Hotels to Accommodate Bring Your Own Device Trend
New data from a survey conducted by Four Points by Sheraton offers some interesting insight into how travelers interact with technology while on the road. The survey reported that the average traveler brings three to four portable devices with smartphones topping the list, video chat was the preferred method of communication, 36% of business travelers check their smartphones first thing each morning in their hotel rooms, and the majority of travelers use their smartphones to check email.
So what can surveys of this kind tell the hospitality industry about the consumer’s travel needs? And how can hotels take advantage of their guests’ constant connectedness to meet needs, exceed expectations and build brand loyalty?
Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi is quickly becoming a hospitality industry standard, but one of the initial complaints about hotel Wi-Fi is the requirement to repeatedly login through a landing page. Guests are voicing their praise for hotels that offer one-time login functionality, much like users enjoy at home. Archaic systems of phoning the front desk for a complicated password each day have also slowly been replaced by allowing guests to enter the guest’s room number as the password, a far more streamlined system that still helps ensure that only registered guests access the network.
During their stay, it’s not just pay-per-view TV that travelers are willing to tack on. One way hotels can take advantage of device penetration in the market while offering standout amenities is to incorporate in-room digital content access to their guests. Digital newspapers and magazines, ebooks and audiobooks, and even streaming movies can be accessed by patrons on their own devices, while still available through the hotel either as compliments or for a low-fee. This type of option can help hotels build and retain brand loyalty among their guests.
Some industry insiders have commented that it is far more cost effective and user friendly to forgo the fancy touch screen wall panels and digital bathroom features, and instead allow guests to connect to their valued content with their own personal smartphones and tablets. Travelers are already footing the bill for their reading and entertainment content on the road, and so making it available on their devices instantly and for free will go farther in helping guests enjoy their stay.
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