Customer Experience in the Travel Industry: Beyond Fresh Towels
Brought to you by WBR Insights
The travel industry is all about experience. People go on vacation because they want to escape from their normal lives for a week or two and be treated like a rock star in a blissful location.
However, there is so much more to delivering a superior customer experience to traveling consumers than simply making sure the pillows are plumped and the towels are fresh. Modern luxury travelers are looking for all those little extras that will elevate their holiday from run-of-the-mill to exemplary.
Naturally, as we move into the third decade of the 21st century, digital transformation has a massive role to play in delivering these extra details. So, here are three great ways Industry 4.0 technology is helping travel brands go that extra mile.
We are now starting to see robots leap from the pages of science fiction novels and into our lives. While we are still a few years away from true robot butlers capable of multiple functions, they are being introduced for specific jobs in the travel industry.
Robots are being deployed in hotels to facilitate tasks such as cleaning and delivering room service orders to guest rooms. This helps hotels boost customer experience as they can offer services such as room service for longer periods of time, as they don't require porters to be on shift. Robots equipped with cameras can also fill the roles of security guards, helping to make guests feel safer during their stay. Now, we are even seeing robotic suitcases which automatically trundle along beside their owners - saving tired arms on long journeys.
As you might expect, Japan has been ahead of the curve and even has an entirely robot-staffed hotel with everything from automated check in to robotic porters.
"At the front desk, you will be greeted by multi-lingual robots that will help you check in or check out," says the Henn-na Hotel website. "At the cloakroom, the robotic arm will store your luggage for you. Mechanic yet somehow human, those fun moments with the robots will warm your heart. Furthermore, once you register your face with our face recognition system, you will be free from the hassle of carrying the room key around or worrying about losing it."
#2 Virtual and Augmented Reality
Many online travel agents are already deploying virtual reality technology to offer a new type of experience to travelers during the consideration and booking stages of their holiday planning.
Using their own VR headsets, travelers can take tours of the holiday destinations they're considering without leaving their homes. Hotels, resorts, and more can all be perused at the customer's leisure using the innovative tech. It can be difficult to really get a sense of a place through catalog pictures and text descriptions, but virtual reality helps travelers buy with confidence - improving the experience from the very beginning of their journey.
Augmented reality is also being deployed by travel brands to help their guests better navigate their location when on holiday.
By holding up an AR-enabled smartphone to landmarks and other specially-designated areas, travelers can be provided with additional information about those locations. In hotels, this can help guests access information without having to wait for an associate to be free.
#3 Smart Rooms
Finally, one of the most customer-focused ways digital technology is being used to augment the traveler experience is through the development of innovative smart rooms.
These incredible new hotel rooms are designed to use Industry 4.0 technology to create futuristic experiences and new levels of luxury and customer service. These smart rooms give guests unprecedented control over many aspects of their suite, with much of it being controlled by voice.
Using voice commands, smart room guests can adjust the temperature, open and close shades, turn on the television, order room service, book taxis, and access a range of information about their stay.
Amazon has even developed a special version of its room assistant product - Alexa for Hospitality - already in play at Marriot hotels. As smart room technology develops even further, we can expect to see ever more seamless integration between it and the other technologies described above.
Digital technology is helping the travel industry deliver incredible new experiences to travelers. In a business that is 100 percent focused on experience, anything which can be done to boost the enjoyment of consumers will likely put your travel brand head and shoulders above the competition.