How Guest WiFi Can Enhance the Role of a Concierge to Improve Guest Experience
We’ve seen the role of hotel concierge evolve past making reservations and hailing cabs. These days, they’re also seen helping hotel guests with directions to places, with emergency doctor visits, or recommendations to some of the best local museums or malls. In other words, dedicated concierges are some of the unsung heroes of the hospitality industry. But regardless of the role they play in the hospitality industry, there are two facts that cannot be denied:
- The spate of on-demand apps and services are empowering today’s hotel guests and are thereby threatening the role of the concierge.
- Much of what a concierge’s job involves is routine to the point of banality. There are very few people who find great professional satisfaction in repeatedly making restaurant reservations and handing out tourist brochures.
Bearing the above facts in mind, hotels need to find a way to enhance the role of the concierge while relieving the hotel staff from the drudgery of more mundane tasks. Fortunately, the Guest WiFi at hotels can fix both these problems.
A Shared Digital Ecosystem Can Empower the Concierge
Guests can now request directions or advice from anywhere in the hotel, and even outside it. In addition, most restaurants, taxi services and other service providers are more than happy to partner with local hotels, and their respective digital ecosystems can be seamlessly integrated to make bookings, offering special rates for guests and purchasing event tickets as easy and fast as pressing a few buttons.
Using the hotel’s WiFi as an information source on guest preferences and as a marketing channel also allows new possibilities in terms of the total contribution a concierge can make to the guest experience. For example, if a client uses their room WiFi to search for local vegan restaurants or microbreweries, the concierge on duty can quickly call up a list of local establishments, find out what their specials and operating hours are and later seem to possess an almost supernatural knowledge of the surrounding attractions.
Concierges armed with a tablet are no longer confined to a desk, but can interact with guests wherever they may be with all necessary information at their fingertips, enabling them to deal with requests as they arise. Finally, guest WiFi, in concert with analytics, can make it possible for hotel staff to serve guests with promotional offers for various services without the guest ever having to communicate these desires.
Business Benefits of Using Guest WiFi
Much of this technological shift means that, where the concierge was formerly the primary contact point for hotel guests, more and more of their functions can be taken over by a self-service platform.
While one way to take advantage of this is to reduce staff costs, it also makes it possible to emphasize their customer service role further without them having to spend much of their time fielding routine requests. Some guests will still prefer talking to a staff member face to face, while others will demand the ease and control they’ve come to expect from digitally connected establishments.
The decreased demands on their time, plus the ease of accessing information and communicating with third parties, mean that concierges will now be able to provide a level of service that was previously only the prerogative of the most regular visitors.
As one example, using tools such as a location analytics and engagement platform, a concierge reserving a table in the hotel restaurant will be able to know which table a guest has previously occupied, who his server was, whether he prefers fish to meat, if he’s allergic to shellfish and what his favorite drink is. This allows an unprecedented level of personalization to be achieved within minutes, not only for high-value clients but for every guest who chooses to share his data with the hotel.
Tradition Vs Technology
There are some hospitality establishments which still try to depend on their old-world charm or their past reputation but this is no longer going to be sustainable. Times have changed and so have guest expectations. Tradition should no longer interfere with guests’ convenience or their demand for always-on access to information and services. An upgraded hotel IT infrastructure is necessary to provide the level of guest experience customers have come to expect.
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