Charging ahead of the rest with USB

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Convenience is a gift bestowed by technology. It is readily offered by the smartphone, generously granted by the tablet, and amply provided by the digital camera. These labour saving devices have ushered in an age where convenience is no longer seen as a privilege, it is seen as a right. Pulling the plug
    This right is not yet extended to the means of charging them however. Indeed, as technological devices proliferate daily in both variety and quantity, so too do the cumbersome charging devices that attend them. Everyone knows well the inconvenience of needing a separate charger for their satellite navigation device, e-reader, tablet, games controller; the list is endless.

    For those at home it is tiresome, but for the traveller who must carry them all, it is a frustrating and strongly felt inconvenience. A recent Smart Brief poll revealed that nearly half of hotel guests travel with two devices while over a third travel with at least three or more. Not only must the globe trotter bring a family of chargers for these many gadgets but must also include in their luggage a horde of adapters to access the host nation’s power supply.

    This inconvenience could be overlooked were accessing their gadgets not of the utmost importance for travellers. The 2013 Global hotel amenities survey asked 8,500 travellers from 28 countries which services they demanded from a hotel. Free wi-fi emerged as the most important amenity, beating free breakfasts, swimming pools, and free parking by a long way. Thus, being able to use their electronic devices is the greatest priority for travellers, and yet remains a tiring and difficult endeavour.

    Adapting to change
    Fortunately there is an answer and it is the USB charging module. As the internationally preferred method of charging devices, USB dissolves most differences of gadget or geography. Almost all smartphones, for example, employ micro USB charging connectors across the EU following a European Parliament drive for a common continental charging device.

    Barbara Weiler, rapporteur for the committee behind the push for a universal charger, explained it was driven by an ambition “to put an end to cable chaos for mobile phones and tablet computers.” USB offers the perfect solution, requiring just one cable in place of clunky chargers or adapters. It is truly the champion of convenience.

    What the customer wants
    Hotels are no strangers to the concept of convenience. Perhaps more than any other establishment, they understand it as paramount to their business success as it is the very product they offer. Convenience is what the traveller demands from their temporary home and so it is what that home must excel in providing.

    It follows then that they must offer USB charging. As revealed, access to personal electronic devices is the number one priority for guests and USB is the technology that makes this easy. Travellers can truly be offered no greater convenience in this regard than the ability to simply plug their devices into the wall without hassle or hindrance.

    That such technology should be a fundamental consideration for all hotels is a sentiment echoed by leading industry specialists. Looking ahead to 2014, Deloitte’s president of Travel, Hospitality and Leisure, Adam Weissenberg, outlined the need for companies in the sector to leverage the power of technology to improve customer experience.

    Foreseeing a year of potential renewed growth in the industry due to increased demand, Weissenberg warns it will be a tricky climate “where options are many and customer loyalty is at a premium.” He recommends hotels turn to technology to enhance the guest’s experience and in doing so, not only retain but increase business.

    Capitalise on convenience
    USB charging makes sense. It will enable hotels to emerge as true providers of convenience, differentiating them from the rest and encouraging brand loyalty in travellers. Charge ahead of the rest this year with USB.

    Daniel Fountain / 03.06.2014

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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