FUTURE FORWARD

That Sweet Human Touch, Powered by Tech

How data and digital profiles help craft the experiences we won't forget

Image by Matheus Viana
Image by Matheus Viana

By Samantha Shankman, edited by Tansy Kaschak on 03.17.22


Can you think back to the last hotel stay that truly rocked your world? We certainly can.

You arrive and everything — from the entrance and check-in to getting settled and setting off on a first adventure, from casual conversations with the concierge to stepping into the wild side of requests — flows so naturally that it feels cinematic and almost spiritual. You could be inside a Wes Anderson movie — or could bet they are reading your mind. Needs and desires are not only anticipated but welcomed with that confident smirk of ‘voilà, this place has been dreamt up just for you.’

Hospitality is, indeed, all about humans being hospitable to other humans and nothing creates a good memory like a warm interaction. And what we see when peeking behind the curtain of modern hospitality is that this incredible relationship between you and a hotel’s magic makers can be forged more easily than ever before with the clever use of technology. 

In the era of data, smart software and digital profiles help on-the-ground teams learn about us — think mysteriously classy but not intrusive — so our habits and preferences can become integrated into the experience. Access to this kind of information helps the talented teams at our favorite properties adapt to first-time and returning guests’ needs more authentically. 

Dancer and Artistic Director Emilie Fouilloux at Maison Villeroy, in Paris. A Sefbook-powered hotel, it offers 24 hour butler and concierge service that make guests feel in the home of their dreams
Dancer and Artistic Director Emilie Fouilloux at Maison Villeroy, in Paris. A Sefbook-powered hotel, it offers 24 hour butler and concierge service that make guests feel in the home of their dreams

As Crispy Soloperto, the legendary Director of Guest Experience at The Standard Spa Miami Beach, says, “I love seeing the industry evolve and helpful technology coming to play, but there’s nothing like the human experience in hospitality. With the availability of knowledge at our fingertips, we have more resources that are faster and give instant information. But I find that, even at this age, people still long for that human contact, that reassurance that they made the ‘right’ choices of where they are dining and how they planned their holiday. Even with all the devices, guests still need us.”

 

One Simple Step

One-click, direct bookings via consolidated digital wallets like the one designed by Selfbook, are a win-win for guests and hoteliers because we get to effortlessly and safely book our stay while letting hotels climb in the proverbial bedroom window and tap into a well of knowledge. 

When a traveler creates a profile with Selfbook, all the preferences stored there are displayed at every new booking and will get more and more refined at every stay. A favorite snack? Already in the room on arrival. Always travel with a dog? The designer pet bed is set up. In town for a celebration? Recommendations for romantic restaurants are texted after check-in. Busy work week? The spa has an appointment slot saved just in case. 

A Selfbook profile travels with us, storing our preferences and getting more and more refined at every stay
A Selfbook profile travels with us, storing our preferences and getting more and more refined at every stay

Khalid Meniri, co-founder of Selfbook, has lived in hotels for the past 2 years and he’s seen this proven time and time again. When asked for tips on scoring room upgrades without the loyalty hacks, Khalid doesn’t think twice, “Book direct. If you book direct or book with a travel agent, they will take care of you and you will be the most important person in the hotel. Direct booking customers and travel agent customers are always a higher priority and have so much power.”

And what we can’t rave enough about: When we book direct, we not only create a deeper connection with the hotel and help them cater to our needs, but we also support their businesses by voting with our dollar and skipping third-party websites that drastically reduce their proceeds. And guests who book directly tend to receive preferential treatment and become a higher priority — simply because the hotel has the right information to take an extra step in our favor. 

Read more about Selfbook, here

 

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