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Luxury Hotels Using Technology to be Intuitive about Their Customers

Preferences it's all about knowing and adjusting to the preferences of their guests.

When regulars like Laurence Wiener check into the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York, they get more than a smile from the concierge and a mint on their pillow. Wiener's hotel room “knows” exactly how warm. It welcomes him with a personal message on his television. It even loads his most frequently dialed numbers onto the phone.

And the bellhop did not have to do a thing.

At the Mandarin and other high-end hotels, new computer systems which connect individual rooms to network servers can now keep track of guests' preferences and change the room conditions automatically.

These “smart” systems can learn whether a frequent guest likes the lights dimmed, the curtains closed or the room toasty warm. They can also personalize the electronics in the room so that the music of John Coltrane, for instance, greets jazz buffs when they enter their rooms. Meanwhile, sensors in refrigerators alert maids when the minibar is running low on Coca-Cola.

In the old days hotels relied on their staff to remember and make these adjustments to their customers experiences. People are a critical aspect of these smart hotels:

Smart networks rely largely on a user's preferences that hotels gather in various ways. Some guests, for example, fill out questionnaires before they arrive. At the Mandarin, housekeepers, bellboys and waiters took note of Wiener's preferences and updated the digital profile that the hotel keeps for each customer. Wiener, an anesthesiologist from Philadelphia, has stayed at the Mandarin 45 times the past two years when he was supervising the construction of his apartment in New York.

Trusted relationships are at the core here. Guests/customers need to trust a hotel to accept and benefit from these personalization systems. If you believe the motives of a hotel are to truly serve you better you are more willing to be open about personal preferences and information. If customers are concerned about the use of that information all the tech in the world will only scare off customers.

How is your business balancing the need to respond to customer preferences and assure them you can be trusted knowing their birthday and all that can be intuited from their purchase history.

International Herald Tribune: In 'smart' hotel rooms everything is just right

Hotel Forcasts the Weather
Find What Touches Customers

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November 17, 2005 in award winning newsletter, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Business newsletter, Travel, Web/Tech | Permalink


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When half of your typical hotel stay is spent just getting comfortable in your room (i.e. getting extra pillows, find the right temp) then it is nice that hotels are trying to find a way to skip that step. Smart move.


Posted by: b2b resource | Nov 29, 2005 9:53:30 PM

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