A Blog by INTELITY

At Your Service

Presenting the latest innovation and trends in hospitality technology and the products that are revolutionizing the service industry.

Autumn Barker

How Hotels Are Using Technology to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Contributed by Kacey Bradley

The world of business is inherently competitive. Every industry has companies trying to rise to the top, which means impressing consumers by learning what they want and finding ways to make those things happen seamlessly. Businesses that invest in delivering on consumer expectations typically see an increase in brand loyalty, which leads to an increase in revenue.

This characteristic is especially true of the hospitality industry. When guests stay at a hotel, they’re looking for a place where they feel comfortable, safe, and have access to the conveniences they’re accustomed to in their daily lives, and hotels are in a race to perfect this.

Technology has become a key component in giving one hotel an edge over another, especially with the increasing popularity of a digital-first approach among travelers. By implementing the right tech, hotels can impress guests, streamline operations, and generate more revenue. It’s critical for hoteliers to stay current with technological advancements, so they can keep pace with expectations.

Mobile devices are the easiest and best way to reach guests- the average hotel guest checks in with at least three mobile devices. Today’s travelers depend on them to provide information and easy access to essential features in their lives. Using mobile technology allows hoteliers to meet their guests where they’re already engaged.

Here are five types of technology that can give a property a competitive advantage:

1. A Branded App

Mobile apps are the perfect solution for engaging guests before, during, and after their stay, especially when integrated with a property’s existing loyalty program. Mobile app technology can also be beneficial in gaining insight into guest satisfaction and guest preferences, which can be used to improve the quality or types of services offered.

An app can track the most common types of guest requests, dining metrics and which menu items are the most popular, and how often they’re using the app to communicate with hotel staff. Management teams can use this information as a framework for making better business decisions and taking guest service to the next level.

2. Mobile Check-In

Mobile check-in is highly sought after by today’s self-service driven travelers. Giving your guests the ability to bypass the front desk not only enhances the guest experience, but it also frees up staff, allowing them to spend more time providing personalized guest service. Offering mobile check-in also incentivizes guests to download your property’s mobile app, which creates a further opportunity for upselling, pre-arrival communication, and to generally craft exceptional experiences.

3. Mobile Key

Major brands, like Hilton and Marriott, have already implemented a form of keyless entry into their hotels and its quickly becoming the leading hotel technology trend. Implementing mobile key technology provides guests the convenience of reducing time at the front desk and prevents guests from ever losing or forgetting their room key. Mobile key technology also saves hotels money on printing costs and increases efficiencies because staff don’t have to spend time printing keycards or replacing lost room keys.

4. In-Room Tablets

In-room tablets provide guests with easy access to hotel information and the ability to place service requests, order room service, control the in-room environment, and communicate with hotel staff. These digital compendiums can also be used to create upselling opportunities and promote upgrades and other special offers targeted to a guest’s preferences.

5. Voice-Controlled Rooms

Another popular technology hotels are embracing is voice. Guests can use this technology to turn on lights, control the TV, adjust the thermostat, and more. Voice technology can also be used to submit guest requests, make reservations, and provide guests with information about the local area. While voice technology may not be as necessary as some of the mobile technologies available, it plays a large role in enhancing the guest experience.

Staying ahead of the competition and remaining relevant is important in an industry as competitive as the hospitality industry. Successfully implementing the right technologies is an easy way to distinguish yourself from your competitors and cater to today’s tech-savvy travelers. Hospitality technology can change how guests experience a hotel and lead to repeat guests, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth referrals.

To learn more about how you can use hospitality technology to gain a competitive advantage, contact the experts at INTELITY to schedule a demo.

 

About the Author

Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more!

Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

What is Service Recovery and How Does It Impact Your Guest Experience?

By: Teja Bandaru, INTELITY Product Manager  

Service recovery is an important part of the guest experience. Studies show that 63 percent of guests would be willing to return to a property after having a negative experience if they received a follow-up apology or correction from a member of management. While you may not meet your guests’ expectations every single time, it is important to make sure you’re taking the opportunity to recover a guest complaint. Implementing service recovery methods into your daily operations could be the difference between losing a guest and creating a loyal customer.

In the past, guest feedback would often be shared via word of mouth or through written documents and be dependent on staff to relay information about service complaints. Today, technology can be used to capture and track guest feedback and escalate complaints to the appropriate management team for quick service recovery opportunities.

INTELITY Staff offers a service recovery feature, Glitch Intel, to capture and track service issues, guest complaints, or any type of negative feedback issued by the guest in real time, and has a built-in escalation feature that directs feedback to the appropriate management teams.

Glitch Intel allows any staff member to input various kinds of information on INTELITY Staff, including:

  • The original guest complaint
  • Staff members involved
  • Most common guest complaints and service issues
  • Who the complaint was escalated to
  • Steps taken to recover the service
  • The total cost of service recovery

Using this service recovery feature, hotels are able to track, monitor, and organize all guest complaints and service issues, and ensure that they are responding to and addressing guest feedback in a timely manner. Management teams can also use Glitch Intel to generate reports that can be used for further review and analysis.

Another key benefit of INTELITY’s service recovery is the customization available within the feature. We know that no two hotels are the same and each hotel’s operations differ, so we’ve made each field within the Glitch Intel feature customizable to the specific workflow of your hotel.

Are you ready to enhance your guest service and improve your guests’ experience? Contact us today to learn more about the broadest guest engagement and staff management platform.

Crafting a Smart Guest Experience with Hospitality Technology

It’s no secret that expectations surrounding the digital guest experience have changed. With more than 96 percent of modern hotel guests carrying smart devices, the obvious next step is ensuring that you provide your guests with a smart experience.

What Does a Smart Guest Experience Look Like?

A smart guest experience is one that anticipates and meets your guests’ needs by providing what they want when they want it. While this is partly achieved through excellent customer service, it also requires making the right technologies available—those that improve your guests’ experience and streamline your service delivery.

A “smart hotel” provides robust Wi-Fi, offers a mobile guest app that allows remote check-in and -out, mobile key, direct messaging, and the ability to control a guestroom’s environment and entertainment. Smart hotels also incorporate in-room tablets to increase guest engagement and back office solutions to track guest activity, send personalized offers, and connect staff more directly to guests.

How do You Create a Smart Guest Experience?

A smart guest experience should be crafted around a robust mobile strategy that extends beyond a mobile guest app. Your mobile strategy should include everything from a mobile version of your website to a strong social media presence, direct digital messaging, and in-app chat. These channels should all be available on a single, easy-to-use platform where travelers can choose how they want to communicate and are able to move seamlessly between secure digital solutions, so they feel comfortable sharing and accessing personal data.

Having a comprehensive mobile strategy is only a starting point. In order to create a truly smart guest experience, you will need to take your digital strategy up a notch. This means leveraging network-connected technologies such as data analytics and business intelligence, customer relationship management programs, AI, targeted guest marketing, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Because these advanced technologies don’t work without a robust technology infrastructure, it’s critical to have that in order first. When creating a smart guest experience, you need to make sure all the software and technologies utilized at your property integrate seamlessly. Only then can you create the ultimate smart guest experience that improves your guests’ stays without feeling intrusive.

Implementing a Smart Guest Experience

It’s not enough to only have smart technologies in place. Your employees must be well-trained on how to best use those technologies to create a superior guest experience and streamline their daily tasks. Once your employees have been trained on how to effectively use the technology and software implemented at your property, you’ll be able to personalize, maximize, and monetize your guest experience.

Interested in learning more about how you can use technology to provide a smart guest experience at your property? Contact us today to learn more about the INTELITY platform and how it can help you increase guest engagement and streamline your daily operations.

Using the Right Technology to Connect Your Casino Hotel Guests to the Casino Floor

By Benjamin Keller, INTELITY Senior Vice President of Sales, West

As travelers become more reliant on mobile technology, it is increasingly important to make sure the right tools are in place for staff to effectively connect with guests before, during, and after their stay. Incorporating the right technology into your operations not only enhances the way your guests experience the property overall, but it also makes for easier check-in, Q&A response, and enticing guests onto the casino floor, perhaps with special offers or promotions.

Today’s core casino customers are 45-75 years old and they are increasingly attached to their mobile devices, which they can use to play online casino games, check their point balances, “card in” and even connect to their favorite gaming machines on the floor. Because these customers are already familiar with mobile technology in the casino context, incorporating mobile into a casino resort’s hotel operations can be a welcome addition for a more seamless connection. Casinos are unique in that many customers return to “stay and play.”

“Stay and play” guests are great when it comes to implementing advanced technology into operations. As repeat guests become familiar with having access to the freedom mobile technology offers, they will show preference to properties offering mobile solutions. It goes without saying that guests who stay at a casino resort are often very interested in spending time gaming, so by streamlining the check-in process with mobile check-in, management teams not only reduce long check-in lines and front desk friction but can also increase the amount of time their guests spend on the casino floor.

As a result, casino-resorts often have a high rate of mobile check-in. For example, INTELITY customer Angel of the Winds Casino Resort has seen a high percentage of its guests checking on their smartphones using the hotel’s guest app.

Angel of the Winds Assistant General Manager Jeff Wheatley said incorporating INTELITY has helped them create a seamless, highly-connective guest experience overall. “It’s important that casino-hotels provide guests with a friction-free experience that allows them to move effortlessly between their hotel room and the casino floor. Incorporating INTELITY’s hospitality platform has helped us create this connection. We’ve seen our guests, especially the repeat visitors, quickly adapt to using our mobile guest app and mobile key solutions to expedite the check-in and -out process and access their rooms.”

INTELITY’s mobile and in-room platform components can easily be integrated with existing loyalty programs and used to streamline a casino resort’s entire guest experience. In addition to providing guests with a digital connection to staff, mobile apps and in-room technology can also be used by management teams to serve guests customized, targeted offers and promotions that encourage them to visit the casino floor or engage further with the property.

INTELITY’s guest engagement and staff management platform gives connected travelers more control over their stay and provides management teams with intuitive back-office tools that can be used to gain insight into guests’ needs before, during and after their stay. The INTELITY platform is currently installed in a variety of casino properties, from the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas to smaller tribal casino properties.

Benjamin Keller and his team will be present at NIGA 2019. To schedule a time to meet with him at NIGA, visit the INTELITY website or Booth #2509 at the convention.

How to Use Technology in Hospitality to Engage Millennials and Generation Z

Technology has completely changed the way we travel. We now expect flexibility, freedom, and control over every aspect of our journey. When it comes to managing travel, a study by the GBTA Foundation shows that 78 percent of Americans prefer to use self-service technology. That number will inevitably grow as Millennials and Generation Z continue to enter the market.

So, how do hoteliers meet the expectations of these two highly connected generations? How can they ensure that their guests have a seamless experience at their hotel? The answer is simple – by embracing technology and incorporating it into their workflow. Effective use of hospitality technology can increase guest engagement, improve performance across operations teams, and give guests more control over their experience.

Here are four key features that can help you better cater to these travelers and generally modernize your hotel’s guest experience:

Mobile Check-In

We know that guests want flexibility, convenience, and control when it comes to travel. Incorporating mobile check-in at your property not only reduces friction at the front desk, but it also saves your guests time and effort. With an app customized to your hotel, you can enable mobile check-in and guests can make requests before arrival.

Mobile Key

Giving your guests the ability to access their rooms with their mobile phone gives you the ability to allow them to bypass the front desk completely. Following a remote mobile check-in, guests can activate their mobile key and head straight to their room. Mobile key solutions also give guests access to the gym and spa facilities, meeting rooms, and other gated areas of your property. This is exactly the type of seamless experience your guests are experiencing through other aspects of their travel journey, like with airlines and ride-sharing services.

Voice

Today’s tech-savvy travelers want immediate answers to their questions. They want to find and access information easily, just as they do at home. It’s imperative that you provide your guests with engagement tools that don’t require making a call to the front desk. Using voice technology, you can provide guests with information about your hotel and the surrounding area. You can also notify them of upcoming special events and let them manage the lights and temperature in their room, and allow them to make reservations and bookings. Giving your guests many touch-points for engagement puts the control right where they want it, in their hands.

In-Room Tablets

Once your guest is in their room, in-room tablets offer a plethora of information previously housed in the printed compendium. Not only does have a tablet in the guestroom add to your tech-ambiance, but it gives your guests digital access to dining menus and links to restaurant reservations and spa bookings. Your staff can update these menus and links in real-time while your guests never need to pick up the phone. Guests can also use their in-room tablets to manage their environment (HVAC, lights, curtains) and TV. In-room tablets can give you a direct connection to your captive audience and can be used to promote social events and experiences happening on-property as well as offers tailored to your guests’ preferences, which in turn can increase revenue and drive your bottom line.

Many guests are looking for accommodations that provide them with the seamless convenience they experience in their own homes. Incorporating technology that can deliver on those expectations and keep guests engaged has become a necessity in the hospitality industry.

INTELITY provides a complete suite of guest experience and staff management tools that can help you increase guest engagement and streamline your daily operations. The enterprise platform, the broadest in the industry, integrates with over 120 operational systems including PMS, POS, room controls and loyalty programs through INTELITY Connect.

To learn more about how the INTELITY platform can help you engage Millennials and Gen. Z travelers and provide them with the seamless connectivity they expect, schedule a demo with a member of our team.

How to Use Personalization to Increase Guest Loyalty

Today’s travelers want hotels to provide them with personalized experiences tailored to their preferences. This fact is extensively covered within the industry, but why should hoteliers care? Studies show that hotels that take the time to create unique experiences customized to their guests’ preferences generate increased revenue per guest and strengthen brand loyalty.

So, how do you give your guests the service and experience they expect? Use technology to engage with them before, during, and after their stay and use the data generated by these interactions to build stronger relationships with your guests.

Create a Seamless Connection

How do you ensure your guests want to come back again and again and encourage their friends to do the same? Start by giving them a way to connect seamlessly with your staff. Research shows that hotel guests who are engaged during their stay are 40 percent more likely to return and will spend up to 46 percent more per year than disengaged guests.

In-room technology like mobile guest apps and in-room tablets allow you to create this connection without being invasive and give guests control over when they interact with your staff. Give your guests the opportunity to submit service requests, order room service, or request additional housekeeping items through these digital solutions. Mobile apps and in-room tablets can also be used to promote specials at your spa, bar, or restaurant to the right audience at the right time.

At the end of a guest’s stay, invite them back, ask them for feedback on their experience, and request they review or rate your property online. Shortly after their stay, follow-up with a personalized offer or promotion that keeps your property top of mind and encourages guests to return.

Understand One Size Does Not Fit All

Just like no two hotels are the same, no two guests are the same. It is important to remember this and create experiences that are truly personal and tailored. This can be as simple as displaying a welcome message on an in-room tablet or ensuring that a guest is offered their favorite corner room.

Guests have a wide variety of options when it comes to choosing accommodations, so making personalized experiences a rule rather than an exception will set you apart from your competitors. In an industry where consumers have more choices than ever before, it is important for you to understand your guests, what they want, and how to deliver on those wants.

At INTELITY, we’ve created a complete guest engagement and staff management platform that allows you to build better relationships with your guests, gain deeper insight into what your guests want, and develop increased brand loyalty. To learn more about our platform, schedule a demo today.