This article discusses the hotel front desk, which it states hasn’t changed in decades other than changing a bell for a Dell, and which is still a high desk where guests make a deposit and pick up a room key.
It says that guests are looking for flexible communications, check-in by text or keyless entry, but across the digital world there is a general backlash against Big Tech, which has implications for travel.
The article outlines the results of research with consumers, and draws up a top ten responsibilities of the evolving front desk and the place of technology in each:
- looking guests in the eye;
- upselling rooms and services;
- keeping queues moving;
- empowering all staff members to serve guests;
- making check-in and check-out flexible;
- automating tasks;
- being smart about loyalty;
- creating workflows to collect good reviews;
- competing with Airbnb on experiences;
- not forgetting food and beverage, and meetings.
The conclusion is that technology is changing the travel environment, but will not take the place of a host’s empathy, smile, and relevant offer of help.