This blog was written by WBA member Hughes Systique Corporation (HSC).
Adding a comprehensive new dimension to the Guestroom TV
Technological advances have been instrumental in driving change in human lives and in steering the digital transformation journey of several industries. The hospitality industry is one such industry that has been reaping rich dividends by the application of technology. Right from enhancing the customer experience to streamlining front-end and back-end operations, technology is helping hospitality service providers conduct efficient resource utilization, optimize costs and improve customer experience. Nowadays, providing a hyper-personalized customer experience is the top priority for most of the hospitality players.
The largest hotel chain in the world with 30+ brands, 7000+ properties and operating in more than 130 countries, Marriott International leads the way when it comes to the application of technology to amplify the guest experience. In June 2018, guests staying at select Marriott properties got complimentary access to HBO GO which is HBO’s authenticated streaming service. While complimentary access to HBO has been around for quite some time now, HBO GO is all set to go further by delivering on-demand streaming access to HBO licensed movies and original series. Hospitality service providers want to personalize the guest room TV so that customers can tune in to their favorite shows anytime, anywhere and on any device. This becomes a win-win situation for both entertainment and hospitality service providers as they expand entertainment options while enhancing the digital guest experience at the same time.
Technology Trends Shaping Guestroom TV:
The introduction of over-the-top content has transformed the hospitality television landscape. Guests prefer the interactive and content-based OTT services to the linear content that was once the norm. Guestroom TVs have evolved from mere devices that help watch movies and shows to comprehensive interactive systems that entertain, inform and control guests thereby elevating the customer experience. Here are some of the trends envisaged by experts in the entertainment service provider industry:
- Availability of more content: There is an increase in the number of OTT applications running on smart TV these days. Apps such as HBO GO and Showtime have reduced dependency on Video streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, etc by offering customized offerings meant for the hospitality industry.
- Guestroom TV’s are morphing into interactive platforms: The guest room TV has become a pivot around which OTT, as well as voice-powered customer experiences, are being implemented on an enterprise level. Television manufacturers all over the world are increasingly integrating devices with voice technology-powered virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. Hospitality service providers can capitalize on these voice-activated platforms to deliver hassle-free and connected guestroom experience. Further, it can be customized to suit a guest’s personal preferences and simultaneously offering a plethora of content options and seamless connectivity.
- Customers prefer to cast on their own: The latest trend in the hospitality industry is casting. Customers would prefer their guest room TV to be paired with a streaming device so that they can use their smartphone/tablet to authenticate and subsequently stream their desired content to the hotel TV. While this helps hospitality service providers enable hyper-personalized experiences to guests, it also means that they must invest in infrastructure to enable the guestroom pairing. At the same time, enabling the guest to seamlessly cast their desired content made available by Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc., from their personal devices to the guestroom TV has become a differentiating factor while looking for hotels.
- Digital transformation of Guestroom environment: Along with voice-powered virtual assistants, there are several tailored hospitality management solutions that can be integrated into Hotel TVs. These customizable solutions enable hotels to improve operational efficiencies by providing differentiated services to their guests. The services are beneficial for both guests and hotel staff. For instance, guests can have control over the amenities in the room (door locks, electrical equipment such as lights, air-conditioners, thermostats etc.) as well as interacting with the hotel staff for any specific need as well as hotel staff having better control of the guestroom environment such as energy usage as well as workflow management.
- Need for advanced analytics to help understand customer viewing patterns: Imagine what a treat it would be for customers when they tune in to the guestroom TV and are able to see that the viewing options are aligned with their preferred genres? The hospitality industry is rich in data right from hotel room booking to the preferred TV channels that guests watch a lot. While this information would not have much value in olden days, hoteliers can make use of big data to unlock a plethora of opportunities from this information and define a new way of doing business. Contextual ads that are based on the content that guests are viewing could be one way to monetize the customer viewing patterns.
The HSC Value Proposition:
Low switching costs and stiff competition compel hospitality enterprises to consider providing exceptional customer experience as their most important KPI. Increasingly, hotel guests are looking for an at-home experience in their rooms. When they switch on their guestroom TV they expect it to seamlessly start where they left it at their home.
With the OTT evolution, guests are comfortable with different OTT service providers. To make the guests feel at home, hotels are providing a setup with pre-installed applications so that guest can use their own subscription to view their preferred OTT service. In addition, hotels can utilize the same setup to provide their own content via OTT service. Having an OTT service to provide their own content, helps hoteliers provide a unified experience to their guests irrespective of whether they choose to view the hotel provided content or through their own subscription. Additionally, Hotels can integrate their Property Management System along with their OTT application to provide an integrated service to the guest for entertainment as well as other guest services (such as ordering food to the room) who can use the guestroom TV to communicate with the hotel staff.
With Hotspot 2.0, hotels can also go the extra mile to provide a seamless and secure Hotel Wifi service to their guests. For frequent travelers, it would facilitate a seamless way to connect to Wi-Fi services every time they check-in. Guests can access their preferred OTT service in the hotel premises by using the secure Hotel Wi-Fi Service and hotels would, in turn, have an additional channel of engagement with their guests for location-based ads
It is therefore without doubt that HSC’s Hotspot 2.0 solution combined with the OTT Delivery solution and application development experiences can enable hotels to enhance their guest services. It would also help the hoteliers monetize their offerings by means of suitably up-selling/cross-selling additional services via proximity marketing, contextual advertisements, dynamic ad insertions etc.
So, interested to implement a potent combination of OTT and Next Generation Hotspot Solution in your properties and give your customers a holistic guest experience? Visit HSC’s website for more information.