Improving guest satisfaction is a never-ending journey in the hotel industry. With the constant evolution of new technologies, guests’ expectations evolve too, making it important for hoteliers to stay up-to-date on the latest trends to ensure guests have the most memorable and seamless stay – whether they’re business travelers or seasonal vacationers.
Making an investment in your in-room guest entertainment system is a great way to help improve guest satisfaction scores, while simultaneously helping to boost revenue. When hoteliers are able to tap into guest profiles to deliver a highly-personalized and customized experience, they can offer the right product or service and amenities to fit guests’ specific needs. This may ultimately increase customer satisfaction, increase in-room amenities purchases, and can also result in higher room rates for smarter technologies.
There is potential for solid ROI for improving in-room entertainment (IRE). Results of a modernization investment include improved guest satisfaction scores, increased revenue from in-room amenities, and higher room rates.
Help Improve Guest Satisfaction with Hotel Technology
People are more tied to technology than ever before, and want their hotel in-room entertainment experience to be at least as good – if not better – than their home experience. According to a recent study, 78 percent of consumers in the United States were using a subscription video-on-demand service in 2021. So when a hotel is just providing a standard TV experience of a cable or satellite television, guest satisfaction could be at risk.
Another survey conducted by a cooperative of several college hospitality programs regarding in-room technology amenities showed that both those of medium and high-tech habits placed value on the same three things:
- Free-to-guest TV
- High-speed Internet access
- Guest device connectivity
Business travelers put slightly more emphasis on these technologies than leisure travelers.
Hospitality entertainment systems are key to successful satisfaction scores. More than 25 percent of those surveyed in an Oracle research study said it’s critical to their hotel experience. The majority of guests – 75% – use in-room hospitality entertainment systems. This puts additional emphasis on the modernization of in-room entertainment technology to improve hotel guests’ satisfaction. It only makes sense that hotel management should focus on providing updates for hotel in-room entertainment services to help raise guest satisfaction scores.
Instant access to movies, music, and shows through apps leads to hotel customers expecting immediate results with lots of choices for in-room entertainment. The behaviors and preferences of typical hotel guests are changing and hotels should change their in-room entertainment to accommodate new demands. A standard TV experience connected to live cable or satellite television with Pay-Per-View no longer aligns with the personal technology travelers bring with them and use daily.
Guests bring their electronics like smartphones and laptops with their streaming subscriptions, but smaller screens don’t offer exceptional playback. Guests now are wanting integration of casting technology with streaming services and the hardware of in-room entertainment. This allows them to personalize their in-room entertainment by casting their favorite movies, shows, and music from their smartphone or laptop.
Research shows 88% of hotels offer in-room movies and 97% offer wired Internet connections. Wireless connections are available in 81% of hotels. Few, only 14%, offer VOIP phones. Tablets are becoming highly important as part of the hospitality entertainment systems as they are the second most requested amenity, with coffee makers ranking number one.
Another in-room entertainment option on the horizon is gaming. This is particularly true for younger adults staying in the room as the Entertainment Software Association reports that 64% of U.S. adults play video games. That’s 214.4 million people and could include many hotel guests. Having prepaid gaming options could also help increase hotel revenue.
Upgrading the management systems across all properties is the only way to gain consistency so guests can have the same experience no matter where they are. After all, research shows that 72% of guests are likely to come back to a hotel that has their preferred in-room entertainment.
It is becoming clear that using technology better may help improve guest satisfaction scores. However, they may also help increase revenue to the hotel by increasing in-room dining and pay-for-view buys and hotel retail revenue, including gift shop and restaurant sales.
Additionally, hotels that upgrade their in-room entertainment can charge higher rates for rooms and may generate more room sales. In truth, hotels have always been customer-centric to create a personalized customer service experience.
Considerations When Upgrading Hotel In-Room Entertainment Systems
Some modernization will require significant rewiring and upgrading of network equipment to improve connectivity, better WiFi, and new demands of new in-room entertainment platforms.
Connecting in-room amenities to a Property Management System (PMS) that also contains guest profiles should also be part of the plan to provide an enhanced experience through customization and interactive guest services. A bigger piece of the puzzle should be connecting the information with all properties so that a guest has a consistent in-room entertainment experience that can be managed from one central system. According to a 2019 study, 72% of guests are more likely to return to a hotel if their preferred in-room entertainment and technology are available.
Upgrades to networks and new device installation should also be considered when upgrading to advanced entertainment experiences. Existing networks and devices may not be powerful enough to handle the bandwidth needed to smoothly operate IRE upgrades.
Improving the guest room entertainment experience is a great way to help drive return bookings and boost guest satisfaction scores. When you give your guests what they want, they become satisfied customers and are more likely to return. Higher satisfaction rates mean guests will take note and become loyal customers for years to come.
Are you interested in learning how Hospitality Network can help you improve your hotel’s in-room entertainment experience for guests? Our In-Room Entertainment solutions support the entire in-room guest experience, including Free-To-Guest TV, OTT streaming, interactive guest services, on-demand movies, and much more. An all-in-one solution, we will work with you to determine your network requirements and integrate the necessary systems to support your hotel – and your guests. Contact us today to learn more about our powerful and seamless in-room entertainment solutions, and discover first-hand how upgrading your hotel’s in-room entertainment experience can help improve guest satisfaction.