Across so many sectors and applications, business related technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace and is making great changes to our daily activities. As such, we are able to identify how industries such as hospitality will take advantage of such developments in the near future, and how these technologies are likely to take over.
Every modern business should strive to be as inter-connected as possible, providing multichannel services throughout, and offering as much accessibility for customers as is available. For the hospitality sector, this may commonly mean online bookings and payments – including restaurant bills, bar tabs and activity reservations – but also means an improved customer experience overall.
Payment systems have advanced rapidly over the past few years, and your business needs to be future proofed in order to keep up with customer’s expectations. The recent introductions of payment services from Apple and Google have created new challenges businesses, as they continually strive to keep up with the latest developments. Even cryptocurrency has begun to infiltrate the hospitality market, with some businesses allowing payments to be made via the blockchain-based format.
Contactless payments overtook their chip-and-PIN counterpart in the UK for the first time in October 2018 – this has been helped in part to a huge increase in the use of mobile payments. However, millions of small UK businesses still only support cash transactions. In order too keep up with the competition, businesses within the hospitality sector need to ensure they offer as many payment options as viably possible to provide customers with the freedom they have come to expect. In the near future, the businesses that happily offer a variety of transactions will succeed over those that are more firmly stuck in the past.
Today, guests expect to be able to connect to your network as seamlessly as possible. Public Wi-Fi is nothing new, but modern consumers anticipate widespread coverage and in fact can change their plans based on the usability of a public data service.
When it comes to your own public Wi-Fi service, you should ensure your broadband package is able to handle the amount of potential traffic that it will see on day-to-day basis. Even a seemingly large data limit can easily be used up quickly if lots of people are logging on to your account freely. Choose a fast package, as a slow Internet connection will frustrate customers and discourage them from visiting your premises in the future.
Hospitality businesses should consider implementing a hotspot gateway – this provides a virtual portal that guests must access your customer network through, meaning a more secure Wi-Fi connection for both you and your guests. The gateway creates an additional barrier for cybercriminals while also allowing you to put firewalls in place across your network. You are also provided with some legal protection whilst guests are connected to your network, as they must accept terms and conditions in order to access the hotspot gateway.
With interest in self-service solutions continuing to grow, more and more businesses will introduce technology that removes the need for customers to interact with another human – for example when making bookings, taking orders or requesting additional services. As self-service tech improves to become faster and more convenient to both customers and the business, these advancements are future-proofing the technology to create long-term solutions. Businesses will be able to cut their costs by investing in automated services early on.
There are inevitably some parts of the hospitality sector that can’t be replaced by a robot however, but in these situations a self-service option is a welcome addition alongside a human member of staff – such as an automated phone line to take the strain off the staff or a self check-in service alongside the reception desk to ease waiting times.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nathan Hill-Haimes is founder of Amvia, a privately-owned, voice, data and cloud application provider based in Sheffield, UK which supplies services to companies of all sizes. Amvia was founded to bring together some of the most experienced and talented UK telecoms professionals, and now handles billions of data packets a day whilst still making customers its key focus.
For more information, please visit www.amvia.co.uk