Personalization vs Automation - why choose?

Optimizing processes. Optimizing everything. It’s the buzzword. Everyone wants to optimize what they do, what happens and what will happen. Hoteliers as well as their guests are no exception.

Optimization

Optimizing processes. Optimizing everything. It’s the buzzword. Everyone wants to optimize what they do, what happens and what will happen. Hoteliers as well as their guests are no exception. Hoteliers want to make things easier and faster as they need their employees to prioritize other tasks. Guests want to spend more time relaxing and enjoying their journey as well as allowing more time for their personal needs. It is for this reason that hoteliers and guests around the world have found automation to be the best solution in response to the time-bound hurdles life presents.

The case of check-in allows for an excellent example, as this is one of the great pains of the hotel guest journey. It is a lengthy and tedious process for hoteliers and guests alike, but is an absolutely essential step. In response, the optimization trend, saw the introduction of check-in kiosks. This technology brought with them functionality, ease of use but additionally also put an end (and quite abruptly so) to the personal touch.

This is where the problem was created. We wanted to optimize, so we’ve managed to automate which has indeed sped things up. But we’ve somewhere along the line lost an important element hoteliers around the world spent decades building and trying to enhance: personalization.

Many people may feel that giving up the element of personalization in order to have a quicker check-in is a no-brainer; a fair trade; even a bargain and a really small price to pay: “How could it happen any other way, something’s gotta give, right?” If life was all about settling for only what we think could happen, then many of the things we take for granted today would not be possible. So, can we really have both the speed and the personal touch?

Indeed optimizing processes solely via automation is a solution of the past- we can do it, we are doing it. Did you know that 78% of consumers express a desire for personalization? Today the challenge is rooted in how to bring personalization into the picture now that we’ve mastered the art of automation.

Ultimately, technology (automation) in combination with the personal touch is truly the winning recipe. As has been highlighted in several reports; the human element is absolutely essential. There is most certainly a movement towards technology which enhances human interaction, this is a true movement towards ‘most personalized’ rather than ‘most automatic’. Indeed as stated by Grant Thornton (2015) Hotels 2020: Welcoming tomorrow’s guests: hoteliers who are able to provide their guests with “mobile-centric personalization” will indeed become the chosen brands throughout their industry.

In our next post we’ll introduce to “The conichi team & their gadgets that keep them going!” so watch this space for more exciting insights!

We love learning and writing about anything related to hospitality, beacons and innovative ideas and we’re always excited to know what our readers are thinking; get in touch with Lisa if you need any information regarding this topic or the blog in general or if you’d like to get into the technical nitty gritty of things let us know and we’ll put you in touch with our techies!