can easily pay, split the check, or pay per item. They can do all this on their schedule and from the convenience of their room, table, poolside, your lobby—in short, anywhere on your property.
The OneDine platform can even use customer-centered profiles and purchasing histories to offer personalized offerings and menu suggestions tailored to each individual patron.
All these solutions can not only keep you and your guests safer, they can also keep customers coming back by showing them that you’ve got their best interests and safety in mind. Oh, and they also make things more convenient for everybody involved. That’s a win-win-win. And after the year we’ve all had, we’ll take as many wins as we can get.