Building the Digital Hotel of the Future

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HITEC 2014 Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals

Still here in Los Angeles and HITEC 2014 is providing tons of great information about the hospitality technology industry! We sat in on a great session yesterday - “Building the Digital Hotel of the Future.” Dania Duke from Hyatt Hotels Corporation, along with George Manuelian from Cisco, led a discussion detailing a yearlong process of upgrading hotel technology to maximize both guest satisfaction and potential revenue.

The Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, situated in the middle of Silicon Valley, served as a test facility for a handful of properties to better understand guest and staff technology needs.  The property faced numerous challenges: aging infrastructure, poor WiFi coverage, minimal insights into guest behavior or technology usage, unreliable coverage and cumbersome login processes. Basically, the systems were not designed for today’s tech-evolved guest. The team identified the need to address bandwidth usage, including speeds and capacity, but also the reasons for consumption – such as casual use, streaming videos, downloading photos and emailing large files or attachments.

Using the mantra, “fail early, often and cheap,” the team tested a variety of solutions on a small scale to understand which combination would best accommodate both guests and hotel employees. Ultimately, they settled on a unique infrastructure that offered solid business analytics and insights into guest habits. With the new solution, the hotel found opportunities to increase interaction and improve response rates with its guests, ultimately improving the guest experience.

Today, using social media, the hotel tracks what guests posts about their experience at the hotel and—even better—whether the facility’s network is used to post the comments. For example, if someone tweets about poor water pressure, the hotel can identify whether the tweet was posted using the hotel’s network, giving the opportunity to reply in real-time with a resolution.

Additionally, the Hyatt Regency is working with Cisco to understand the most common Twitter hashtags used on the property, allowing for more marketing opportunities. Someone tweeted a picture of the great dessert he’s enjoying at your restaurant? Why not reply with a “thank you” tweet with a coupon for his next visit? Thanks to this technology, non-room revenue at the hotel has increased between 15 and 20 percent since implementation.

As more and more hotels adopt technologies that enable this higher level of customer service, the conversation is shifting from a focus on bandwidth needs to a focus on revenue generation through technology. One year after deploying the new solution and implementing guest interaction practices, the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara saw its Internet net promoter score increase by 37 percent.

Interactive Hopitality infographic

Windstream’s hospitality solutions can help your hotel or resort see results like the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. From Unified Communications to cloud computing to WiFi, our team can custom-design and implement solutions that not only provide your guests with a superior experience, but also increase your business revenue. Check out our interactive infographic to see how Windstream can help your business, then contact one of our experts for more information. And don’t forget to visit our winning team at booth 805 if you’re on the expo floor at HITEC 2014!