As part of a new training initiative, Best Western Hotels & Resorts partnered with Mursion, a virtual training platform where professionals can practice interpersonal skills, to create a series of simulations for front-desk staff.
These simulations are taking place over virtual reality, making Best Western the first hotel company to use VR to train employees for guest interactions. As part of Best Western's "I Care, Every Guest Every Time" initiative, simulations are already being used in select properties, and Best Western claims that the sessions -- which take place in 60-minute increments -- have generated tangible boosts in guest satisfaction.
One of the primary focuses of Best Western's VR simulations is to refine problem resolution in its employees. Though it sounds like science fiction, this strategy is not off the mark. SilVR Thread, a developer of VR equipment software for devices such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR, wants to create training simulations for a variety of professions to prepare for real events on the field. For example, police officer training to help with awareness, or EMS training to prepare for complications.
The service-based hotel industry can also benefit from this because being unprepared for the unexpected could lead to poor guest experiences, lost bookings and negative online reviews.
If hoteliers need more proof that the technology has uses, Major League Baseball teams are investigating the technology to increase pitching accuracy and to train hitters to spot curveballs. The results on what kind of effect this training has will be more apparent later this season, but if it's good enough for the Minnesota Twins, it's good enough for your front desk.