Louise Bang, VP GSO of Marriott International shares with us her vision on the implementation of new technological tools in the hospitality industry and its impact
Remember when the # symbol was associated with a phone number and not a social media hashtag? In the last 50 years, our world has shown a technological explosion that has given way to globalization. Now, people buy, communicate and experience free of geographical limits. The trend of standardization took over the world. No matter where you are in the world, the cookies of any company will get the same information, it is indifferent if you make your purchase in Japan or Brazil. The hotel industry was a participant in this massive trend, to a limit where all the hotels began to offer a standard menu of experiences, excursions and accommodation, leaving guests with a unique option to choose from in a pre-selected portfolio. The guests faced configurations and agendas that were not adapted to them, leading to a generic and exhausting stay. Standardization is not the same as personalization. An email or experience that has your name is not the same as the authentic, detailed and unique experiences that people aspire to today.
As technology continues to advance at a pace that we never thought possible, we observed that society has again turned to individual and personalized aspirations and needs. We live in a time when one size does not fit all. The hospitality industry is no exception to the convergence between technology and the experiences of the guests. In fact, technology is transforming experiences by automating guests' interactions throughout their stay, which makes it possible for hotels to anticipate and personalize guest services based on their preferences for previous visits and other data. aggregates Through it, we have the gift of knowing people at a much deeper level in a few seconds. From your favorite content on social networks to the influencers of your preference, we can know a lot about anyone with just a few clicks.
Artificial Intelligence allows us to make sense of the data and model emotional, psychological and personal profiles that allow hotels to serve their guests as individuals. From personalized details; like a Golden State Warrior t-shirt, a wedding song when you arrive, a favorite room / floor number for guests, a personal mantra in the mirror or a room set to the desired temperature, all based on your tastes and preferences. The technology allows a more personal and human hotel industry. With this type of information, hotels can anticipate the needs and exceed the expectations of their guests.
However, technology alone is not enough to provide exceptional experiences; it must be combined with an empathic, personalized and distinctive service to guarantee a significant stay. We must ensure that customer service teams provide a service based on empathy and a deep understanding of the wishes and needs of guests, this is the most effective way to transform the data and design a sincere, humane and memorable experience .
The profiles of mobile applications are also being exploited in the hospitality industry. An excellent example of a digital platform that allows travelers to adapt and personalize their experience is the Marriott Bonvoy application, which allows our guests to have the
control. Among the various functionalities, the mobile check-in stands out; the ability to skip the reception and use your mobile phones as a room key, request services and requirements such as extra pillows, order breakfast in advance and request the late check-out. Marriott Bonvoy also opens the doors to VIP access to exclusive and unprecedented experiences around the world, including access to the Marriott Bonvoy elite hospitality suite to enjoy the final of football in Rio de Janeiro.
The individualization that we show in the industry will continue to be promoted as technology continues to advance. Avant-garde amenities such as Smart Rooms, which will soon become the norm, where guests can tell their virtual assistant their needs and wishes. From scheduling an alarm at 6:00 a.m., perform a custom yoga workout through a full-length mirror, until the shower is set to the perfect temperature. Experiences completely personalized to each guest, because we do not have two equal guests and we must not offer two equal experiences.
Personalization is the future. We are all unique and we have individual needs and desires, and technology is an optimal way to communicate them in a faster and more accurate way. These data allow us to evolve from service providers to designers of more emotional, comprehensive and personal experiences.