Over the past weeks, Sensor Flow has been participating in industry events and conferences, engaging in conversations around “What is the most fundamental change that we aspire to bring into the hotel and tech ecosystem to adopt sustainable practices and move towards an all-round development?” While the answers and discussions have been diverse and ranging, there were overlapping themes that we would like to highlight below.
These themes project the current technology and research mindset of the private and public sector that is engaged towards hotel management and better guest experience through technological interventions:
Insight 1: The role of technology is to complement services rather than take away the human experience –
We live in a digital era where sensors, wearable technology, complex data analytics and the cloud can monitor and store data about anything in real-time while optimizing our lifestyle too. However, owing to a constant desire for more convenience and to simplify our day to day routine, several digital experiences have been created that foster a culture of instant gratification. As technology is increasingly being used to meet the ever-evolving consumer expectations in the form of AI automation and highly designed, hyper-controlled environments, the invariable need for a human element within the customer experience continues to perpetuate the modern dilemma of balancing technology with the human experience.
The hospitality industry, for instance, largely centers on offering exceptional guest experience and while technology can shape user-friendly and personal experiences, it should also empower hotel staff to serve guests better rather than replacing high-touch services or guest interactions.
Brand solutions like SensorFlow are working towards creating a blueprint for the optimal guest experience by minimizing guest complaints. SensorFlow’s retrofit automation technology can be used to streamline repetitive operations such as room assignments, check-in and check-out procedures and housekeeping deliveries which in turn optimize manpower resources and speed up guest services. With SensorFlow hotels can automate room temperature by monitoring guest behaviour and save up to 30% in energy usage.
Automation will scale productivity by freeing up hotel staff from basic repetitive tasks, giving them room to focus on interaction with guests. SensorFlow aims to drive business transformation and establish an industry that is supported by a future-ready workforce backed by sustainable growth. By using AI, SensorFlow can help hotels overcome the challenges of escalating service standards to enhance the guest experience while also improving operational costs, efficiency and productivity. Automation is therefore critical for hotels to sustain profitability.
Insight 2: Reviews play an important role in reputation management for hotels –
As manpower and energy costs continue to increase, it becomes more crucial for hotels to leverage AI, automation and data to stay ahead of the curve. The effective use of AI and automation are not just limited to streamlining day-to-day operations and improving efficiency, they also help to scale brand reputation on social networks and review platforms.
SensorFlow’s smart IoT solutions can proactively detect equipment malfunctions and warn the engineering team to fix the problem before a guest complains. Therefore, instrumental in controlling negative guest feedback that can damage the hotel’s social presence in the form of reviews, ratings and social media. A hotel needs to maintain a positive rating index and review presence because online ratings and reviews can not only help gain future bookings but also offer customers valuable insights into the overall dynamics in terms of cleanliness, restaurant hygiene, eco-friendly practices adopted by the hotel. So, the key to smarter hotel operations lies in executing the right technology solutions that meet guest expectations and enhance a hotel’s reputation with positive reviews and guest feedback that shall scale all-round growth for hotels.
And as we move towards 2020, we hope to see more properties using SensorFlow retrofit technology and smart solutions to enhance online reputation, reduce operational costs, improve the guest experience and exploit new sources of revenue.
Insight 3: Employing eco-friendly technology is a great way to show guests that you are committed to making a difference –
Developing a sustainable ecosystem in hotels is of utmost importance and going green using big data will enable the development of a sustainable ecosystem. When hotels invest in generating and using big data, they will be able to concretely measure and communicate the positive impact of sustainable initiatives to both guests and stakeholders. With the use of SensorFlow technology, guest complaints are minimised and better managed leading to improved guest satisfaction scores. A hotel that utilizes SensorFlow’s A/C solution can save 8300 kWh/month or 99,600 kWh/year (up to 30% in energy savings). With SensorFlow’s smart automation in place, where the A/C is automatically turned off while guests are away, the hotel can also offset CO2 emissions by up to 2.4 tonnes/month or 28.8 tonnes/year – the approximate equivalent of saving 31 trees/month or 372 trees/year.
One other key challenge that hotels face is space utilization, there are a lot of under-utilized areas around the hotel such as conference rooms, restaurants, bars during non-peak hours. Sensors placed around the hotel can highlight these underutilized spaces which can then be rented out to maximize revenue. SensorFlow also provides motion and occupancy-based automation that can help reduce energy consumption in empty hallways and public areas, thus reducing energy consumption and offset carbon footprint. With IoT expanding further into the hotel and construction space there are now more solutions being presented to make buildings smarter, more efficient and even more sustainable.
By using wireless IoT technology, buildings can now be enhanced to improve how they behave and react to their internal and external environments. Many of these solutions bring with them a new level of smart automation which is unrivalled by human interaction. Companies like SensorFlow, for example, provide wireless HVAC automation that taps into the hotels’ infrastructure, analyses and optimizes the energy flow and enables real-time aircon automation. Couple this with preventative maintenance alerts and system failure detection and you have created an intelligent room that allows staff to respond to issues before the guests even notice.
Travelers want to travel sustainably and many of them are on the lookout for green hotels with sustainable practices. More than 90% of travelers believe that it’s a company’s responsibility to help protect the environment. Recent studies have also found that nearly two-thirds of travelers, often or always consider the environment when choosing hotels, transportation and meals. While, 68% of tourists prefer to book eco-friendly accommodation.
The rising demand for eco-conscious getaways amongst travelers has made hotels become more responsible, with many now using various methods to imbibe and promote sustainable development. SensorFlow technology has made a significant contribution to encourage the growth of eco-hotels and is also encouraging other businesses and consumers to do their part.