Self-Service Technology in the Hospitality Industry

Ever changing technology is an inevitable part of every industry, specifically the hospitality industry. Digital convergence is defined as, “phenomenon involving the interconnection of information and communications technologies, computer networks, and media content. Media convergence transforms established industries, services, and work practices and enables entirely new forms of content to emerge.”

We live in a digital world where people demand fast paced technology to aid in their every day tasks, this includes travel and leisure activity. Long gone are the days of excessive face-to-face communication with the popularity of text message, social media and all other forms of technology, face-to-face communication is becoming a thing of the past. In order to stay up to date with the world the hospitality industry has integrated multiple different types of technology. One very popular up and coming technology that many hotels have already adopted is the use of self-service kiosks  or mobile applications to check-in and out of their hotel. Self-service technology is a very effective way to allow customers to choose when and how they want their service. This allows a hotel to provide service to their guests at any moment without the wait.

high-tech-hotels-starwood

http://www.fodors.com/ee/images/article/high-tech-hotels-starwood.jpg

Waiting in line for long periods of time is linked to dissatisfaction from guests. This is an issue for the hospitality industry because customer satisfaction is the main concern, if technology is available to increase customer satisfaction than it should be integrated into the hotel. Picture this, you have been traveling for hours, your flight was delayed and the airline lost your baggage, after spending thirty minutes on the phone trying to arrange for your luggage to be found and ensure that everything is all set you finally get into a taxi and head to your hotel. At this point your boss has already e-mailed you four times making sure that you have all the information needed for your big meeting tomorrow and continues to remind you how you must close this deal tomorrow for the company. You walk into the hotel and there is a line at the front desk and the person at the front of the line is taking their sweet time. At this moment you think, with all this technology available is there not an easier way to check-in? This is where hoteliers have integrated mobile technology to allow guests to avoid stressful lines and have a better overall experience during check-in and check-out by using self-service technology or mobile technology.

This video is an example of technology that has been integrated into the hotel industry already.

A few major concerns that guests have expressed is the ease of use and personal security. Although the world is highly digital, we cannot assume that every single person staying at our hotel has a smart phone and can use our mobile application to check-in and out. This also becomes an issue if the guests have trouble working the technology, if a guest cannot figure out how to work a self-service kiosk they may become frustrated and therefore become dissatisfied. That is why it is very important for studies such as the one conducted by Chieh-Heng Ko (2017) to be published. This study explores how  guests choose self-service technology over service workers. Information was gathered that explains the need for self-service technology and service workers to achieve the highest guest satisfaction. This would ensure that different types of guests from innovators all the way to non-adopters and everybody in between will be satisfied with the service provided to them.

At this point in time only a few hotels have adopted this principle to the full extent of technology’s ability. The more people who integrate these technologies into their business will lead to an explosion of popularity. Because millennials rely heavily on technology and use it to its full extent whenever possible, I believe that critical mass in diffusion will be likely because the technology is very easily accessible and does not require many resources.

check-in-kiosks

The Yotel in New York City recently opened is known for its technology based operation. The picture above is the front lobby that you first walk into filled with kiosks to check-in instead of a front desk agent to check guests in. This is one of the first technology based hotels of its kind and they have been very successful in attracting the right type of guest for their hotel. The Yotel markets themselves as an affordable luxury hotel. With millennials as the target market they are doing a great job of integrating technology into the everyday operations.

The world has an array of technology at their fingertips and it is crucial for every industry to integrate this to enhance their business.

Chieh-Heng, K. (2017). EXPLORING HOW HOTEL GUESTS CHOOSE SELF-SERVICE TECHNOLOGIES OVER SERVICE STAFF. International Journal Of Organizational Innovation, 9(3), 16-27.

media convergence. (2017). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from https://www.britannica.com/topic/media-convergence

Kokkinou, A. & Cranage, D. (2013). Using self-service technology to reduce customer waiting times. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://www.sciencedirect.com.ezproxy.bond.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0278431912001466

Oh, H., Jeong, M., Lee, S., & Warnick, R. (2013). Attitudinal and Situational Determinants of Self-Service Technology Use (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://journals.sagepub.com.ezproxy.bond.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1177/1096348013491598

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