Better Than Home, Thanks to Personalization

Are you already making holiday travel plans? Me too. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and maybe a spring fling to somewhere warm to help forget about all that necessary travel in the first place.

Unfortunately at the end of all those flights or long drives awaits a hotel stay. At times it's a refuge from the stress of a too-long trip or overly complicated airport hijinks, but frankly, hotels are boring. Hotels aren't home, they're anonymous boxes with a lot of beds, aren't they?

Well an earlier report has me hoping for better this time around. When CBS' Peter Greenberg visited Starwood's tech labs, he found out how technology is elevating hospitality with personalization for each customer based on their preferences. The expected technology advances are there, like mobile check-in and keyless entry with apps or Apple Watches, but more granular and personalized details like lighting and temperature can also be adjusted for each guest's preferences. Imagine setting up a morning routine geared toward your own preferences: gradually brightening your lights while the coffeemaker starts up at 6 on the dot.

As hotel brands begin to embrace the power of personalized technology, their nature as a temporary yet recurring host creates vast opportunities to match preferences at across properties for the same guest. Can your hotel access your customer profile before you're even on-site and prep your room? That morning routine of coffee with a side of NPR on the in-room audio is entirely possible, but so is preparing a firm pillow at night and synchronizing an updated weather summary for the following day. Your time-zone-hopping trips could accommodate for jet lag or pre-emptively tell housekeeping you need an extra blanket.

Because brands that use stated preferences to provide offline experiences can replicate those preferences at different touchpoints - or properties - they represent an important element in the personalization of our technology and communications.

Preference management-the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication-will lay the groundwork for the hospitality industry's innovative execution of personalized technology. Yet the example of hotels' preference management also represents the ways in which consumers can expect personalization to perform: across channels, properties, and trips-as well as being based on their own preferences and mutable at any time.

I have high hopes for high thread counts now. Let the reservations begin.






About the Author: 
Eric V. Holtzclaw is  Chief Strategist  of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.



Follow me on Twitter: @eholtzclaw | Connect on LinkedIn: Eric Holtzclaw

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