Real Time Communications Featured Article

How Real-Time Communications Could Change the Hospitality Industry for the Better

February 19, 2015

In the communications space, connecting individuals in real-time is gaining more and more attention, especially as WebRTC education is expanding. The use of innovative connections is happening across education, technology and business sectors, to name a few. Real-time communications is also gaining importance in the hospitality industry.

Consider the use of Airbnb. This app allows just about anyone to register and then rent out a house, apartment, room or even a couch. With a reported $10 billion in valuation, the app is on par with Hyatt’s market capitalization and could be the future of hospitality. For Airbnb to be effective, it needs the involvement of reputable individuals and the opportunity for those individuals to leverage real-time communications.

WebRTC could be a significant contributor here as Airbnb requires participants to verify themselves before booking. This means providing an official ID or linking to popular social networks and answering a few non-public questions. WebRTC could enable a quick video chat with an Airbnb agent as an added level of authentication. At present, participants do not communicate in real-time prior to the acceptance of a reservation.

When looking at a bigger brand, consider The Walt Disney Company. No destination in the world understands the value of the customer experience better (although the Ritz Carlton may argue this point). The rich toolkit enabled with WebRTC could enhance the experience and engage customers even further. Selecting where to stay, what parks to attend, what package to purchase and more could be streamlined if there was an opportunity to engage with an agent in real-time when browsing the website. It extends the concept of that personal touch and gives the customer a taste of what is to come.

Image via Shutterstock

For the hotel at large, WebRTC could enable the implementation of a tablet in rooms instead of phones and concierge applications could be integrated into the tablets, allowing guests to carry them with them during their stay. It also provides an excellent platform for feedback, giving the property rich client data that enables them to focus on improvements and integrate perks and other specials for that particular guest. My guess is the property owners who take this and run with it will begin to dominate the market.

The opportunities for real-time communications in customer-facing environments are extensive. The key is understanding how they can apply in your environment and leveraging the technology in a way that makes sense for the brand and its customers.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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