Taking the Creepy Factor Out of Collecting Guest Data(Part II)

September 27, 2016

In last month’s blog post, we discussed how collecting guest data is vital for hotels but can be creepy resulting in guests feeling uncomfortable about sharing information about themselves with the hotels they stay at. As we suggested, one way to overcome the “creepy factor” is wearable technology. The advantage of using wearable technology is that guests can choose to opt in – and once they opt in, they willingly provide hotels with data about themselves.

According to Mark Hoplamazian, CEO of Hyatt Hotels (as we mentioned in a previous post, “Reverse Perspective: Bring Humanity into Hospitality”), “hotels should check into guests’ lives, not guests checking into hotels and to be a hotel that treads lightly.” Wearable technology allows you to do exactly that – tread lightly – while providing insight into guests’ lives and allowing hotels to learn about their routines without being creepy.

In the last blog post, we discussed that guests may be willing to give up information about themselves if there was transparency of the data collected and why, a privacy policy that is made available to them and trusted between the hotel and it’s guests.

But how do you implement a wearable technology that integrates with a hotel’s current systems, provides valuable data, is cost-effective and easy to use. Whew! That’s a lot of requirements for one tiny piece of technology! The big question that remains then is how do you meet all these requirements through wearable technology at your hotel?

Implementation

 Wearable technology can be implemented in several ways. Hotels can implement their own wearable technology such as such as a bracelet for a guest like Disney’s Magic Band that can be used as a door key, provide access to the pool, gym, spa and restaurants and or make purchases at gift shops. Alternatively, a hotel can leverage existing wearables such as Fitbit or the Apple Watch, and collect data about the guest through custom developed app that allows the hotel to access data about the movements of the guest through the hotel, use Apple pay to pay for things, order from their own devices etc.

At this point, you may be thinking: “this is going to be too expensive” or “how complicated will this technology be to implement” generic crestor. The cost of the wearable itself has been steadily declining in recent years and can be relatively cheap to implement. Hotels already use RFID for room keys and the same chips can be implanted into a wearable to allow for more pervasive data collection. Wearable technology can be implemented just as easily as issuing a room key.

The question then rests on should hotels provide their own wearables or have guests bring their existing ones? The diagram below outlines with the pros and cons of both options.

for-blog

If hotels choose to leverage existing Fitbits and Apple Watches – generally, these technologies have restful API’s that hotels can tap into through their own custom app. However, building an app that integrates with the multitude of wearables out there from Microsoft Band to Misfit Shine to Fitbit – it becomes difficult (and thus expensive) to have every possible wearable that a guest could potentially have integrated into the hotel’s app.

On the other hand, if hotels decide to implement their own wearable, how do you convince your guests to wear it? In order to have a guest participate, the wearable should be easy to wear, discrete, lightweight and not interfere with the guests’ routine – keeping in mind you want to learn about guest behavior in their usual routines. You may also offer guests perks that are of value to them but cost the hoteliers little to nothing. Research shows that guests are motivated by things they can use immediately such as Amazon or Starbucks gift cards. But other perks that a guest may value but also allow insight into guest behavior are: Free WiFi during their stay, a room upgrade, a free movie, or even free breakfast. Personally, I’m a sucker for food so the free breakfast would easily motivate me to put on the wearable. Will wear bracelet for free coffee!

Either way, wearables allow hotels to collect a lot of data – but any data that is collected should only be used to help its guests.  By implementing wearable technology in hotels it’s a non-intrusive way to collect data to help make the guest experience seamless.

 

References:

http://www.embedded.com/design/real-world-applications/4431259/The-basics-of-designing-wearable-electronics-with-microcontrollers

http://traknprotect.com/taking-creepy-factor-collecting-guest-data-part/

<a href=”http://www.wareable their website.com/wearable-tech/what-is-wearable-tech-753″>http://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/what-is-wearable-tech-753

http://traknprotect.com/reverse-perspective-bringing-humanity-into-hospitality/

 

 

 

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