Technology has permeated nearly every aspect of society today with the goal of making life easier. Following the examples of how individuals are using technology at home, hotels are integrating technology throughout guestrooms, often in the form of bedside tablets—a familiar device for many guests.
At Claridge House in Chicago, AavGo tablets can be found in every guestroom. The tablets are intended to allow guests to interact with the hotel and staff without having to make a call from their in-room phone or visit the front desk, which houses two check-in nooks with a digital concierge. AavGo tablets can be used to order room service, submit a request, or check out at the end of their stay, among other functions. The tablets can even substitute an information board, notifying guests of promotions at the on-site restaurant, Juniper Spirits & Oysters.
“With today being so technological, I think more guests are definitely gravitating towards the tablets,” says Israel Arteaga, director of rooms for Claridge House. “I really like the idea that any request they have, they can go directly to that department as opposed to having to go through the front desk for everything.”
In addition to connecting guests with hotel staff, the AavGo tablets come pre-loaded with apps that guests visiting the Chicago area may find useful, like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Guests can also use the tablets for entertainment purposes like streaming movies, as all that is required to access the internet is an email address.
Before making an investment like in-room tablets, hoteliers often wonder if guests will use the technology for its intended purpose. Claridge House’s staff has ranked the ways guests use the tablets since they were added to rooms in May of 2018. The most popular use is for housekeeping requests or requests for more amenities followed by room maintenance requests, guest to staff communication, late checkout requests or wake-up call set-ups, room service orders, and, lastly, for streaming movies.
Not only do the tablets impact guest experience at Claridge House, but they also allow the hotel’s staff to be more efficient by keeping track of all requests that are made and giving staff members a place to record their responses. In the past, Arteaga says he’s dealt with staff not receiving calls or not remembering hearing a call via radio. Now, staff members can follow up with guests to ensure that their requests were met.
The tablets also make the use of radios among staff nearly obsolete, meaning that guests no longer have to hear radio chatter outside their rooms. Staff members also no longer have to worry if they are on the correct channel, which could potentially lead to missed requests.
“I think it works well on both ends—for guests and for team members—because now we can communicate with our engineer, with our housekeeping team, without that struggle of a radio networking,” says Arteaga. “I think it’s made completing any guest requests or any work orders far more effective.”
Though the AavGo tablets are not currently connected with the hotel’s operating system, Arteaga envisions the tablets becoming even more effective. The hotel would be able to track which rooms are vacant and which rooms are taken, and house data all in one place, hopefully eliminating radios completely.
“We’re so used to having some sort of technology that it just makes life a little easier for guests not having to do things in such an antiquated way, where you have to pick up the phone for everything,” Arteaga says. “Now, everything’s just on hand. It feels like you’re more in control, and I think that’s something that guests really like.”