The sharing economy has had an undeniable impact on the expectations of hotel guests. As travelers experience the advantages of peer-to-peer accommodations, they’re demanding novel, home-like experiences that reflect the local culture. They’ve decided the cookie cutter approach of big hotel chains is less appealing.
But for big chains, creating unique experiences at each hotel presents a challenge, especially after years of focus on consistency across properties. “The brands have a global, not a local, perspective. As an owner, you have to make tough decisions to do what’s best for your guests and your employees,” says Bryan, owner of Driftwood Hospitality and one of those interviewed for a Deloitte study on “The Hotel of the Future.”
Communications technology can transform how hotels deliver guest experiences. With hybrid deployment of unified communications, chains can immerse travelers in a customized, local experience while standardizing quality and managing costs more effectively.
Competition is high in the hospitality industry, and so are guests' expectations. Learn more about how to exceed them with our infographic. >
Consider these seven examples of how hybrid deployment of unified communications offers greater flexibility and customization.
Economies of scale. A large, multi-property hotel chain is likely to have many types of communications systems in place, with some on-site and some in the cloud. A hybrid deployment of unified communications enables disparate properties to share communications resources. As they acquire new properties, chains worry less about their phone systems because they snap into the UC platform and are easily customized.
Ability to deliver custom experiences. Even on business trips, today’s travelers want a memorable experience. “Corporate hotels, they’re not awful, but they’re forgettable: nothing stands out, they all feel and look the same, you can’t tell them apart, and you are happy to leave,” says David, a “frequent business traveler” quoted in Deloitte’s report. A hybrid deployment lets hotels maintain their own unique personality and integrate local information to create unforgettable visits.
Standardize the employee experience. Maintaining brand quality while also creating a unique identity for every property introduces greater complexity into an already complicated operation. Although differentiation is critical as expectations change, hotel chains save time when staff everywhere can access the same set of tools and features.
Access to next-gen cloud apps. Hotel chains must also enhance and personalize the experience at each property. With easy access to the latest in concierge, hotel management and CRM apps, they can streamline housekeeping, tap into more dining and entertainment options, and better handle guest requests.
Centralize the contact center. To truly personalize a guest experience, hotels must know their customer. A cloud-based contact center centralizes guest information so that individual hotels have everything they need to tailor services to each traveler. For example, an understanding of guest preferences and behaviors at other properties helps the concierge make better recommendations for things to do, see and eat in the local area.
Real-time access to content. Hotels may prefer to keep some content or data – such as large multimedia files or other property data – on-site for faster access.
Privacy and control. A hybrid deployment also makes good strategic sense as a long-term solution. In addition to the flexibility it offers, a hybrid approach gives chains complete control of key aspects of their communications infrastructure, while allowing them to leverage the cloud’s resiliency, management and scalability.
Hybrid deployment offers hotel chains a flexible, adaptable and strategic approach to unified communications. Although each property may have its own local flair, chains benefit because they don’t have to reinvent communications over and over again.