How Smart TVs will Offer the Next Generation of Frictionless, Personalized Service

By Jonas Tanenbaum, VP of Sales and Marketing in the Hospitality TV Division, Samsung | May 19, 2017

The hotel room television is prime for reinvention. As guests demand more from technology and want options for viewing and bringing their own content, Smart TVs present options for hotels to deliver next-gen experiences. In this exclusive Q&A, HT asks Jonas Tanenbaum, VP of Sales and Marketing in the Hospitality TV Division, Samsung, to share his thoughts on how hotels can differentiate with the latest television technology.

Thinking about in-room experience, how can hotels differentiate with guest-facing technology?
Tanenbaum: Guests today have higher expectations for a hotel room with technology equal to or better than the gadgets they have at home. Hotels that embrace Smart TV technology can provide their guests with the in-room amenities that they are accustomed to – from streaming music, movies, and television shows to accessing smart widgets and apps. Hoteliers can differentiate themselves by leveraging the TV screen as another interaction point and provide a more personalized and enhanced experience. The in-room TV should be treated as a digital concierge to give the guests an easy way to access the various amenities and on-site services to make their stay more enjoyable.

Keeping up with guest expectations is always a concern. What do you think is exciting in new guest-facing technology that will deliver on exceeding demands?
Tanenbaum: The industry is beginning to see a need for over-the-top content (OTT) and cross-screen integration with mobile devices. Screen casting is an easy way for guests to integrate their mobile devices with their hotel room TV to access content from apps including Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and more. This allows hoteliers to provide greater entertainment options through the functions of a Hospitality TV. By deploying Samsung SMART TVs, guests can access Samsung’s Smart HUB application library. These are exciting ways for hoteliers to exceed expectations by giving the guest the control and flexibility they demand when consuming media. 

What role do you see technology playing in creating the personalized experiences that guests crave? How must hotels leverage data and analytics?
Tanenbaum: To enhance the personalized guest experience, the smart TV can be used to access reservation-management features such as quick checkout. Using the TV, guests can check out of their hotel room and review any charges on the screen, saving time and allowing for interactivity not possible with the usual printed sheet under the door. For international travelers, hotels can even present content in the guests’ native languages. Hotels can track and monitor how their guests utilize these services to make each returning stay even better. Hoteliers should recognize technology as a vital tool in increasing guest satisfaction and brand loyalty. 

Hoteliers often struggle with identifying ROI. What advice would you offer to hotels looking to upgrade technologies on sufficiently measuring and ensuring a return on investment? How can technology be optimized to boost profits?
Tanenbaum: Hoteliers should look to utilize the in-room TV screen as an advertising platform to promote all the amenities and services that they can offer – from in-room dining, spa services, restaurant reservations, etc. With any advertising vehicle, the TV screen can be leveraged as another stream of revenue for the hotel property. Hotels can also partner with local businesses to provide a guide to the best dining locations, shows, and other popular places for the guests to explore outside of the property. Through a customizable UI, the TV welcome screen can be a way to boost profits and ensure a strong return on their technology investment.  Samsung HMS technology even takes this a step further by offering in-room control of HVAC, lighting and other amenities which provides a great guest experience as well as better energy management for the hotel.

For more information on hotel guest-facing technology spending, download Hospitality Technology's 2017 Lodging Technology Study.

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