Essay on Challenges of Technology and Diverse Customer Needs

Published: 2021/11/05
Number of words: 2654

Introduction

Hospitality organizations involve hotels, restaurants, entertainment joints, events, cruises casinos, park visits, and other tourism aspects of ensuring that people are well taken care of. Mostly it has various sectors like food and beverage, travel and transport, accommodation, recreational facilities, entertainment joints as well as meeting events. The main purpose of the hospitality industry is to ensure the visitors or clients do enjoy as much as possible from the excellent accommodation, good meals, services available, getting rest away from home, relaxing, engaging in coordinated team building activities, and use of luxurious spa as well as massage parlors (Car, et al., 2019).

A manager in the hospitality industry should ensure that there are dedicated and talented employees, management of budgets to cater for low costing, first-class customer service, maintenance of the hotel is well supervised, coordinating the tasks within the department, and overseeing food and beverage to the guests. Happy clients will always ensure they refer more customers to the facility and the clientele keeps growing in numbers. Hence the management of the hotel industry needs to be well vast with what the diverse customer needs and the ever-changing technology (Car, et al., 2019). This report will focus on the challenges of technology and diverse customer needs in the market that may present a shortage of talented managers to deal with this situation.

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Challenges of Technology in the Hospitality Organizations

Hiring and Retaining Employees

Every organization requires one to have talented employees retain them to be able to get the maximum benefit from them in administration, accounts, kitchen, services, housekeeping, and front desk. The ever-evolving technology has led to challenges in recruiting and retaining employees in many organizations. If you fail to attract the right candidates for the job, the selection process will be affected, hence unqualified staff and you may end up losing on delivery of the customer expectations. Employees need good compensation, engagement plan, and constant training or up-skilling to deal with the ever-changing technology to be able to serve the clients as they expect. There are various ways the training and employee engagements can be done through the use of technology, like zoom training, HR systems that can engage employees like performance management, leave, rewards, and recognition aspects in the hotel industry (Kansakar, et al., 2019).

Change in Market Trends and Dynamics Involved

The hospitality market keeps evolving with time and without embracing technology you may be out of business within a short time. Sticking to the olden ways to market your hotel may render you out of business. The use of online marketing like Instagram, Facebook, online prompt messages that advertise and have information about the services offered in the hotel industry may lead to more customers being aware of the facility and boosting sales. Payments can be done online since it’s easy and one can establish the transaction easily without the use of paperwork. Auditing also becomes easy for the accountants to track all records since reports are available on a need basis. Many hotels have embraced technology from marketing, booking to all services and keep implementing new ways of doing things (Bharwani,& Butt 2012).

Change in Guest Expectations

Guest in hotels need services that are accessible fast and make their stay comfortable as possible. Amenities like free Wi-Fi, entertainment systems, fast check-in, and check-out processes as well as Covid 19 measures to avoid the spread of the disease. Technology must sort out the all issues as expected by guests to enjoy themselves during their stay in the hotels and stay safe. Scanning machines and sanitizers need to be installed in strategic points for guests to access easily. It may pose a challenge to hotels that have not embraced this kind of aspect. The websites should have all the necessary information including the actual location of the hotel, reviews emergency contacts, transport requests ability of the guests to use by either requesting pick-up or drop-offs. Automated machines to keep guests well informed of happenings sanitize and ensure regular cleaning is done within the premises’ customers to be assured of the safety that is required (Lugosi, & Jameson 2017).

Data Security

Most people are always cautious of their data which is becoming a threat to the hotel industry since gusts must be assured of the safety of their information. There have been several incidences where personal information has leaked to the wrong people in the hotels and used against the guests themselves which is a serious concern. The theft of confidential information should be dealt with very seriously since it can lead to ligations or worse incidences like loss of money mysteriously. As a manager in the hotel, one should ensure that data is secured and the IT systems are not hacked or virus attacks are eliminated, proper storage tools are provided. Its specialty should ensure that data in the hotel is well encrypted to avoid loss of important data and also encourage more guests to have a credible reputation about the facility (Bharwani,& Butt 2012).

Online Reputation

The unmanaged reputation of any organization may lead to a bad brand image hence loss of clients. Online reviews are very important to help potential guests to know how a hotel treats its customers. Various research studies indicate that most guests will check the hotel reviews by other customers to establish its track record. This can also be used positively by the hotel management to improve or manage certain areas to satisfy its customers. A bad reputation may spread like wildfire and amend the name of the hotel to sell out there, which may be difficult. Many customers have complex gadgets that can access the internet perform multiple functions including booking, making requests, and confirming details (Lugosi, & Jameson 2017).

Feedback to Customers

The technology has been positive to many organizations including hotels but at the same time caused challenges where guests can enquire about something and can be given prompt feedback immediately. Hence clients can make decisions immediately and due to instant response which increases the bookings and revenue at large. Emergencies can be responded faster than the earlier days and hence this ensures safety. Various studies indicate that guests around the world change their minds on traveling or accommodations with the hotel when there is no adequate response from the hotel. However, some hotels are not able to cope with this kind of technology to respond to clients immediately and hence end up losing important guests who bring them income (Grobelna, 2015).

Accounting Systems

Many hotels do not have systems that are reliable to capture all sales expenditure and help forecast the monthly or yearly incomes. As such, technology requires that there is constant update in the systems used to have abilities to perform complex reports that can be helpful when it comes to decision making and management strategic plans (Bharwani,& Butt 2012).

Crime and Terrorism

There have been incidences of crime and terrorism in hotels and around the world where guests are attached and people lose lives as well as belongings. When managers fail to deal with the fact that adequate security is needed in the hotel. They are prone to terrorism, guests committing the crime, stealing with aid of that technology installed within the hotel. Suicide bombers will check in as usual and bring deadly gadgets later in a well-laid-out plan and eventually hit other guests to accomplish their mission. Although not many managers have been able to completely avoid this, most hotels have tried to ensure security is adequate for their clients (Grobelna, 2015).

Challenges of Diverse Customer Needs in the Hospitality Organizations

Operational Concerns

Customers expect a high standard of cleanliness in the accommodation rooms, good reservation management, attending to all guests, and performing all the front office tasks with very good customer service. At times when one activity is not performed as expected, it may lead to chaos and hence end up causing loss of business. Good and timely communication may help to manage the operations well to avoid bad scenarios. Guests should be given priority since the hotel is in the service industry that rides on the reputation and referrals to make more sales. Studies have shown that guests who complain of cleanliness, are mistreated, or are not satisfied tend not to go back to the facility for such services in the future (Ariffin, & Maghzi, 2012).

Follows Ups to Customers

Guests expect the hotel to make follows ups on their stay in the hotel and how they find the accommodation, treatment, food cleanliness, areas of improvement, and if they are satisfied. Many hotels do not make follows us and that has led to low revenues since customers feel not appreciated and no one wants to engage them to get their feedback at all times. Others may feel neglected and hence refuse to ever go back to the facility. As a manager, one should be concerned with this aspect of feedback to know how the customers think and feel about their stay. Prepare for guests before their arrival to show that they are valued and have good organization since the first impression is very important (Hu, ea al., 2019).

Hospitality

Hotels are getting competition from other hosts who are property owners renting it out and offer better hospitality than the hotels at times. The home stays promise an authentic local experience apart from just being convenient. The guests have the autonomy to do what they want in the houses and do not have a pre-arranged plan to follow but can decide what they want. The hotels need to monitor their competitors carefully and how they are satisfying their customers to tap on that and implement it to be able to attract more guests along with their diverse needs. There is a need for personalized services to the customers to keep attracting them and gain more revenues (Grobelna, 2015).

Covid 19 Prevention Measures

Most hotels have put in measures required to deal with social distancing and follow the government protocols on prevention of Covid 19. Customer expectations in the hotel are to find well-sanitized premises, minimized physical contact with other clients and hotel staff, and automated keyless doors, emergency response systems to deal with emergency cases, online check-in and check out platforms to minimize physical contact as well as various serving joints within the hotel to minimize the social contact with other clients. Hotel managers should ensure that all government protocols are observed by the hotel to encourage more guests to be accommodated in the hotel in the effort to control the spread of Covid 19. Guests are very keen on the aspect of how hotels are dealing with the issue of Covid 19 (Hu, ea al., 2019).

Language Barrier

Hotel industries encounter people from different nations who may not be very familiar with the local language hence miscommunication and loneliness. Guest will expect that they have interpreters or a way to communicate with the hoteliers in a language they can all understand and if not they may end up not taking the accommodation. When in need of assistance they may not communicate hence lack of assistance or otherwise ask for something and get an exact opposite of what they requested. Hotel managers should ensure they put in measures to deal with such scenarios and avoid losing such clients (Wonglorsaichon, & Wiriyakitjar, 2016).

Diverse Culture

Hotels encounter people coming from different countries and may have a different culture like food that may not be available within the hotel such as African foods which may not available in Asia leading to a lack of satisfaction. Some guests may belong to certain religions and fail to find accommodation that supports their religion which may cause dissatisfaction hence loss of revenue since such kinds of customers may not prefer to be accommodated in those hotels. The issue of culture can be very tricky when it comes to hotel accommodation and can easily deter customers from seeking accommodation in those hotels hence fail to make sales. Hotel Managers need to ensure they have all provisions to accommodate all diverse cultures to make the guest comfortable and find a home away from home (Ariffin, & Maghzi, 2012).

Currency

Every nation has its currency and guest from other regions or nations may be confused and end up spending more on certain items. This can cause dissatisfaction since clients do not understand the value of the currency or may fail to seek accommodation in that kind of hotel that doesn’t have a common currency like the dollar. There have been incidences that clients spent more money without their knowledge and after realizing the value of currency their level of trust drops and they become dissatisfied. Hotel managers need to ensure that there is the availability of an international currency like the dollar that is common and can easily be traded with (Wonglorsaichon, & Wiriyakitjar, 2016).

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Climatic Conditions

Some climatic conditions may be very adverse to the guest who seek accommodation in certain areas and may require ways to deal with the weather. Very cold rooms may need heaters while very hot ones may need fans to cool them for the guest to be comfortable. At times the weather may be so harsh and limit the number of guests coming in for accommodation hence reduction of revenues. The hotel managers may need to ensure the provision of all the amenities to deal with situations for different customers like ensuring there is hot water during winter or very cold seasons and cold water to cool the temperatures during very hot weather. Various studies indicate that during the winter or cold seasons many hotels have a reduced number of guests while during summer more clients seek accommodation in the hotel industry (Ariffin, & Maghzi, 2012).

Conclusion

Although in the hospitality industry, there are continuous developments in technology and diverse customer needs which pose a challenge, hotel managers need to ensure good management of both situations to attract more revenues. Technology poses various challenges like data security, online reputation while diverse customer needs; like language barrier and operations concerns prevent guests from seeking accommodation in those hotels. The hospitality industry has seasons mostly due to the climatic conditions which prevent the guests from seeking accommodation and lately the Covid 19 pandemic affected the sector due to restrictions and customer fear of catching the virus (Bharwani,& Butt 2012).

References

Kansakar, P., Munir, A., & Shabani, N. (2019). Technology in the hospitality industry: Prospects and challenges. IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine8(3), 60-65.

Car, T., Stifanich, L. P., & Šimunić, M. (2019). Internet of things (iot) in tourism and hospitality: Opportunities and challenges. Tourism in South East Europe…5, 163-175.

Bharwani, S., & Butt, N. (2012). Challenges for the global hospitality industry: an HR perspective. Worldwide hospitality and tourism themes.

Lugosi, P., & Jameson, S. (2017). Challenges in hospitality management education: Perspectives from the United Kingdom. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management31, 163-172.

Grobelna, A. (2015). Intercultural challenges facing the hospitality industry. Implications for education and hospitality management. Journal of Intercultural Management7(3), 101-117.

Ariffin, A. A. M., & Maghzi, A. (2012). A preliminary study on customer expectations of hotel hospitality: Influences of personal and hotel factors. International Journal of Hospitality Management31(1), 191-198.

Hu, F., Teichert, T., Liu, Y., Li, H., & Gundyreva, E. (2019). Evolving customer expectations of hospitality services: Differences in attribute effects on satisfaction and Re-Patronage. Tourism Management74, 345-357.

Wonglorsaichon, P., & Wiriyakitjar, R. (2016). Hotel Customer Expectations of Service: A Provincial Analysis of Family Business in Chiangmai, Thailand. Journal of Tourism Research & Hospitality2013.

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