Hilton is jumping into the smart technology craze, testing “connected” hotel rooms that can automatically adjust temperatures according to a guest’s preferences and sync televisions to their Netflix accounts.
Joshua Sloser, the company’s Senior Vice President of Product Innovation, told Cheddar that Hilton wants guests to have a personalized digital experience from the get-go. The efforts started with allowing customers choose their rooms and unlock doors with their devices.
“To bring all of that same functionality into the app for their in-room stay,” he said, “is a win for the consumers, and it actually drives a ton of engagement.”
The hotel chain allows customers to fill out a preference sheet prior to their arrival, so the company can customize their experience by the time they check in. For those who may have security concerns, Sloser says the data is deleted from every room upon check-out.
“It’s really about giving the guest the opportunity to share what they want,” he said.
Hilton has so far tested the service in one hotel and plans to expand the program before the year ends.
Increased personalization is one way the hospitality industry is trying to compete with disruptors like Airbnb, which are growing share of the short-term lease and rental market.
Sloser says that Hilton takes on the challenge by focusing on customer service.
“We believe that hospitality is a business of people serving people,” he said.
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