A Blog by INTELITY

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The latest innovation and trends in contactless guest experience and the products that are revolutionizing the service industry.

INTELITY

3 Ways Hoteliers Can Rise to Meet New Guest Preferences

What shifts in guest behavior mean for hoteliers in the coming days.

The hospitality industry has been waiting, hoping, and working tirelessly to facilitate a return to pre-pandemic occupancy rates. According to STR and Tourism Economics Hotel, occupancy is expected to continue trending upward from the historic lows of 2020, averaging 63.4% for the year. But will the industry ever really return to “normal?” The answer is no–but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Travel has already rapidly increased over last year, and room reservations are projected to climb even more in the coming months. But the landscape of travel has changed dramatically, along with the conveniences and expectations guests have become accustomed to having. To keep those glowing reviews coming and also ensure guests return, hotels, resorts, and casinos should plan for the guest preferences and expectations of today’s travelers. Here are three places to start on how to meet new guest preferences:

1. Prepare for the Influx of Leisure Travel

Morning Consult’s State of Travel and Hospitality reports that 64% of U.S. adults say they have traveled within the past year, with younger and higher-income consumers leading the way. Americans were among the most eager to get back to traveling, with 50% already planning to take a leisure trip within the next six months (AHLA 2022 Report). We’ve written recently about the importance of personalization-focused loyalty programs so guests experience targeted marketing that makes them want to return to a property and even visit recommended sister properties. Leisure travel is not a one-time thing; if guests, especially younger guests, love their stay, they’ll be itching to come back.

2. Embrace the New Remote Business Travel

Due to the rise in remote work, fewer people are traveling for business but more people are working while traveling. Whether they are in town for vacation or they are a local remote-worker looking for a change of scenery, more travelers are taking their work on the move. That’s why many hotels now offer expanded office space options and amenities. Some hotels are renting out rooms as office spaces during work hours, or offering a remote-work package that includes a private office space for the guest to use. Offering amenities and special packages for “bleisure travelers” and remote workers can further increase bookings and guest satisfaction. Creating targeted promotions, like an evening spa treatment discount or a happy hour special, that are marketed through smart-room tablets or a mobile guest app encourage guests to take some R&R during their stay and increase revenue for the hotel.

3. Meet and Exceed Tech Expectations

During the pandemic, contactless options became a lifeline for many hospitality businesses to keep operations running while protecting guests and staff. Now, many of those technologies, like mobile check-in/check-out and mobile key, are the standard expectation for most hotel guests. The majority of travelers today are chronically online and expect to have the same convenience of accessing everything they need on their mobile devices. When it comes to looking for a dinner spot or local attraction, modern guests are used to scouring the internet for what they want. So why not offer them a “digital concierge” by laying out relevant local information in a hotel guest app? When it comes to service requests and, at the end of their stay, reviews, making a hotel guest app the one-stop-shop for everything a guest needs allows them maximum convenience while giving the property access to vital data about what their guests want from their stays.

Rising to meet the modern guest preferences starts with personalization during their stay that offers convenience and added value. Whether business or leisure travelers, young or old, making your physical space work for modern guests and providing digital touchpoints elevates their experience overall.

To learn more about hotel tech that can elevate your guest’s experience, start a conversation today.

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Is Your Loyalty Program Evolving to Suit Modern Guests?

In the age of personalization, loyalty programs are evolving to elevate guest experience and increase incremental revenue.

Many, if not most, hotels, resorts, and casinos utilize some form of loyalty program, but how effective are the loyalty programs in place? A stagnant loyalty program does little to motivate return stays or advance revenue streams. A recent study by Catalyst found that many loyalty programs have not evolved with the modern guest. 60% percent of loyalty programs offer transactional rewards–think points redemption and member’s only discounts–while a minority offer rewards focused on access and personalization. For those not utilizing personalization strategies, this could be a missed opportunity, because points and rewards only go so far without personal touches and a data-driven member experience. Adding personalization into a loyalty program can elevate the user experience while also creating greater opportunity for incremental revenue.

Get the Word Out

What’s the benefit of a loyalty program if no one uses it? Step one to revitalize a loyalty program for today’s guests is to ensure the guests know about it. A hotel guest app can be utilized to promote a loyalty program and support a personalized customer experience. Customized, automated text messages; eye grabbing banners on the top or bottom of the app homepage; and an information page detailing the benefits of joining are just a few ways to make sure a loyalty program doesn’t go unnoticed. And where can personalization come into this part of the process? Guests who’ve booked with a property before should get a tailored invitation to join the loyalty program. Hoteliers can use data collected from a hotel app to learn certain guest preferences and behavior and create certain offers to attract them. Targeting emails and texts can be the difference between a guest staying with you once or twice and a guest making your property their first choice when they travel.

Create Incentives to Join

Once guests know the loyalty program exists, what will give them that final push to sign up? In an effort to motivate guests to take that step, creating incentives can help make signing up a no-brainer. Consider offering a discounted drink or spa treatment when a guest signs up for the hotel’s loyalty program. For some properties, a special deal on a future stay might be fitting. Whatever the incentive may be, creating an instant reward for a guest who is already at your property can have major ROI down the line. And to sweeten the deal even further, this is a perfect opportunity for additional personalization– drawing from past data to make the incentives tailored to certain guests. For example, if a property’s hotel guest app has logged that a guest ordered the same drink two nights in a row, making the next one in the house if they join the loyalty program can make signing up irresistible.

Use Every Tool in the Tool Belt

While the majority of these ideas and strategies revolve around digital personal touches, it’s important to utilize physical opportunities as well as digital ones. For instance, a QR code on a sign in the lobby, restaurant, or on the TV in a guest’s room can enable guests to access a hotel’s loyalty program landing page with one touch. Whatever data a property has access to, can be utilized to target loyalty programs, opportunities and promotions, both through a mobile app and/or on a smart-room tablet. The avenues for motivating guests to join are limited only by imagination and the tech a hotel invests in. Exploring and experimenting with the tools available can lead to breakthroughs suited to the unique features of a certain property.

Get the word out to your guests about what you have to offer, add incentives that make it clear it’s well worth signing up, and use all the tools in your physical and digital toolbelt to make your loyalty program a success.

To learn more about how to advance your loyalty program through a hotel guest app, reach out to our team.

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How to Boost Guest Engagement Through Content Management

Curate your hotel content to improve guest satisfaction and deliver a memorable guest experience 

When the hospitality industry made the big shift to contactless solutions during the pandemic, a wave of properties invested in features like mobile check-in and mobile key. But those features only scratch the surface on how a comprehensive hotel app that includes a content management system can elevate the guest experience. A content management system hosted on a mobile app, or in-room tablet allows management teams and staff to carefully curate content that can transform a hotel app guests use sparingly, to an information hub that guests frequent.

The App as an Extension of Your Brand

When considering ways to boost guest app engagement, a good place to start is by viewing the hotel guest app as an extension of your property rather than a siloed piece of tech. Visuals and language on a guest app that follow a hotel’s brand guidelines strengthens its brand identity and recognition. For a hotel with a casino, this could mean using vibrant imagery and colors. For a boutique seaside hotel, this could mean building a simple home page with a beachy design. Content management is really about allowing your app to be the window and map to what your property has to offer your guests. That starts with adding personal touches and making the design and layout unique to the property. Making a guest app feel like an extension of the hotel doesn’t have to be complicated, it just needs to be intentional.

Giving Guests Control through Content Management

What if the only thing stopping your guests from their ideal stay is that they don’t have the right information? With an easy to use content management system, hoteliers can offer more than the basic room information. They can offer information about their amenities and enable guests to curate their own itinerary. With a hotel app, guests can access information on nearby attractions, book local tours or unique experiences, even make dinner reservations and arrange rideshares. Hotel and amenities information is the bare minimum for a guest app, but that won’t make a property stand out. Good content in a hotel app can raise guest engagement as well as showcase what a hotel, resort, or casino really has to offer.

Staff Processes to Keep Content Up to Date

A barrier to successful content management is foresight. Without a plan for updating content, a hotel guest app won’t remain relevant. A property doesn’t need a team of writers or developers to keep content fresh and accurate – all that’s needed is some planning. First, decide which staff members will be responsible for updating app content. Then those staff members may need some training on how to use the app, such as upload images, or add rich media. Then create a schedule of when the content needs to be updated. It can also help to have brand guidelines and resources handy. The more team members understand the importance of content management, the more knowledgeable they can be when interacting with or updating the app.

Lean into Creative Ideas

For anyone looking to upgrade their content management skills, don’t be afraid to try different tactics. Every property is unique and while you can read a million blogs about ways to improve your content, a big part of successful content management is trying new ideas and seeing what works for your property. This could mean utilizing data collected from your app to come up with promotions and upgrades that will be enticing to your guests. Brainstorm with your staff to come up with content that will help deliver a memorable experience for your guetss.

Want to learn more about how to elevate guest experience through a hotel guest app? Start a conversation today.

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A Hotelier’s Guide to a Guest Experience Platform

A brief breakdown on how a guest experience platform can meet today’s guests’ unique needs.

In the past couple of years, consumer behavior and preferences have shifted as they became accustomed to engaging in personalized and digital experiences in their daily lives such as using fitness apps, ride shares, and food delivery. Hotels need to meet the expectations of this new digitally driven audience in order to remain competitive. But finding out what digital technology will work best with a property can seem like a daunting task. Consider adopting a guest experience platform.

Just what is a guest experience platform? In general, it is a cloud-based software that enables guests to access and request hotel services right from their smartphone or in-room tablet. A comprehensive guest experience platform will include features such as mobile key, mobile check-in, guest messaging, and staffing tools. A guest experience platform is often flexible, able to adapt to any property’s unique needs by adding or subtracting features, it’s easily scalable, and often includes reporting tools that can be used to provide a more personalized guest experience.

Read on to find out how a guest experience platform can help hoteliers meet next-generation guest expectations and set hotels apart from competitors.

1. Hoteliers Looking for Solutions to Deliver a Modern Guest Experience

Today’s guests are looking for greater control over their hotel stay and a more personalized guest experience. With a guest experience platform, hoteliers can meet these modern guest needs and have the ability to exceed expectations.

The great part of a comprehensive guest experience platform is the range of guest-facing features that can give guests more control over their stay such as voice-enabled room controls, TV casting, in-room dining, and more. For example, INTELITY’s mobile check-in includes ID verification and payment tokenization which enables guests to check-in pre-arrival and completely sidestep the need to go to the front desk upon arrival. As guest behavior continues to evolve, having the option to add features can help ensure a property has access to future hospitality tech developments they may want.

With a guest experience platform, hoteliers can also offer a more personalized guest experience. Guests today are looking for unique stays, want promotions and offers tailored to their personal preferences, and desire more authentic experiences. Consumers are experiencing more personalization in other areas of their lives so it makes sense that they are also looking for the same experience in their hotel stay. With a guest experience platform, hoteliers can collect a wealth of guest data which they can in turn use to provide greater personalized service for each guest.

2. Reduce Tasks and Increase Efficiency

A guest experience platform can also include back-of-house solutions that can streamline operations, improve staff workflow, and empower staff to deliver a better guest experience. A robust guest experience platform allows for countless added touchpoints for guests to connect with staff and management, without physically interacting with them. For example, in-app information pages can be built out as a digital concierge; digital service requests can send updates through notifications, so guests can track the progress of their requests; and texts can be sent directly to guests with special offers or room upgrades they might be interested in. A holistic guest experience platform is designed to reduce unnecessary tasks and increase efficiency. The role of the platform is to support the staff and elevate the guest experience.

3. Properties With Working Systems to Add Onto

When implementing new tech, try to use solutions that will build off what’s already working for you. Integrations are the key to a guest experience platform. A holistic guest experience platform can work in tandem with current systems. For a hotel that already has a guest app, a guest experience platform that has a ticketing and task management solution can help the hotel staff maintain a better work flow, save time, and be able to focus on guests’ needs. For hoteliers looking for more ways to connect with guests (without adding stress to their staff’s workload) using smart-room tablets can enhance the personal touch points by giving guests a control center to access digital features and room settings.

Whether a hotelier is looking for specific features or tech that does it all, a guest experience platform can provide the unique setup. As guests continue expecting greater digital access during their stay, choosing a guest experience platform that will evolve alongside cutting edge tech and guest behavior trends is paramount.

To learn more about INTELITY’s guest experience platform, start a conversation today.

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5 Ways to Engage Guests With a Hotel App

Discover five guest marketing strategies to boost revenue

According to a recent survey by Hotelogix, 83% of guests prefer to receive hotel service promotions on their mobile devices. As more travelers become accustomed to using their mobile devices to manage their daily lives, a hotel app creates endless opportunities to reach guests when they are paying the most attention, help them discover all the amenities and activities a property has to offer, and ultimately improve the overall guest experience. A hotel app also enables hoteliers to incorporate guest marketing into their guest communications, offering guests rewards and other promotions with a personal touch. To help boost guest engagement, upsell services, and strengthen brand loyalty, start with these five best practices for guest marketing.

1. Create Engaging In-App Promotions

Create eye-grabbing banners so when your guests use a hotel app to check-in, view a digital menu, or look up operating hours, they are drawn to the item or event you are promoting. Rotating banners as well as stationary banners on the top or bottom of the screen allow you to put special offers in front of guests in ways they are more likely to see and engage with. A little extra time upfront spent on making a great in-app promotion ad goes a long way.

2. Make Communication a Two-Way Street

When it comes to guest marketing through an app, sending a text to a group or a specific person enables them to respond to the message. For example, instead of a generic message on a website to entice a guest to upgrade their room, consider sending a welcome text with an upgrade offer such as, “We see you are arriving at our hotel tomorrow. Would you be interested in upgrading to a room with a beautiful view of the ocean for an additional 30?” Messages like these eliminate barriers for your guest to act on them because they are easy to respond to and are more personal than an upsell option when booking online.

3. Tailor Offers Based on Guest Habits

Whether you are coming up with promotions for your guest app, or you sending targeted offers via text, tailoring your promotions and upsells to your guests’ habits may bring better results. Do you have strategies or technology in place to track guest preferences? If not, now is the time to institute some form of data collection; if so, now is the time to act on that information. You don’t want to waste time on marketing items, activities, or upsell that your guests don’t want. You and your team know your guests’ habits better than anyone, use that knowledge to elevate their experience and increase your revenue.

4. Maximize Push Notifications

In the age of the smartphone, push notifications can be seen as annoying or disruptive. However, using them wisely can have a positive effect and a productive outcome. The key is two-fold: use push notifications with intention and avoid over-using. Timely push notifications can be of great benefit to you and your guests. Because guests can’t reply to push notifications, this means of communication should be informative, giving them details about the event or promotion that will encourage them to act on it. This could look like sending out a message about happy hour shortly before it starts or promoting a ticket sale for an upcoming event. Push notifications have many uses outside of marketing as well, like updating a guest on their service request status, which is why they should be used for marketing with great intention and care. You can think of push notifications as the secret weapon of guest marketing solutions, maximize their impact by sending timely information that is sure to pique guests interest.

5. Utilize Omnichannel Messaging

Omnichannel Marketing is a marketing strategy that leverages the various channels to achieve greater results. This might include a mobile app, smart-room tablets, and casting. The goal is to increase the ways in which your guests see and are able to interact with an ad. If, for example, you are promoting a discounted spa treatment, a guest might see a banner ad for the deal while they are out and when they return to their room they are reminded of the offer by seeing the same ad on their smart-room tablet and the TV. Utilizing omnichannel marketing keeps whatever you are prompting at top of mind, so your guests are sure to see it and are given increased opportunities to act on it.

Ultimately, the goal in implementing guest marketing solution strategies like these five listed here is so you don’t have to worry about your promotions getting lost in a sea of emails again. By sending targeted messages, personalized offers, and special promotions to your guests at multiple touchpoints you widen your sphere of influence and create great opportunities for revenue return.

Want to learn more about INTELITY’s guest marketing solutions? Request a demo today.

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How Tech Can Cater to Remote Workers and Attract More Business Travelers

Read how hoteliers can optimize their property and use tech to attract business travelers

It’s no secret that the pandemic caused huge losses in revenue due in large part to less business travel and canceled events. To offset the lack of business trips and conferences, hotels have rolled out creative ways for business travelers to utilize their spaces while adding new revenue opportunities. It’s safe to say now that remote work isn’t going anywhere, and why should it? A study by Owl Labs reports that 90% of employees surveyed say they are as productive or more productive when working remotely.

In response to many employers and employees moving to remote work, the hospitality industry has pivoted to catering to this new breed of nomadic workers with offerings like booking a room for a work day, “workcations,” and even extended-stay remote work packages. As events and conferences return to in-person gatherings, hoteliers have a huge opportunity to make up revenue lost to the pandemic, and set their property on the forefront of the evolving hospitality landscape. Here are a few key places to start.

Make Your Property Remote-Work Friendly

Offer easy check-in and check-out
Remote workers are a new breed of travelers who are looking for comfort and convenience above most else in their hotel stay. One key way to attract business travelers is offering them a quick and easy way to digitally check-in and use their smartphones for keyless entry so they can completely bypass the front desk and go straight to their rooms. Once they are ready to depart, the check-out process should be just as easy and mobile enabled.

Provide Great Wi-Fi
Giving your business guests the best experience possible relies on providing fast, secure and free Wi-fi. If hoteliers want business travelers to continue coming back for repeat stays, they need to prioritize reliable internet that has the bandwidth to accommodate a wide range of mobile devices as well as needs such as videoconferencing, web browsing and streaming content. Remote workers depend on consistent Wi-fi accessibility and the last thing they want is to have their work interrupted or lost because of a slow or weak internet connection.

Create Unique and Quiet Work Spaces
Consider how you can best provide office space for business travelers. Whether they are in town for work or they are a local remote-worker looking for a change of scenery, what can you offer to make their stay with you a success? This may look like renting out rooms as office spaces during work hours, or offering a remote-work package that includes a private office space for the guest to use. Make sure you have plenty of electrical outlets in guest rooms and charging stations throughout the hotel for business travelers to recharge their laptops, tablets or mobile devices. Also, provide a table top and comfortable seating in guest rooms for those long days of working. Consider creating a business center that offers a shared workspace and includes desks, fax machines and other office equipment.

Provide Access to Amenities via a Hotel App
A hotel app can greatly enhance the business traveler’s guest experience by enabling them to manage their entire work day on their mobile device or smart room tablet. Business travelers are busy people and by allowing them to take greater control of their stay can set your hotel apart. With a hotel app, business travelers can order food or drinks and have it delivered to them wherever they are such as in their room, by the pool, at the business center or in the hotel lobby. For hotels who don’t have an on-property restaurant, offer business travelers the ability to use delivery services like Doordash or UberEats directly through the hotel app. Provide ride-share or shuttle options via a hotel app so that business travelers can go to and from their hotel to other nearby locations with ease.

Attract Smaller Business Meetings to Your Hotel

Although corporate travel and events are unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels for another year, there is still a need for smaller team building events and business meetings. In fact, because many business teams now work remotely and do not have a chance to meet one another in person, there is an even greater need for in-person gatherings within companies.The need for these types of gatherings creates a major revenue opportunity for hotels.

Ensure Meeting Spaces are Fully Equipped
Hoteliers need to evaluate how they can best optimize the space they have for business travelers. For many hotels, this looks like setting aside rooms with white boards and other office equipment. Creating spaces where groups can meet makes the hotel more attractive for groups or small businesses looking for a functional work getaway. Provide in-room dining for your team during business meetings. Promote your amenities for team building exercises such as access to hotel’s golf course, yoga classes, and other recreational activities. Use a hotel app to offer a list of local restaurants and hotspots for after work downtime.

Create Custom Packages for Small Company Gatherings
To attract smaller business groups, offer unique packages that can include discounts to drinks and food or outdoor excursions. For local businesses who want a place to conduct small business gatherings offer special prices or a remote work membership. Partner with local vendors to supply team building activities such as escape rooms, wine tastings, and cooking classes.

Finally, whatever you plan to offer business travelers, make sure they hear about it. Marketing your remote-work or “workcation” opportunities and amenities is vital. The companies and individuals who would most benefit from this need to know the ways in which you’ve optimized the experience for them. Figure out what you can do, then make sure those who will benefit most hear about it.

Want to learn more about cutting-edge guest app technology? Start a conversation today.

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INTELITY Catapults into 2022 with Outstanding Awards and Recognitions

INTELITY’s best-in-class guest experience platform and stellar team are making waves in the hospitality tech industry

As the industry recovers from one of the most challenging years as a result of the pandemic, INTELITY has been recognized by multiple organizations for its contribution to the industry’s resurgence. We are beyond thrilled to be given commendations for our technology that is helping hotels transform the guest experience while providing a positive environment for our hard working and dedicated staff. While the recognition of our work and our team is a huge accomplishment, these awards serve as benchmarks for technical achievements, and establish industry standards for hospitality tech.We are proud to accept each honor listed below. Most of all, we are proud of our incredible staff who make every success possible.

Best Hotel Digital Key and Best In-Room Tablet Provider by World Travel Tech Awards

INTELITY was recognized as the World’s Best Hotel Digital Key Solution Provider and the World’s Best In-Room Tablet Provider by the World Travel Tech Awards 2021. The inaugural World Travel Tech Awards competition celebrates the full spectrum of the global travel technology sector, where the world’s top travel, tourism, and hospitality technology brands were nominated across 86 categories. Votes were cast by travel industry professionals and consumer travel buyers. INTELITY’s digital key and in-room tablet solutions are powered by our comprehensive guest experience platform and are utilized by top brands, iconic independent hotels, boutiques, and casinos worldwide.

Best Hotel Guest Apps Finalist by Hotel Tech Report

INTELITY was named a top finalist in the 2022 HotelTechAwards for Best Hotel Guest Apps. Produced by Hotel Tech Report, the HotelTechAwards are the hospitality technology industry’s top awards event. The HotelTechAwards finalists were selected from more than 200 of the top technology products worldwide after an awards eligibility and review window, which included thousands of verified hotelier reviews. INTELITY also carries Hotel Tech Report’s Certificate of Excellence, an accolade honoring vendors with a transparent culture and who create products and services that hoteliers want as well as consistently achieving excellent customer reviews.

Travel Guide Brand Official by Forbes

INTELITY was appointed as a Brand Official by Forbes Travel Guide, the creators of the original Five-Star rating system, for the sixth straight year. As the Official Guest Engagement and Staff Management Platform Provider of Forbes Travel Guide, INTELITY is proud to support top-rated hotels worldwide. Dozens of Forbes Travel Guide properties, such as Fairmont Pacific Rim, Faena Miami Beach, The Resort at Pelican Hill, and many more, have already implemented the INTELITY platform in order to offer travelers the digital convenience, efficiency, and contactless service they’re seeking.

Top Hotel Management Software Companies by Travel & Hospitality Tech Outlook

INTELITY was named in Travel & Hospitality Tech Outlook’s Top 10 Hotel Management Software Companies. INTELITY was recognized as a trailblazer in hospitality tech for developing many first-of-its-kind hospitality technologies including guest-facing tablets, in-room service request solutions, mobile key capability, and out-of-the-box guest experience apps. Travel & Hospitality chose INTELITY because of our digital guest solutions and a suite of back-of-house capabilities such asCa ticketing, service recovery, and data intelligence.

Best Places to Work in 2022 by Built in Los Angeles

For the third year in a row, INTELITY has received recognition for two prestigious Built In Los Angeles‘ Best Places to Work in 2022 lists, including Best Places to Work (Overall) and Best Small Companies. Our team has made an incredible effort to offer exceptional benefit programs, ensure a healthy work-life balance, sponsor robust training and development programs, and promote a strong company culture. We are grateful to our Sr. Director of Human Resources, Erica Lake, and the entire leadership team for contributing to this win.

As we share these hard-earned commendations, gratitude abounds here at INTELITY. We are thankful for our staff and all the work they’ve put into creating a best-in-class guest experience solution. We are also very honored by the hotels, resorts, and casinos who have chosen INTELITY’s platform to elevate their guest experience and staff efficiency.

To learn more about INTELITY’s comprehensive platform, start a conversation today.

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Hospitality Tech Not Only Saves Money – It Can Also Empower Staff

Nurturing employee retention by off-loading their workload through automation can help prevent burnout.

In the last couple of years, the hospitality industry was hit with many challenges from Covid-related lockdowns to most recently, a labor shortage. Now that travel is gearing up for a brighter year ahead, finding and retaining employees is more crucial than ever.

But how can hoteliers handle the resurgence of travel and tourism at the very moment when staffing is low? Fortunately, hospitality tech can help alleviate staff workload in a way that improves the guest experience. With the right technology, hoteliers can automate much of their operations, relieving staff from mundane tasks and reigniting their passion for hospitality.

Mobile Check-In Empowers Staff

With lingering staff shortages, remaining staff are overburdened with a greater workload and longer hours with little reprieve. Self-service technology, such as mobile apps, can alleviate some of the workload by enabling guests to take more control of their trip.  Hotel guest apps allow travelers to complete the check-in process on their mobile devices as well as use their mobile devices as a digital room key to enter their rooms. Not only does this provide a more streamlined check-in process for guests, but it also eliminates labor intensive paperwork for the front desk staff. With mobile check-in, hotel staff will have more time to engage with guests in a much more meaningful way, build relationships with guests, and feel more rewarded in their work

Automate Service Requests to Free-Up Staff

Whether it’s ordering extra towels or requesting room service, today’s guests prefer sending a service request through their mobile devices or smart-room tablets. Getting an immediate response via text or guest messaging is prized over being put on hold by the front desk. Automating service requests also optimizes operational efficiency and saves significant manpower and labor costs.  When service requests are automated, a small staff is empowered to provide quality service and have more time to provide more personalized attention to guests.

Clarity and Efficiency Go Hand and Hand

When lines of communication between staff and guests are muddy, tasks can fall through the cracks, guests can feel ignored, and both staff and management can end up feeling unnecessary pressure from all sides. Hoteliers should be taking a close look at their management systems and asking questions like:

  • Are staff able to view and update tasks easily?
  • Is management able to prioritize tasks and customize the workflow to fit the needs of their team?
  • Are escalations flagged so they can be handled in a timely manner?
  • Does the system in place integrate with on-property dining and amenities, and allow for digital storefronts?
  • Are staff able to access the current system from any device they need throughout their workday?

With digital technology, communication between teams can be streamlined and time-sensitive requests can automatically be prioritized. And making task management easy for staff to view and access eliminates the frustration and time loss that comes with poor communication. Taking unnecessary tasks off your employee’s plate and communicating priority tasks clearly through tech contributes to a work environment where staff can thrive long-term.

As experienced employees return and those new to the hospitality industry learn the ropes, now is the time to set your staff up for long-term success. By investing in tech that mitigates busywork and promotes clarity, your teams are able to focus on the best parts of hospitality–serving and connecting with guests.

To learn more about how a comprehensive management system can support your team’s communication and workflow, start a conversation today.

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Drive Long-Term Loyalty with Mobile Apps That Give Guests Control of Their Stay

Get strategies for accommodating your guest’s schedule before, during, and after their stay through a hotel guest app.

As the hospitality industry prepares for the Spring and Summer travel seasons, guest loyalty is a top priority. In fact, Hospitality Technology reported in their 2022 Lodging Trends study that 77% of hotels rank driving guest loyalty as their top tech initiative. How can properties encourage new visitors to rebook and keep repeat guests? And how can tech be used to cultivate guests’ loyalty? The best place to start is by giving them control at every touchpoint.

Before Their Stay: Give Guests the Best Information

Travelers are already balancing a number of details in order to make their trip a success.  Booking their hotel, navigating flight details, keeping expense reports, coordinating transportation, and working around the needs of travel companions are just some of the tasks guests have to get to before they even step foot on your property. Whatever you can do to make their arrival smooth and hassle-free can ensure a great first impression for those headed to your property.

Make the App Worth the Download
First things first, in order for your guest app to facilitate your guest’s ideal trip, they have to download it. Last year, we wrote about how to increase initial app adoption through a welcome email that highlights app features and links directly to the app download. If your guests are able to quickly see how the app will make their stay more convenient, they’ll be more likely to download and use it. Make a good impression by proactively drawing them in with the features and capabilities available to them.

Ride Shares/Shuttle Service
Adding transportation information such as hotel shuttle schedules or rideshare services provides an extra level of convenience for guests. Guests can request valet services or an Uber via a hotel app right on their mobile phones eliminating the need to make a trip to the front desk. Whether it’s going to the airport or going out at night, arranging for transportation via a hotel app becomes so much easier and made entirely on the guests’ terms.

Mobile Check-In
Today’s travelers want a simple process that allows them to check-in and immediately go to their room without the need to visit the front desk. With digital check-in, guests can input their credentials, confirm their payment method and access their room key right on their mobile devices even before they arrive at the property. They can also arrange for food or make special service requests via the app pre-arrival. And in the third year of the pandemic, this has largely become an expectation.

During Their Stay: Give Guests Control of Their Itinerary

Enable your guests to use their mobile devices to plan and manage their entire guest journey –from ordering room service to finding local hotspots and attractions. With an app, guests can design their hotel stay to fit their needs, get hotel and local information and set the level of interactions they want with your staff.

Digital Concierge
Highlight local activities, hotel amenities, and on-property services directly on the guest app. Spruce up app content with descriptions and enticing copy, and enable guests to book reservations for spa treatments and other amenities. Whether you have guests who plan everything ahead or spontaneous travelers who choose their next activity in the moment, the hotel guest app can be there every step of the way.

Housekeeping Preferences
It should be easy for guests to pause, skip, or add housekeeping services–easy as one touch through your hotel guest app. Whether your guests are environmentally conscious, concerned about airborne germs, or just don’t need someone cleaning their room everyday, allowing your guests to set when they want housekeeping service means every guest gets exactly what they need.

Dining
The best way to work around your guest’s schedule is to give them adaptable options so no matter what the occasion is, they can get food how and when they want it. From reserving a table at an on-property restaurant, to browsing highly rated local spots, to ordering for pickup so they can grab their meal as they head out– it can all be done from the palm of their hand. A comprehensive hotel guest app can process payments, communicate with dining staff, and keep track of guest orders so the information can be utilized when the guest returns for another stay.

After Their Stay: Motivate Guest Loyalty

Mobile Check-out
It should be as easy, if not easier, for your guests to leave as it is for them to arrive. If you want to help them achieve their ideal stay, don’t add unnecessary steps to their departure. Mobile check-out means simplicity, easing the annoyance of having to make a stop at the front desk, or worse, wait in a line.

Reviews
Does your hotel app prompt your guests to leave a review? When guests leave a review while their stay is fresh on their mind, you and your staff get vital details about what you are doing right and what needs to be addressed. If it’s a positive review, the app can prompt them to post it, while mediocre or negative reviews can funnel straight into service recovery.

Follow-up
Do your guests know what loyalty points or programs you have available? Driving guest loyalty doesn’t end when your guests step out your door. The communication they get from you after they check-out sets the precedent for future interactions and stays. So let them know how glad you are they chose you and why they should come back. Email, or message through your hotel guest app so you are the first place they think of next time they go to book.

The Term “Personalization” is Buzzing Through the Hospitality Industry

That’s because guests appreciate when their preferences are remembered and when they are treated as valued customers rather than faceless wallets. For hoteliers investing in guest loyalty strategies, ensuring sure your tech responds to and accommodates your guests schedule makes their experience feel individualized to their desires and elevates their experience at every touchpoint.

Want to learn more about how hotel guest apps can promote guest loyalty? Start a conversation today.

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3 Tech Strategies to Combat Ongoing Pandemic Uncertainty

As COVID variants and staffing concerns continue to present issues for the hotel industry, hoteliers can offset low occupancy periods with the right tech strategies.

The path to recovery for the hospitality industry is fraught with ongoing staffing concerns and travel uncertainty as spikes in COVID cases and new variants crop up around the globe. Despite the constant unknowns, hoteliers can institute strategies to ensure optimal guests experience, mitigate revenue loss, and help prevent staff burnout. Here are three tech strategies to put into place during times of industry upheaval.

1. Plan For Uncertain Occupancy Levels

One thing is clear, recovery for the industry is not a straight line. While we saw record occupancy rates in December, the sharper than usual decline in January is proof that COVID will continue to have a big impact on travel plans and hotel bookings this year. Plus, Skift reports that the booking window has narrowed since the pandemic started as guests wait closer to their travel dates to nail down details. This shift in consumer behavior means that hotels might not be able to rely on traditional travel patterns to predict when high occupancy and low occupancy periods will occur, and so hoteliers will need to prepare in advance for both.

How can tech help with the peaks and valleys brought by COVID?

A comprehensive guest app opens up a myriad of opportunities for additional revenue that can help provide a buffer for when hotels experience low occupancy. With a guest app, hotels can promote their amenities and entice guests to use them by offering discounts or specials, such as to a spa, a nice dinner at a hotel’s restaurant or a round of golf if a hotel has a golf course. Having guests spend more during low occupancy periods can help optimize revenue. A guest app can also help drive guest loyalty by enabling them to have more control of their stay and access services more easily. Via a guest app, guests can order food delivery, request room service, get recommendations for local activities, order rideshare service and more, making their stay a memorable experience. Even when occupancy is at higher levels, having a guest app can offer a property a competitive advantage. A recent survey conducted by Metova found that 90% of travelers prefer a hotel that offers a guest app.

2. Prioritize Digital Communication

A recent study by Local Measure found that hotels that digitally engage with their guests via an app see a 40% increase in return visits and increase ROI of 564%. With a guest app, hoteliers can communicate with guests at any point of their journey via guest messaging and push notifications. Pre-arrival, hoteliers can send important information such as check-in details, new COVID safety protocols, late check-out option, and direct guests to a hotel compendium where they can find hotel information and more. Guests can also easily communicate with staff to make special requests such as ordering extra towels, and ask any questions. Additionally, by providing an easy line of communication via an app, staff can better track and respond to guest complaints or any service issues in a more timely manner, thereby boosting customer satisfaction.

3. Support Your Staff with Good Tech

Staffing shortages have been a constant source of stress for hotels over the past few years, and as many are still working with lean teams, it’s important to invest in tech that can support both full and lean teams and work well with the tech you already have. Hospitality Tech noted in their 2022 lodging study that a major pain point for hotelier’s implementing new tech is difficulty integrating with legacy systems, which cause issues for staff along with missed revenue opportunities. But hoteliers who give staff the best tools for an efficient workflow reduce unnecessary tasks, keep revenue lines open, and help prevent staff burnout.

What should hoteliers look for in their tech? 

  • Tech that’s intuitive, and customizable to fit your specific needs.
  • Tech that’s responsive, easy to use from any device.
  • Tech that’s adaptable, able to integrate with your currents and future systems.

The pandemic has brought on new consumer behavior where travelers today are looking for a more personalized digital experience during their hotel stay. As hoteliers continue to grapple with various challenges brought on by the pandemic, incorporating digital guest facing solutions into their tech stack will enable them to remain competitive and provide a modern guest experience.

Want to learn more about tech that can elevate guest experience and reduce pain points for staff? Start a conversation today.

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Recent Tech Innovations and What They Mean For The Future of Hospitality

Innovative technologies are transforming every industry, moving them into the digital age; here’s how hotels can utilize new emerging technologies in the near future.

All tech is interconnected; when new advancements are made in other industries, there is a natural ripple effect. Whether it’s transportation, internet, or even gaming related, as tech progresses new advancements eventually become relevant to hospitality. Here are a few tech innovations that have people talking and how they might provide exciting opportunities for hoteliers in the near future and down the line.

Cryptocurrency

Guests Are Already Using It
Cryptocurrency, a digital form of payment, has grown widely popular in the last few years. Because crypto functions through the internet, its accessibility and its gold-standard digital security have been integral to its rise in usage. As the world moves further into digital spaces, security is paramount, and because of this, crypto has the potential to be a preferred payment for travelers in the coming years–especially when it comes to large payments at an upscale resort or a high stakes game. And since crypto is not tied to a certain region or physical currency, using a crypto wallet instead of a physical one can simplify international transactions while providing that added measure of digital security. While some hotels have already been making the shift to accept cryptocurrency, hoteliers should anticipate that guests will expect to be able to pay with crypto, sooner rather than later. Particularly, moving beyond just booking with crypto, but also linking their crypto wallet to the hotel guests app for purchases during their stay.

How Will This Benefit Hotels?
The most notable benefits to adding crypto as a payment option is the additional layer of digital security that cryptocurrencies have. Despite crypto’s consistent value fluctuation, it is becoming so integrated into global commerce, it might actually be able to simplify payments, making it more convenient for guests to make purchases while adding an extra layer of protection against fraud.

Virtual Immersion

Opening a Virtual World of Opportunity
Last year, Facebook announced its intention of building the Metaverse, a Virtual Reality (VR) world where commerce and social connection intersect. Microsoft also announced its own take on mixed reality with Mesh, a communication and collaboration platform that enables team members to have a shared virtual experience. Some in the hospitality industry are concerned about the negative ramifications of virtual immersion, wondering if the ability to “go anywhere” without leaving the comfort of your home will demotivate people to travel. But from a consumer perspective, VR is not, and may never be, a replacement for physical travel. Rather there are many exciting opportunities VR brings to table to enhance guests experience while staying at a hotel, resort, or casino. Here are few ways hoteliers have started to explore VR in hospitality:

Events
When people think of VR, they usually think of gaming. While some hotels have made VR gaming available to guests, VR offers more applications than just games. Adding virtual immersion shopping, gambling, even concerts and conferences, could be a way for hotels to offer unique experiences that don’t require good weather or a lot of space. Instead of thinking of VR as something separate from what a property is already doing or offering, hoteliers could consider how VR can be an exciting addition.

Walk-Throughs
During the pandemic, VR house tours rose in popularity as they offered an alternative for house hunters who were not able to tour a home in person due to COVID concerns or travel restrictions. Hotels, resorts, and longer-term vacation rentals have also been using this application to showcase their property, guest rooms and facilities to guests before they book.

Putting a Face To Automation
“The metaverse could help break the ‘walls’ between humans and machines,” says Linchi Kwok, Associate Professor at The Collins College of Hospitality Management. Kwok suggests VR avatars could help to humanize the more “robotic” services that a hotel has to offer. Automated services, when provided by avatars, could add a personal touch. Beyond that, using AI-powered avatars could further support the hospitality industry during periods of staff shortage, automating tasks to balance a lean team’s workload.

NFTs

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, represent ownership of one-of-a-kind digital collectables such as digital art. In the last two years, NFTs have become widely popular and their value often depends on their rarity. But NFTs are more than just art pieces to view, they can also be VR experiences, or even act as tickets to access exclusive promotions or loyalty programs.

How is the Hospitality Industry using NFTs?
Since the technology is new, this past year has been a year of experimenting. Some hoteliers are getting creative with NFTs and seeing what comes of it in terms of interest and revenue. Here are few example of innovation with NFTs from 2021:

  • SLS South Beach and SLS Brickell offered a range of physical and digital entertainment and art through the NFT BAZL marketplace from the comfort of their guest rooms.
  • Marriott released three NFTs; attendees of their FaZe Forever were able to enter to win one of the three NFT virtual reality experiences as well as reward points.

What Can Hoteliers Do To Prepare?
While some of the advancement currently in the limelight may seem overwhelming, there are few tech adoption principles hoteliers can always rely on:

  1. Choosing the tech that integrates well with your current tech stack will set you up for success as digital spaces and devices continue to advance.
  2. Partnering with a vendor who prioritizes your needs will make adapting new tech smoother all around.
  3. The guests’ experience is paramount; implement tech that serves your guests to fullest.

To learn more about what tech is available to elevate guest experience, start a conversation today

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What’s Next for Hospitality in 2022?

A look at the trends and predictions for the hospitality industry in 2022

If 2020 was the year that knocked the hospitality industry off its feet, 2021 was the year of false starts and uncertainty as the industry struggled to get back up. The pressing question now is, what will the state of hospitality be in 2022? It’s clear that people are itching to travel again, but will new Covid variants, travel restrictions, and ongoing staffing shortages continue to thwart their travel plans and disrupt the hospitality industry? As we prepare and plan for 2022, here’s what may be on the horizon for the travel and the hospitality industry.

The Big Question: Will There Be a Return to Travel?

The ongoing challenges of the pandemic, particularly the Omicron variant, make it difficult to predict at what capacity travel will return in 2022. In a recent STR forecast report, a strong demand for travel, in particular domestic travel, is predicted to continue throughout 2022 assuming no new variant will cause further travel restrictions. In a recent study on current customer engagement,  Hospitality Tech found that consumers’ increased confidence in hotel safety, due in large part to the safety and health efforts taken by hotels to protect their guests such as the adoption of contactless tech solutions, could also help drive hotel recovery in 2022. The study noted that because of their confidence in hotel safety, guests are more comfortable using hotel amenities and engaging in activities such as gym and pool use, spa treatments and attending entertainment events.

On the other hand, potential rising inflation, lingering labor shortages, and struggles to access vaccinations may continue to impact travel in 2022. At the 2021 NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference, the panelists discussed how some places in the world, certain areas of the Caribbean for example, are still struggling to get access to enough Covid vaccines for their population, contributing to a decrease in travel in 2021 and potentially in 2022.

So will there be a return to travel this year? The answer is yes–but with a caveat. There will be a return to travel but there are still many unknowns as to what types of travel restrictions and safety concerns hotels, resorts, and casinos will be dealing with in the coming months.

The Prime Focus: How Can We Recoup Revenue?

In 2020, the hospitality industry had to pivot to implement contactless options and mobile solutions. And for many hoteliers, that new tech wasn’t fully put into place until 2021. As we head into another year dealing with pandemic-related challenges, hoteliers are no longer strangers to lockdowns and travel restrictions. The focus has shifted from a scramble to implement needed tech to an exploration of how tech can support recouping of revenue losses. Last Autumn we wrote about how hoteliers are finding success with incremental revenue opportunities through their hotel guest app; offering digital storefronts and in-app dining allows for major revenue increases without needing a huge lift from the hotel staff or even an IT department. You can expect hotels, resorts, and casinos to lean even further this year into hotel tech to make up for the losses of the past couple of years.

The Optimum Opportunity: What are People Saying About You?

“The importance of positive online reviews remains central as well—the well-known ‘halo’ effect of positive reviews helps to reinforce a hotel’s overall messaging and ensure guest confidence.”Hospitality Technology 2021 Report

Now more than ever, new guests want to know what others have to say about a property before booking. Highs and lows, wins and mistakes are all communicated through word of mouth and online reviews. Which is why hoteliers with guest apps are taking the opportunity to make it easier than ever for guests to leave a positive review. But what about negative reviews? A hotel app supported by a  comprehensive guest platform can filter negative reviews and send them straight into service recovery, providing a hotel with the opportunity to fix any problems and restore customer satisfaction.

The Best Path: Be Ready to Adapt!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from this pandemic it’s that you have to roll with the punches. Whether your property has a full team or a lean staff, losses to make up for or opportunities to expand, being flexible and adopting the right technology will help you address bumps in the road that may still be in store in 2022.

Want to learn more about holistic guest platforms that can help recoup losses and support any size team? Start a conversation today.

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Snapshot of Key Hotel Tech Trends in 2021

With each new challenge faced by the hospitality industry this year, hoteliers responded by adopting new technologies to support lean teams and deliver an enhanced guest experience.

The year 2021 brought various challenges to the hospitality industry including continuing health and safety concerns, loss of revenue due to travel restrictions, and widespread staffing shortages. Many hoteliers faced these challenges by adopting new strategies and technologies to meet the changing demands of today’s guests and adapt to the new normal.  Below are a key trends and topics in hospitality that emerged in 2021:

Contactless Solutions for Guests

Creating a seamless, contactless guest experience became vital for hotels to stay in business.  To that end, hoteliers adopted mobile technology that enabled guests to safely check-in and open their guest rooms without the need to interact with the front desk. By using a hotel app, guests could access hotel information and make service requests right on their smartphones. Mobile apps also alleviated the front desk workload while allowing guests a more convenient, safer and contactless experience.

Tech Solutions to Support Lean Teams

As events, business trips, and vacations began to ramp up over this past summer, many properties operating with lean teams were suddenly faced with clogged front desks, decreases in work order fulfillment, overwhelming housekeeping tasks, and little to no time for service recovery. When consumers began traveling again, adopting tech that could help a stretched workforce meet the needs of their guests and streamline their daily tasks, became hoteliers’ top priority. On the backend, hoteliers sought to streamline their lean team workflow through automation. Adopting a holistic guest platform, hoteliers could improve both guest communication and tracking for booking details, tasks, and work orders. When many IT departments were outsourced or cut altogether, it became crucial that the hoteliers invest in a tech partner that could provide the maximum benefits for their staff while requiring minimal onsite upkeep.

Luxury + Convenience Through Smart-Rooms

2021 was a big year for smart tech in hospitality. This is largely because everything can be tailored to the current guest while offloading tasks from staff. Smart-rooms offer modern conveniences that today’s guests are accustomed to at home and elsewhere. Using smart-room tablets, guests can dim the lights, adjust the room temperature, message staff, view a sleek digital compendium, request in-room service, and more–right from their smart-room tablet. Plus, tablets were able to make  guests feel like the hotel staff was always just a few taps away. Many hoteliers this year discovered that smart-room tablets are the perfect room companion. While mobile check-in and mobile apps have their many benefits, guests might enjoy not having to rely on their personal devices to access hotel features when they are in their rooms. Plus, some guests prefer a tablet’s larger screen and find it easier to navigate. A dedicated device that acts as the room command center offers guests control capabilities as well as more convenience.

Communication 

Improved communication and guest engagement took the spotlight in 2021. This year, hoteliers put an emphasis on communicating with guests before, during, and after a guest’s stay. For instance, sending guests a welcome email to remind them to download the hotel app to access hotel information, make service requests and more can set the tone for their stay. During a guest’s stay, staff were able to use the hotel’s app to communicate with guests on a one-on-one basis or to a larger group. Utilizing SMS, Messages in app, or even displaying eye-grabbing banners in a hotel app allowed staff to communicate with guests about any health and safety updates, or acknowledging their service requests. Communication shouldn’t end when guests end their stay either; follow-up emails, surveys, and personalized promotional offers for future stays are key in encouraging guests to return and becoming loyal customers.

Mobile Ordering and In-App Dining

Mobile ordering allows guests the convenience of being able to browse a hotel’s restaurants’ menus and order food items directly from their mobile device or smart-room tablet. With in-app dining, guests can get their food delivered to them anywhere on the property, schedule room service in advance or even schedule a pick up order right from the hotel’s app. Many pick up orders can be offered to non-guests as well, allowing day visitors and event goers to experience the same level of ease and convenience at on-property dining establishments. This year it became more clear than ever: paper menus will soon be a thing of the past. Which is why those with on-property dining shifted to in-app menus where they could make immediate menu updates, save on printing costs, and create eye-grabbing promotions. As properties reopened from lockdowns, digital storefronts helped recoup some revenue by increasing accessibility and visibility to their guests.

On the staff side of things, mobile ordering directly through the hotel’s app elevated guest delivery and reduced order confusion by streamlining the backend. When dining capabilities are consolidated within a hotel app, orders are easier to view and keep track of, reducing mistakes all around. In-app digital dining can also provide actionable guest metrics, such as which menu items are more popular, that can help with making more efficient purchasing decisions.

As we head into 2022, there is new hope for a year of recouping revenue losses and utilizing even more solution-driven tech. For further information on how INTELITY’s platform can support small and large teams and elevate guest experience, start a conversation today.

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10 Things Guests Want To Do With a Hotel Guest App

In the age of mobile, see what travelers want most from a hotel’s guest app.

Your guests are on their phone—pretty much all the time. And when they aren’t, you can bet their phones are close by. The pandemic motivated many hoteliers to pivot to mobile solutions for mainly safety precautions. But even as the pandemic’s threat begins to wane in some places, guests still want to access everything from their devices. In fact, guests’ expectations for a mobile-first guest experience are higher now than ever. Here ten of the top activities guests want to do from their phones:

  1. Check-in and Check-out

From the moment they walk through your doors, guests want to have complete access to and control of their stay. Instead of waiting in a long front desk queue, guests want to be able to quickly and easily check-in right from their mobile device. With mobile check-in that includes digital ID verification, guests don’t have to wait around for physical verification by someone at the front desk. And don’t forget about the check-out. Leaving a hotel should be just as easy as arriving. With a mobile app, guests can view their folio before they check-out via their mobile device.

  1. Mobile Room Key

With a mobile room key, guests can use their phones to quickly access their room without going through the front desk. Guests love not having to keep track of a plastic key; and since they already have their phone on them at all times, it makes coming and going that much simpler. Reducing a dependency on generating plastic room keys can also save costs for hoteliers as well as reduce their carbon footprint.

  1. Cast from their Device to the TV

When it comes to TV viewing, streaming is king. Guests want to be able to continue to view their shows and movies from where they left off at home. Beyond just shows and movies, guests can also cast their music or podcasts through their rooms’ TV speakers, as well as browse through their photos or cast a video call on theTV screen. With casting from their devices, guests have better control on what they watch on their room’s TV screens.

  1. Order Food

Whether they’re in their room, by the pool, or in a remote work space, guests want to be able to have their food brought to them. And for those times when they are on the go, you can give them the option for pick up. During the pandemic, ordering food pick-up and delivery from a mobile device became the default; guests want that same ease and convenience when traveling away from home. And don’t forget to keep your digital menus updated so guests always have access to what’s available for order or pickup right on their mobile device.

  1. Digital Concierge

Many guests prefer accessing information about a hotel’s amenities before and during their stay via their mobile devices.  With a digital concierge, guests can learn about local hotspots, upcoming events, on-site and off-site activities, dining options and more right on their mobile phones, whether they are in their rooms, by the pool or out and about.  Access to this type of information enables guests to choose how they want to spend their leisure time and further control their stay. Including links to ride share services, local hotspots and more on a digital concierge also provides an added level of convenience.

  1. Get Updates

Safety alerts, COVID precautions, hours of operations—these are all things guests need to know but don’t want to have to search for. Sending one-to-many alerts and updates keeps guests informed, such as pool closure or upcoming happy hours. They’re easy for staff to input and send and ensure guests are kept in the loop.

  1. Book Treatments/Activities 

One of the the benefits of having a digital concierge is to view treatments and operation hours on a mobile device; it’s even better when guests can make bookings/purchasing within a hotel’s mobile app. Offering booking and ordering capabilities within a hotel app provides guests a more convenient and personalized guest experience.

  1. Access to Exclusive Promotions

Guests love promotions especially if the deals are customized to their preferences.  When guests book via a hotel’s app, their preferences can be stored so the next time they visit a hotel, management can offer promotions customized to their past interests. For example, if a guest books a spa treatment during a visit, the next time they stay at a particular property, management can offer them a discount on their next spa appointment to incentivize them to return.

  1. Service Requests

When guests need something like extra towels, they should be able to request it without a hassle. Pivoting service requests to your hotel guest app allows guests to easily submit their requests through their mobile device and get updates as the task is being completed. This keeps guests from wondering if their request has been lost in the void while automating certain operational tasks.

  1. Everything!

Anything guests can do from their phones, they want to do. Our lives at work and at home are piloted from our phones—why should it be any different when traveling?

To learn more about what your guests are expecting to do from their phones in 2022, start a conversation today.

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QR Codes: The Hospitality Comeback Kid

Read why there’s a rise in hoteliers using QR codes to link to their hotel’s guest app.

QR codes that were once seen as cumbersome and outdated have experienced a resurgence due to the pandemic. Boosted by mobile phones’ recent ability to read QR codes without the need of a third-party app and the need for contactless solutions, the demand for QR codes has gone through the roof. Now, QR codes are making a comeback, and while the catalyst for this comeback was COVID, QR codes provide great value beyond curbing the spread of the virus. If you are wondering what all the fuss is about, here are a few ways hoteliers are using QR codes to elevate the digital guest experience and boost revenue.

What QR Codes Are Good For 

App Adoption
QR Codes make downloading a hotel app easier than ever.  Guests simply need to scan the QR code with their phone camera to access a hotel app. There is a misconception amongst hoteliers that if app downloads are low, it’s an indication that guests don’t need or want to use your app. The real reasons are much simpler – they forgot about it, they don’t want a single-use app on their phone, or downloading the app seems too much of a hassle. Having a QR code to help get over that initial hump of downloading can greatly improve guest app adoption. Once guests do download a hotel app, they have access to many features that can enhance their guest experience. With a hotel app, guests can use their phones to check-in, access their rooms, and view a digital compendium that highlights a hotel’s services and amenities.

Menus
While the pandemic motivated restaurants to provide contactless menu options, many restaurants are ditching printed menus post-pandemic in favor of digital menus that will save them printing costs and enable them to update food items, prices, promotions and more – instantly. With QR codes displayed on a restaurant’s window or on a tabletop stand, customers can easily access a restaurant’s food and drink menu right on their mobile phones. Plus, you can feature special items or promotions in a visually interesting way that your customers won’t be able to miss.

Targeted Promotions
QR codes are a great way to make guests aware of promotions or offer exclusive discounts, and to target information to a specific group. QR codes can be used during conferences and corporate events within a hotel to promote educational sessions or upcoming happy hours.  They can be displayed at the conference or even on a guest’s TV. QR codes can also be used during wedding events to keep guests informed on the wedding itinerary. With a little foresight and creativity, the possibilities for QR codes are endless.

Where to Put Your QR Codes 

Where is the best place to put your QR codes? Well, that largely depends on what your code is linking to. If you are trying to get more downloads, you want the QR code to be somewhere visible when guests are first arriving. Whereas a menu QR code should be visible in a space where guests are more likely to order food, like in their room for room service.

A few ideas for QR codes locations: 

  • Lobby signage
  • In the elevators
  • On an in-room TV
  • In your on-property dining areas
  • In conference or event brochures

For more information on how to integrate and utilize QR codes with your hotel guest app, reach out today.

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What’s to Come in 2022 for Guest Mobile Apps

Discover key trend projections from Hotel Tech Report’s “Ultimate Guide to Guest Mobile Apps for Hotels: 2022 edition.”

With the new year quickly approaching, many hoteliers are reviewing their tech budget for 2022. Since the pandemic, the industry has been making a shift to incorporate more mobile tech, and as technologies continue to advance, hoteliers have more opportunities to implement efficient and convenient mobile solutions. In an effort to help hoteliers find the right tech for their needs, INTELITY has sponsored Hotel Tech Report’s “Ultimate Guide to Guest Mobile Apps for Hotels: 2022 Edition.” Here are a few highlights about mobile tech in the coming year:

Trends and Future Predictions for Guest Mobile Apps

Mobile-optimized Guest Experience.

As the hospitality industry responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for mobile tech increased dramatically. The need for people to perform everyday tasks on their smartphones became more of a necessity than simply a convenience. And now, guests are looking for that same digital experience in their travel. Does your hotel offer contactless check-in through an app? Can guests order food directly to their room, the same way they can at home? Can they message back and forth with your staff the same way they can with their friends and coworkers? Enabling guests to interact with your property via a mobile device will continue to play a more central role in the modern guest experience.

Key Features to Look For:

  • Mobile Check-In
    Your mobile app isn’t complete without a check-in solution. Mobile check-in offers your guests a way to reduce wait times at the front desk or bypass the front desk completely.
  • Mobile Key Integration
    Your mobile app should offer mobile key functionalities that streamline the check-in process and reduce costs associated with plastic room keys.
  • Guest Messaging
    Selecting a vendor that offers two-way messaging solutions enables guests to directly interact with your staff via their mobile phones. Whether through SMS, in-app messages, or Facebook Messenger integrations, guest messaging enables more streamlined service recovery and improved guest experience.

Customization, Personalization, and Familiarity.

Providing digital access to your services and amenities allows guests to have more control over their guest experience. Finding a solution that provides a consistent guest experience across multiple properties will ensure users find what they need when exploring your app.

Key Features to Look For:

  • Service Requests
    Your mobile app should allow guests to place service requests, order in-room dining, access hotel information, book appointments at your on-property spa, make dining reservations at on-property restaurants, and much more.
  • Local Services & Content
    Maximize your app interface by promoting local services and points of interests to help guests get the most out of their stay.

Mobile Payments.

As a result of the pandemic, and thanks to features like Apple Pay and Google Pay, many people now expect to use their smartphone to pay for goods and services. Today, travelers are primed, willing, and able to make payments through a mobile app—dining orders, incremental purchases, room upgrades, etc. While introducing new ways for guests to engage digitally, endless possibilities emerge once you can accept mobile payment.

Key Features to Look For:

  • Requests & Ticket Management
    Offer guests the ability to make bookings with the concierge, arrange transportation, or request more towels right from your hotel app, and automatically create and route tickets for your team to follow-up and fulfill.
  • Loyalty Program Integrations
    Look for a mobile app partner that has the capability to integrate with your existing loyalty program. Integrating your loyalty program with your mobile app encourages guests to keep the app on their phones and encourages increased engagement before, during, and after a stay.

For more tips on how to select the right mobile technology for your property, download the “Ultimate Guide to Guest Mobile Apps for Hotels: 2022 edition” for free today.

 

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Why Hoteliers Are Increasing Their Tech Budget for 2022

As budgeting season wraps up, here’s why many hoteliers are putting a greater emphasis on their tech budget.

As the year comes to a close, hoteliers are in the midst of developing their 2022 budgets and looking ahead at what’s to come. What trends are on the horizon and how can hoteliers prepare financially for 2022?  After a tumultuous year of coping with the challenges of COVID and then labor shortages, it’s become clear that one area where hoteliers should consider increasing their investment is hospitality tech.

Where to Spend In 2022

For many hotels in 2020 and 2021, adopting contactless, mobile and smart-room tech solutions were essential in keeping their doors open. Amidst significant staffing issues and continuous health concerns, hoteliers adopted new technology to streamline operations on the staff side, and to offer a better, safer guest experience. Expanding the tech budget is also beneficial for properties at full capacity, because if the last year and half showed us anything, it’s how useful tech can be for improving operational workflows and elevating the experience guests have before, during, and after their stay.

Potential Savings For Hoteliers Investing in Tech Advancement

For hoteliers still mulling over how much to invest in new technology in the upcoming year, much of the concern isn’t just about immediate benefits, but where tech can save money in the long run. Utilizing a robust guest experience platform, hoteliers can find many opportunities for saving money. Here are a few ways hoteliers can see long-term saving right from the get-go:

  • When menus and compendiums are transferred to a hotel app, spending costs on wasteful paper and printing costs can be eliminated entirely.
  • Adding in-app dining reduces food waste. With easy-to-view metrics, management can make  more cost-effective decisions when it comes to what ingredients or supplies to purchase. There are also more opportunities to offer guests meal upgrades, increasing revenue overall through targeted microtransactions.
  • For hotel’s investing more in their operations side, implementing systems that boost efficiency and streamline workflows can help during labor shortages. That’s why so many in the hospitality industry are choosing management systems that prioritize clarity and effectiveness.
  • And finally, maintenance costs. Ticketing systems where management can set priorities on work orders ensure the hotel is focusing time and money on what’s needed. Plus, with so many still recovering financially from the impacts of COVID, setting priorities allows for smaller work orders to be tabled until the revenue lost during the pandemic can be recouped.

From a tech perspective, revenue perspective, and overall industry perspective, it looks like great things are on the horizon. But in order to capitalize on a return to travel in the new normal, the right tech is a must.

To learn more about what tech can best assist your property in 2022, request a demo today.

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Does In-App Ordering Really Make A Hotel’s App Better?

For hotels with on-property dining, integrating ordering into their hotel’s app creates a better experience for guests and can offload pressure from dining and room service staff.

Hotels with restaurants may be reluctant to add room service and other delivery options to their existing hotel app. Questions naturally arise: Is it worth the work to get it set up? Does in-app dining really make a difference for the guest? What will the ROI be? For hoteliers considering investing in in-app dining, here’s a summary of the benefits we’ve seen for our clients and their guests.

A Smorgasbord of Possibilities for Guests

Showcase Your Menu
Guests enjoy the convenience of being able to browse a hotel’s restaurants’ menus and order food items directly from their mobile device or smart-room tablet. With a mobile app that includes digital dining, hoteliers can add their many on-property dining venues on a single app offering guests many dining choices. Plus, hotels can also add menus of other local restaurants, expanding food selections and providing the ordering experience your guests will enjoy.

Ordering from Anywhere 
In-app dining enables guests to order food from their mobile device and have their meals delivered to them anywhere on the property. Whether a guest wants a cocktail by the pool, a snack after a spa treatment, or lunch brought to them while working from the lobby, all they have to do is input their order via the hotel’s app and their orders will be on their way.

Pick-Up Orders, Anytime
Having a pick-up option is great for both guests and staff. For guests who want to bring some food with them while they sightsee, or want to grab their dinner on their way up to their room at the end of the day, they can schedule a pick-up order via a hotel app. A pick up option also saves staff a trip to a guest room to deliver food. Pick up orders, unlike room service, can be offered to non-guests as well. Day visitors who are enjoying a day at a hotel’s casino, or attending a conference or event, can also order food from the hotel’s app.

A Buffet of Benefits for Your Staff

Reduces App Confusion
When properties have a hotel app without digital dining capabilities, guests have to order food through an alternate channel, which can sometimes cause order and delivery confusion. But when dining capabilities are consolidated within a hotel app, orders are easier to view and keep track of, and there is less likely to be confusion.

Waste Management 
In-app digital dining can also provide actionable guest metrics, such as which menu items are more popular, that can help with making efficient purchasing decisions.  When considering the bottom line, investing in in-app tech that distills vital data so staff and management can adapt to guests food and drink preferences should be high priority.

Instant Updates 
Paper menus are quickly becoming a thing of the past. With in-app dining, menu items can  be updated immediately, saving on printing costs and the added tasks of staff having to manually switch out old paper menus. Add specials, promotions or event discounts in your hotel app to promote upsells and drive revenue.

These key benefits should give you an idea as to why so many hotels, casinos, and resorts are integrating dining options into their hotel apps. There’s no time like the present to make your dining experience that much more appetizing!

For more information about integrating dining into your hotel app, reach out today.

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3 Ways to Prepare for the Holiday Travel Season

Learn how hotels can prevent staff burnout and elevate guest experience during the post-lockdown holiday travel season.

As the holiday travel season gets underway, hoteliers across the globe are preparing for a busier season than last year. Guests who were unable to travel for the holidays in 2020 are planning to make up for lost time. As the hospitality industry continues to recover and return to full-capacity, here are three ways hoteliers can prepare for a possible wave of holiday guests.

  1. Avoid Staff Burnout With Back-of-House Ticketing 

In years past when guests poured in for the November and December holidays, hoteliers and their staff had to handle a more than normal workload. But this holiday season, with many hotels, resorts, and casinos still facing major staffing shortages, there may be a higher risk of staff burnout.

Whether it’s work orders, dining orders, or service requests, one of the most effective ways hoteliers can support their staff is by utilizing automated ticketing systems. An automated ticketing system allows hoteliers to capture a guest’s request or order within an app, and keeps track of the request automatically, eliminating manual labor and reducing mistakes. Plus, management can create work order priorities that update instantly, facilitating greater efficiency at every level. For room service and service requests, a comprehensive ticketing platform enables back-of-house staff to move from task to task, removing confusion and keeping items from falling through the cracks.

  1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

This can’t be stressed enough. With many hotels, resorts, and casinos still working at reduced capacity or limited hours, communication with guests must be top priority. This year more than ever, hoteliers need to keep guests in the loop about new hotel policies, hours, and amenities at your property.

Before their stay, sending a friendly and informative welcome email to a guest can set the tone for their entire visit. Your welcome email can inform guests about your hotel app, how to use the app and, if you are working at some kind of reduced capacity, make them aware of current dining or activity hours. During a guests stay, a hotel’s staff can also use the hotel app to communicate with guests on a one-on-one basis or to a larger group. Communication shouldn’t end when guests end their stay either; follow-up emails, surveys, and personalized promotional offers for future stays are key in encouraging guests to return and becoming loyal customers.

  1. Provide Mobile Convenience

Over the last eighteen months, consumers of all ages have become accustomed to using their mobile devices for every aspect of their lives. They now expect that same experience while staying at a hotel. Providing a mobile guest experience will give guests the convenience they seek and the best in-room experience possible.

Enabling guests to use their mobile devices to check-in as well as open their rooms, offers them a smoother and simpler arrival experience.  Plus, as more guests pivot to using their mobile devices throughout the duration of their stay, the front desk will have more time to focus on delivering a good guest experience.  Beyond check-in, the hotel’s app can act as an information hub as well, where guests can learn about hotel activities, dining and pool hours, local hotspots, and more.

Now is the time to adopt a mobile app, before the holiday travel season kicks into high gear, so guests can have a better and more convenient experience. The more access and control they have from their phone, the better their guest experience will be in every aspect.

Want to learn more about how to leverage tech for upcoming travel seasons? Let’s chat.

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How Hotels Can Capitalize on the Rise in Work-From-Hotel Bookings

Remote-workers are seeking out hotels, casinos, and resorts where they can combine business and personal travel. Learn how hoteliers can position their properties as enticing “bleisure” destinations.

After over a year of moving to remote work, as the world continues to reopen, many companies have opted to keep “work-from-home” options in place. Employers save on expenses that naturally come with in-office work, and employees get more flexibility—it’s a win-win. This surge of implementing fully-remote or partially-remote schedules also benefits both travel and hospitality industries. Remote workers can work from anywhere, which is why hotels, resorts, and casinos are seeing a rise in work-from-hotel guests. Hoteliers can capitalize on a combination of business and pleasure, now coined as “bleisure” trips, for guests who want the feel of vacation while still spending time on the clock.

Let the World Know You are Work-From-Hotel Friendly 

What do you have to offer remote-workers? Tables with killer views? Private spaces for virtual meetings? Whatever it is, let potential guests know! Create promotions around your unique bleisure features and offerings. If they are working poolside, offer them a discounted beverage. Offer your hard-working guests reduced-price spa treatments or golf games for the weekend. Remote-working guests want two things: accomodations that make work seamless, and vacation-like activities, views, food and drink so they can enjoy their time more than they would when working from home or in-office. All you have to do is let them know what’s available to them and help them make the most of both their work and R&R times.

Provide Remote-Work Travelers with Cutting-Edge Tech 

Guests traveling for both work and play are more likely to look for a smart hotel or properties that include high-speed wi-fi internet, work space, and especially ease of travel. Hoteliers who want to attract “bleisure” travelers can offer them a branded mobile app so they can  easily check-in and enter their room through their mobile devices.  A smart-room tablet also enables guests to make their hotel “work” environment their own through the ability to set room temperatures, order room service, and schedule leisure activities via their smart tablets. Work-from-hotel guests are seeking a getaway from office or home-office life, so give them the best version of that.

Don’t Forget Your “Bleisure” Guests Need to Eat Too 

Consider what remote-working guests will want out of their dining experience. When they are in the “zone,” food is a necessity; when they’ve closed their laptop for the day, dining is part of the vacation experience. Your hotel app can reflect this, offering both quick bites and guilty pleasures. And it’s not just about what you offer, but how you offer it. With mobile ordering, guests can get food or drink brought to wherever they’ve hunkered down to work. And with pick-up options, they can grab a meal on their way out in the morning, or bring something back to their room as they settle in for the night.

And for hotels that don’t have on-property dining, building out the information pages on your app to act as compendium and concierge so guests know what food is close and fast while they’re working and where they can get highly-rated, sit down meal when they’re ready to relax.

Ultimately, work-from-hotel guests want what you already have to offer, but they will be more likely to book with you (and rebook with you) if they feel your space fits their needs to a tee. So make sure they know what you have to offer, and that you’ve carved out spaces just for them.

Want to learn more about how to get your property’s platform ready for work-from-hotel guests? Request a demo today.

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Integrations

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