Human vs. Tech: How to find the balance in your hotel operations?

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When talking about technology in hospitality, we can identify two approaches: all of nothing. There are hotels that are scared of the word automation and have satanised technology by thinking it removes the essence of hospitality.

On the other hand, you have hoteliers that eager to try every new software and go “all in” with technology for their property, getting the best tech for all the departments, automating all processes, and replacing humans as much as possible.

But, is that all there is? Is it either one or the other? The answer is no.

The real challenge that hoteliers face today lies in finding the right balance between technology and human interaction for their operations and their property in general. What should be automated? What should have a human on top? How do we make these two elements coexist in harmony and thrive?

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Here are a few things you should keep in mind when trying to achieve an equilibrium in your property.

You need to know your property

Understanding the intricacies and unique characteristics of your property is foundational in navigating the dynamic landscape of the hotel industry. Whether it’s a luxurious resort, a boutique hotel, or a budget-friendly accommodation, each property has its distinct identity, and recognizing these qualities is paramount.

From the architectural layout to the ambiance, knowing your property inside out enables strategic decision-making in terms of technology integration, ensuring that any technological solutions align seamlessly with the specific features and ambiance of the establishment.

You need to know your processes

According to Tobias Koehler, founder of Hotel Tech Solutions, if you know a process very well from beginning to end, it is ready to be automated.

This means that a deep comprehension of the operational processes within your hotel is equally critical. Without a comprehensive understanding of how different tasks and services are carried out, the effective implementation of technology becomes challenging.

Mapping out these processes meticulously provides a clear roadmap for where and how technology can be best utilised. This includes everything from guest check-in procedures to housekeeping workflows. By knowing your processes, you can identify areas that can benefit from automation, streamline operations, and enhance overall efficiency, all while maintaining a personalised touch in guest interactions.

Understand how you want technology to work

Don’t see technology as something to replace humans but to empower them. In the ongoing discourse surrounding technology in the hotel industry, the challenge persists in determining the optimal integration of technological advancements without sacrificing the personalised touch crucial for guest satisfaction. The key lies in the profound understanding of how hotels envision technology operating within their unique processes.

Each hotel, whether a luxurious retreat or a budget-friendly establishment, must define its approach to automation and technology implementation. This understanding serves as the foundation for designing a tech stack that aligns with the specific needs of the hotel and its guests.

Read more about it: How to build your tech stack – 7 things to consider

Use technology to create options

There are guests that love technology, they don’t want to spend time at the counter or talk to people but go straight to their room and start enjoying their vacation. For others, staying in an accommodation is a social experience. They want to be welcomed by smiley personnel, help with their check-in forms and talk about extra services.

You will have both kinds of guests at your property and technology can help you cater the needs of both groups.

For example, you will use an online check-in and mobile keys to fulfill the needs of the most techy guests and at the same time, this will free up time so your staff can help and be there for the second group, the ones that have a long interaction.

High touch & High tech

According to Tobias Koehler, from Hotel Tech Solutions, a “high touch and high tech” is an approach that can benefit many properties. This means that you combine the advantages of both technology and human interaction to deliver the best experience to your guests.

For example, during an upselling process in the front desk, a person will be in the front interacting with the guest while technology will be on the back, providing all the data needed to handle the process in the right way, allowing hoteliers to profit from both.

Learn more about automation in hotels: Automation in your hotel: Best practices to save time in your hotel

Get feedback from your guests

In this process of implementing technology in your property is crucial to understand what your guests think of it. Do they like the new online check-in? The self-help module? Or do they prefer having a member of the staff always there?

Not everyone will feel in the same way, so it is important to analyse data objectively to make the right decisions.

By actively seeking and analyzing guest input, you can make informed decisions that align with the evolving guest expectations, making feedback an essential element in the continuous improvement of hotel operations.

This article is based on the webinar: “How to design your hotel tech stack”, you can watch the full recording here.

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Tags: hotel operations, Human, Tech

Commercial Director, United Kingdom


Bookboost helps you to use your guest data to deliver amazing experiences.

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