Ask Anthony: Incorporating Technology Without Losing the Personal Touch

Anthony Melchiorri

Anthony Melchiorri, hotel fixer and host of Travel Channel’s Hotel Impossible, loves dishing out advice. From sharing best practices to tackling operational issues, he’s here to answer your questions. Got a question for Ask Anthony? 
Send it to AskAnthony@lodgingmagazine.com.


How can hoteliers incorporate technology without losing the personal touch?

As we all know, hotels have been using kiosks to help facilitate check in for years with little success. While a novel idea, what is convenient to some is a frustrating and more limited experience for others. The idea never really took off, probably because hospitality needs to have a human layer of support to ensure guests are comfortable and happy. Hotels need to embrace technology to remain relevant and competitive in the hotel world, but should also be sure they aren’t adding technology for the sake of technology.

Many hotels now offer a chat service, allowing guests to request anything they need from the convenience of their cell phone. In addition to being another way to communicate with guests, it is also an incredibly simple way to check in during a guest’s stay to ensure they are having a positive experience and remind them that assistance is just a text away. In the same way that offering WiFi as an amenity began as a luxury and has now become a basic standard requirement, chat services will soon become a must have for every guest’s experience.

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Luxury service of the future will combine conveniences facilitated by technology with personal touches and interactions by intuitive staff. By using technology to simplify a hotel’s day to day and the physical convenience of a guest’s stay, hoteliers can focus on the heart of the experience; the key is to find balance with both.