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Kiosks Take Center Stage for Better – and Safer – Guest Experiences

David Jones
Senior Solution Engineer, Hotel Solution Engineering, Oracle Hospitality

Seventy percent of consumers said when they travel again, they would be more likely to stay in a hotel offering self-service technology that minimizes contact with staff.

That finding – one of the highlights of A Data-Driven Look at Hospitality’s Recovery, a new global study released by Oracle Hospitality and travel industry research firm, Skift – provides hoteliers with a clear answer to one of their most-pressing questions:

How do I assure guests that my property is enhancing health-safety measures and ready to deliver exceptional stays in a changed world?

Hoteliers are exploring and deploying self-service technology with a renewed sense of urgency, and one option that’s gaining considerable attention is kiosks. Though they’re certainly not new to the marketplace, kiosks now are playing a far greater role in elevating the guest experience.

Here are four key ways kiosks can address guest and employee concerns, improve service, and jumpstart business:

Prioritize social distancing

Nothing raises anxiety levels more than feeling “trapped” in crowded areas, especially indoors. One of the most-common complaints from hotel guests is dealing with long lines for check-in or check-out. What’s been a nuisance before now is forbidden in many countries, according to various health guidelines and mandates.

For example, in an effort to resume tourism services and set health protocols in hospitality establishments, EU Guidance states, “It is necessary to decrease the number of direct contact between customers and staff, and that can be achieved by implementing digital services within the hotel.”

Kiosks can be strategically placed throughout a property to help alleviate lobby congestion and minimize extended interactions between guests and front-desk staff.

Provide guests with the autonomy they desire

In a world driven by smartphones and mobile devices, consumers have become accustomed to hassle-free, on-demand service to get what they want when they want it. Such autonomy is coveted even more now because “people no longer feel safe in public places,” says Henry Wong, principal at AO Architects. “The job of hoteliers, brands and architects is to create dynamic environments that offer travelers the ability to choose their own adventures.”

Kiosks can provide guests with more flexibility during their stay, enabling them to schedule and access hotel services and activities – independently and at their convenience.

Increase consumer choice and create revenue-generating opportunities

The value of kiosks isn’t limited to creating safer environments; it manifests in improvements at various stages of the guest journey. For example, guests can use kiosks not just to check-in, but to choose their room based on personal preferences and a floor plan display, and upgrade selections. They also can use kiosks to order room service, which industry analysts anticipate will surge because restaurant dining, in many cases, remains a questionable activity. Furthermore, hoteliers can use kiosks to enhance the room-service experience – and generate upsells – because they can display mouth-watering imagery of meals and offer customized promotions. Market research supports the appeal of kiosks: 65% of customers would visit a venue more often if self-service kiosks were offered.

Improve innovation capability, efficiency and service

Most importantly, operating in an altered marketplace makes it imperative to use a property management system (PMS) and point of sale (POS) capable of integrating technologies to deliver new services that satisfy rapidly changing consumer expectations. With its PMS and POS platforms, commitment to open APIs, and extensive ecosystem of integration partners, Oracle Hospitality can readily implement innovations – regardless of their origin – to make guest experiences exceptional.

In real-world scenarios, that means Oracle solutions, such as OPERA Cloud Property Management and Simphony Hotel Point of Sale, can maximize the benefits of kiosks. For example, by working with door-lock and kiosk vendors, Oracle-powered kiosks can produce hotel keys on demand or offer guest-facing apps that “convert” smartphones into mobile keys; kiosks can scan ID documents to facilitate self check-in; they can simplify settling of accounts by serving as a direct connection to payment providers; and they can enable guests to check-out on their own, bypassing the front desk.

To help hoteliers better understand how OPERA PMS and Simphony point of sale can fully capitalize upon self-service technology, we’ve prepared A Technology Guide for a Touchless Guest Journey. Download your copy today.

It’s time to realize that self-service means better – and safer – service for everyone.

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