COVID-19 may have drastically changed how we travel, but Orlando hospitality experts have stepped up their game in technology to better serve customers. These experts are connecting guests with safe ways to communicate, check-in, and still have a great time on vacation.
In our latest Strategy Session, Joey Brodsky led a roundtable discussion with hospitality experts Paul Teodorescu, Sady Garcia, James Guard, and Zak Mountassir, chatting about how they’ve adjusted integrating technology with the guest experience.
Be open to change. Ease employees into new processes.
One of the most common things that have popped up since COVID-19 for businesses, employees, and customers, is the word “change.” Companies have had to majorly adapt to new systems and protocols to keep everything up and running while taking care of their employees.
“If you’re in this industry, you have to love and want to embrace change,” Sady, Director Of Information Technology at Provident Hotels and Resorts, said. “Ease that comfort and help teammates ease into new technologies.”
Sady and her team have adapted to using Skype. She says while the program has been around for many years, her team recently learned to use it to communicate efficiently.
“You probably have plenty of resources already. It’s all about being creative in how you use them,” Sady said.
Use tools that work for your team.
“Communication is key,” Zak, Vice President of Sales at TRACK Hospitality Software, said. “Now there is no easier time to communicate with guests than owning the modern tools of today’s day and age. We have tools that we can collaborate with in a safe manner.”
With so many different tools out there, it can seem overwhelming to choose what will work best for a company right off the bat. Test different solutions and see what works for your team. The important thing is that your team is open to change and adapting to new technologies to help both the company and the customers.
“They want to have meetings with the same technology that they have in their offices,” James, Director of Hotel Technology at Marriott International, said. “That has sparked a tremendous surge of hospitality companies bringing in super technology, enhancing their technology in order to cater.”
Design for a positive user experience.
Paul, Director IT Client Services at Wyndham Destinations, says one of the most important factors is to have “an empathy for the end user at the beginning of design.”
The technology should be easy for the end user – in this case, guests – to understand. A positive mobile and design experience can help kick off a meaningful relationship with new and returning customers.
Guests take a vacation to take a break from work, so it’s important for companies to implement helpful technologies for a seamless transition.
Wyndham adapted to checking in guests with a mobile solution that’s touch-free and hassle-free. Because of this, Paul invites the hospitality industry and customer service in general to challenge the status quo.
“We can bring a refreshing view on how we deal with hospitality, and more things will come,” Paul said.
Humanize the experience.
Along the same lines of designing with empathy, companies must also bring the human aspect into the guest experience. This could be something different for every company – it could mean recording a video with the staff, adding customer testimonials to emails, or putting the spotlight on past guests.
“There’s a human aspect of hospitality,” Zak said. “You have to be hospitable. You deploy the tools to that. Humanize that interaction, despite the pandemic. How do you use technology to personalize it?”
In any design or customer experience, there will be changes to accommodate guests and meet them where they’re at in their journey.
“It’s always been an uphill battle to get people to change,” Sady said. “You have no choice. This is where we’re going. You have to be quick adopt it and accept that change.”
Grow your hospitality team.
Did you know BlueWave partners with hospitality companies? Reach out to us if you’re interested in growing your team!