eSignatures: Positively Transforming Customer Experience in the Hospitality Sector
Hospitality is a broad industry consisting of sales of accommodation, food services, and related goods by organizations, sole traders, or partnerships that provide customers with lodging and/or meals, snacks, and beverages for immediate consumption. No matter the direction you choose for your business in the hospitality industry, one thing is of the essence, the customer comes first. The hospitality sector has always prioritized its customers. This is evident with the customer service they provide and the various efforts they make to ensure their guests are comfortable.
Globally, one of the hardest working sectors, hospitality, is also known to be an expensive business. Hence, the COVID-19 pandemic turned an already competitive business into a dreadful nightmare for business owners and employees. Flight and hotel cancellations gave way to complete lockdowns overnight, with the hospitality industry coming to an absolute standstill. Fortunately, once the percentage of vaccinations rose, travel cautiously began rising again for various reasons. People were looking forward to step out of their homes for work, to meet families and loved ones, to travel, etc. However, studies show that consumer spending on discretionary items like travel, eating out, entertainment, etc., would stay low, and the focus would remain on the basics like groceries, internet, mobile services, etc. This indicates that there is still a way to go for the hospitality industry to reach the same glory as in pre-pandemic times.
Outlook of the Hospitality Industry
The global hospitality industry is expected to regain its growth after being restricted by social distancing measures, remote working, and the closure of commercial activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the industry has turned the challenge into an opportunity by investing in the digital transformation of processes.
In 2020, the smart hospitality sector reached approximately six billion U.S. dollars and was forecast to grow to 58.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.6 percent. - statista.com
The increasing speed of technological innovation in all industries has also been a catalyst for the digitalization of the hospitality industry. In early 2021, hoteliers in Asia, Europe, and North America were surveyed by Statista on which aspects of the guest journey they were looking to digitize. The majority of respondents, 70%, stated that they were looking to digitize hotel information for their guests. Meanwhile, 57%of respondents indicated that they were looking to digitize the check-in and check-out process. Meanwhile, hotels have also prioritized contactless technology to enhance customer experiences through mobile applications and websites to book rooms and even experiences. This has helped them increase customer visits to their premises and fuel tourism. The seamless check-in and check-out process have helped alleviate the stress of customers, enabling them to enjoy a hassle-free trip. Other automation technologies that have been leveraged by the hospitality industry are keyless entry and mobile payments to run hotels efficiently, digital documentation, and the most essential – online signatures. Using these technologies has helped the industry go paperless and rid their staff of excessively complicated documentation workflows, and curb expenses.
Hospitality Going Paperless?
The hospitality industry is laden with heavy paperwork – printing a lot of paper receipts, contracts, forms, invoices, etc. According to Statista, restaurants in the UK print nearly 811,000,000 bills and receipts annually. With more than 86,627 restaurants in the UK. and 55,000 bills printed by felling one tree, the restaurant industry alone cuts approximately 14,437 trees annually.
It is estimated that around 90% of hotel operations are managed with pen and paper – hospitalitytech
The global hospitality industry can benefit greatly by going paperless. Let's have a quick look at how going digital can serve the sector:
Cut costs on ink, paper, and toner, as well as the costs associated with running and maintaining printers, scanners, photocopiers, etc.
Streamline processes using an electronic signature to speed up the entire check-in and check-out, invoicing, payments, and contracts processes.
Going paperless by switching to electronic invoices, notices, and statements free up the time used for printing, mailing, and filling out documents, thereby increasing productivity.
Allow your clients to check in from the comfort of their hotel room or a calmer, less crowded environment such as a lounge area – this will give them more time to peruse your offering, giving you opportunities to upsell extra amenities, packages or upgrades.
eSignatures for the Hospitality Industry
With so much talk about going digital and paperless, let us focus on a solution that paves the way for seamless online digital documentation, eSignatures, or digital signatures. Any symbol or data logically associated with a digital document verifying the sender’s intent to sign the document is known as an electronic or eSignature. With the rapid use and adoption of this technology throughout global businesses even before the pandemic struck, global governments have bestowed upon online signatures the same legal standing as their handwritten counterparts.
E-Signatures are a seamless way of automating the document management cycle in the hospitality sector. It builds unifying workflows, minimizes the wastage of resources, and encourages collaboration within departments. eSignatures are a vital integration to hotel processes and offer an optimal solution for hospitality providers looking for smarter, more cost-effective ways of doing business. Here are the massive benefits of online signature workflows for the hospitality industry:
Elevate Customer Experience – The hospitality industry will substantially enhance customer relations. Whether it is a no-contact seamless check-in and check-out process or end-to-end guest contracts, customers can experience a smooth, hassle-free documentation workflow.
Reduce Overhead Expenses – Automation of processes can curb overhead expenses and save money. All documentation can be automated, and signing can be a seamless experience.
Centralized Database – E-signatures facilitate the digitization of documents and information. It can encourage the hospitality sector to centralize its information on guests and know for a fact that the more information you have, the better your business decisions.
Improved Vendor Experience – Vendors and wholesalers are a big part of the hospitality network. No more waiting around in trucks at delivery points for approval signatures. Faster deliveries and instant documentation mean smoothly running functions and, ultimately, happy customers.
Distinct Brand Image – Hospitality providers can distinguish themselves from their competition and improve their brand image in the eyes of customers by investing in technology-forward innovations like digital signatures. This shows your customers that you have the means and the technology to fulfill the ever-increasing demands for immaculate service.
What can you sign with an online signature solution?
- Event contracts
- Catering contracts
- Event orders
- Invoicing and Payments
- Work Orders
- Hiring of Contractors
- Purchase orders
- Lease and Acquisition Agreements
- Health and Safety Compliance Forms
- Electronic Waivers
- Loyalty Program Agreements
Right Time to Adopt eSignatures
With almost 70% of hoteliers from all over the world stating their key reason for going down the digitization path is to increase profitability, a digital signature solution could prove to be a game-changer. Even establishments worried about legality can rest easy as some of the most trusted electronic signature solutions like DrySign, are legally binding and recognized by governments worldwide.
The DrySign Experience
DrySign is a digital signature solution used to upload, eSign, send, and receive signatures and store any document online in any format, from virtually anywhere. In addition, DrySign allows users to create templates of recurring documents, such as customer service agreements, bills, vendor contracts, invoices, and others, to send to customers, vendors, or internal stakeholders for approval.
Exemplary customer service is pivotal in the hospitality sector. Provision of customer services and catering to customer expectations are the main factors driving the integration of e-signatures by service providers in their processes. Given that technology-savvy customers are on the rise, businesses should be ready to adapt to the latest digital technologies, taking into consideration the changing needs.
Electronic signatures offer a simple and convenient way of meeting customer needs and providing reliable service. In addition, they reduce errors within the system and help in delivering customized services.
Trust DrySign to gain an edge over competitors and provide an efficient tool in digital document management.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is for general information purposes only and is not intended to serve as legal advice. Laws governing the subject matter may change quickly, and Exela cannot guarantee that all the information on this site is current or correct. Should you have specific legal questions about any of the information on this site, you should consult with a licensed attorney in your area.