A Blog by INTELITY

At Your Service

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

guest satisfaction

3 Benefits of Using Mobile Key at Your Property

Mobile phones are practically universal these days with 77 percent of U.S. adults having a smartphone. Globally, 2.71 billion people use smartphones – about a third of the world’s population.

It’s no surprise that hotels, casinos, and luxury residential properties are starting to implement mobile key technology into their operations. Also known as a digital key, mobile key allows guests to unlock a door using an app on their smartphone, which is significantly more convenient and efficient than using a plastic room key.

When Travelport surveyed 16,000 travelers from 25 countries for its 2018 Digital Traveler Survey, it found that 50 percent of business travelers want to use a mobile key to unlock their guest room door.

So, why should your property convert to mobile key access? The answer is simple, incorporating this technology streamlines your check-in process, enhances the guest experience, and gives your property a competitive edge.

three benefits of incorporating mobile key technology at your hotel

Enhancing the guest experience

Mobile key technology makes it easier for a hotel, casino, or luxury residential property to manage guest needs better and can increase guest satisfaction by at least seven percent. Keyless entry, when combined with mobile check-in, gives guests the ability to skip the front desk and go straight to their guest rooms, which reduces check-in times and front desk friction.

By offering mobile key technology, properties can reduce the amount of time front desk staff must spend checking in guests and refocus that attention on providing more personalized guest service. Mobile key use also means employees do not have to physically replace lost keys, which increases efficiency.

Increased security

Not only does it increase guest satisfaction and give your guests the convenience of skipping the front desk, but mobile key technology can offer your guests increased security and reduce the risk of a lost or stolen room key.

Digital key technology eliminates the risk that comes with marking a plastic key card with a name, contact information, or a room number before handing it to a guest. If a plastic room key is lost that sensitive information can fall into the wrong hands, but a mobile key located on the guest’s own smartphone removes that possibility.

When a hotel or casino uses mobile key technology, they assign a key directly to each guest and any appropriate friends or family members. This process provides an added layer of security that lets the property better manage who has access to its building – one that isn’t possible when you merely hand out room keys that can be passed along.

Another layer of security with a mobile key is that guests must enter their phone’s password or use Touch or Face ID to access their key, meaning someone else cannot easily use it to gain entry.

If someone does misplace their phone, and therefore key, existing technology can help them find it fairly easily. Using the “Find My Phone” app or similar helps identify a missing phone’s location, whereas there is no such technology to find a lost key or keycard.

Hotel guests prefer mobile key technology

The modern traveler is looking for a digital-first experience. A recent study revealed that 76 percent of travelers said their smartphone is their most important travel companion.  Airlines have already adapted to this expectation by offering mobile boarding passes and mobile check-in through their own apps. Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft give travelers the ability to request and track their ride via their mobile device.

Hotels can meet this need by providing mobile check-in and mobile key technology, which give guests the convenience of a digital-first experience that other sectors of the travel industry offer. Studies show that two-thirds of travelers want to use their mobile device as their room key and 46 percent of guests say mobile key is an important feature for them.

Because people keep their smartphones nearby at all times, a mobile key gives travelers one less thing to keep track of. Guests may forget to bring a plastic room key with them, but they are less likely to forget to bring their phone, which also reduces the chance of locking themselves out.

Converting to mobile key at your property not only allows guests quicker and easier check-in and access to their room, but it also means more efficiency for your staff.

Interested in learning more about implementing mobile key at your property? Contact the hospitality technology experts at INTELITY to schedule a demo.

How Mobile Ordering Can Increase In-Room Dining Orders

Over the past few years, hotels across the world have experienced a decrease in in-room dining orders. In response to the steady decrease in in-room dining orders, several hotels have started to discontinue offering room service, but a recent study shows that 43 percent of guests still view room service as “very important” and 28 percent of guests say not offering room service is a deal breaker.

These results show that in-room dining is still a crucial part of the in-room experience for many guests. So how do hotels make sure they’re satisfying their guest demands without operating at a loss? Enter in-room technology and mobile ordering. By implementing technology like in-room tablets and mobile guest apps, hotels can provide guests with more services and access to mobile ordering.

Use Mobile Ordering to Increase In-Room Dining Orders

Digital menus and mobile ordering provide an effective solution to the decrease in in-room dining because it allows the customer to peruse the menu at their leisure without feeling rushed to place their order to a busy staff member over the phone, creates a more responsive atmosphere, and reduces the chance of error in in-room dining orders.

Offering a mobile ordering solution creates a smoother, more successful relationship with the customer because it streamlines the process and places the control in the hands of the consumer. Mobile ordering allows the hotel to keep its guests updated on the status of their orders and give them an estimated food arrival time. Not only does mobile ordering provide a more efficient, streamlined in-room dining process for the guest, it also improves the guests’ overall experience at the property. A 2016 study by Zebra Technologies found that 70 percent of guests want to use technology to decrease their wait times and improve their overall experience.

Aside from improving the overall guest experience, offering a mobile ordering option for in-room dining can also help hotels increase their bottom line by providing upselling opportunities throughout the ordering process. Studies have also shown that consumers are more likely to place larger orders when making a mobile order, especially when the menu features images of the food offered. Not only does including imagery of menu items lead to larger orders, but it can also dictate what the guest orders. In a study conducted by Iowa State, researchers tested displaying an image of a salad to kids at a YMCA camp. Campers who saw the salad photo were 70 percent more likely to order a salad for lunch than those who didn’t see the salad photo.

Conrad Indianapolis Experiences Success with Mobile Ordering

Conrad Indianapolis recently experienced the effectiveness of using mobile ordering for in-room dining. Just three months after launching INTELITY’s in-room tablets, the hotel saw digital dining orders increase by 444 percent and an average in-room dining check increase of almost 15 percent.

Mobile ordering is clearly an effective solution for the decline in in-room dining orders, especially when associated with an integrated back-end solution that automatically tracks the entire transaction. INTELITY has created a fully integrated, enterprise platform that allows hotels to improve their operational efficiencies and enhance their guest experience. Our cutting edge platform offers hotels the ability to seamlessly connect service industry workforces to their guests and enable hotels to improve their operational efficiencies and revenue.

Are you ready to incorporate advanced technology into your daily operations and work towards increasing your in-room dining orders? Contact us today to schedule a demo.

2018 J.D. Power Survey Finds High Level of Hotel Guest Satisfaction

In-room technology is critical for guest happiness; hotel service is an area where hotels can continue to increase customer satisfaction

The J.D. Power 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index indicated that hotels are definitely getting it right when it comes to guest experience, and their guests are happier than ever. According to the annual survey, overall satisfaction of the hotel industry is up eight points to an all-time high of 825 out of 1,000.

Hotels got high marks all across the board, but one area clearly associated with higher guest satisfaction is adding technology in guest rooms. While 77 percent of guests surveyed said there was a large flat-panel TV in their room during a recent stay, only 10 percent noted a tablet that provides in-room information. A TV raised guest satisfaction 12 points, while a tablet raised it 47 points.

As in-room technology becomes standard, this increased guest satisfaction may start to plateau. In 2018, the addition of a mobile app to a hotel’s offerings brought a 58-percent increase in guest satisfaction, a considerable number but one that’s down from 65 percent the year before.

“Hotels in all price ranges have excelled at ensuring their customers have a top-notch experience,” said Jennifer Corwin, Associate Practice Lead for the Global Travel and Hospitality Practice at J.D. Power. “Years of capital investment in offerings such as higher-end televisions and in-room tablets have left their mark. Now, as hotels look to push customer satisfaction levels higher, their focus should turn to service areas, particularly when it comes to direct booking.”

Satisfaction with hotel services did go up in the 2018 survey but this was lower than the increase in satisfaction with hotel product. Satisfaction with product-focused areas such as guest rooms and hotel facilities are increasing at a higher rate than any other factor (13 and 11 points, respectively). Service areas with the highest level of staff touchpoints (check-in, check-out, and food & beverage) have improved the least (5 and 7 points, respectively), and this coincides with a smaller improvement in cost and fees (5 points). Even with the significant improvement the past few years have seen, there is still room to increase guest satisfaction in areas related to hotel service.

The 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study analyzes guest responses to more than 150 questions regarding their overall experiences and includes 70 officially ranked brands in eight market segments. This year’s study is based on responses from approximately 55,000 hotel guests who stayed at a hotel between May 2017 and May 2018. The study was fielded between June 2017 and May 2018.

For more information about the 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, visit https://www.jdpower.com/resource/jd-power-north-america-hotel-guest-satisfaction-index-study.

The Link Between Hospitality Technology and Establishing Hotel Guest Loyalty

A majority of travelers are not loyal to a hotel brand. How can hospitality technology improve the state of hotel guest loyalty?

One of the top challenges faced by hospitality marketers, apart from increasing revenue, is better connecting with and engaging hotel guests. Customer experience has become one of the most important considerations for a business, and the hospitality industry is no exception. Hotel guest loyalty is built upon satisfying guest experiences, and the benefits of establishing guest loyalty are plentiful.

For one, it’s a well-known business principle that keeping existing customers is less costly than attracting new ones. Additionally, word-of-mouth and advocacy marketing are among the strongest tools for gaining new business, particularly among hospitality where online reviews are an active part of the pre-booking phase for many potential guests.

Increasing hotel guest loyalty is a major challenge for the modern hospitality industry. About two-thirds (64 percent) of leisure travelers and more than half of business travelers are not loyal to any one hotel brand.

Hospitality technology is beginning to come to the forefront of the hotel guest loyalty conversation. One of the top technology investment in 2014 was for solutions to improve the customer or guest experience, and investments in this area are projected to rise. It’s with good reason that hotels are looking for technology to manage guest experience and relationships.

No longer are there only one or two lines of communication that hotels have to monitor for guest feedback. Now hotel guests are constantly sharing online reviews and feedback through any number of communication channels. From social media to online review sites to blogs, the conversation never stops, creating a never-ending need for businesses to monitor what’s being said.

More travelers (39%) prefer to stay in hotels that know about them compared with hotels that don’t (21%).

Developments within hospitality technology allow management to proactively strategize in order to create fluid two-way communication with guests for improved hospitality brand perception. Creating direct channels for guests to communicate directly with hotel management and staff allows hoteliers to receive instant feedback rather than waiting for guests to post something negative once they’ve left a property. It also helps hotels build a connection with guests that leads to long-term loyalty.

Hotel mobile apps or text messaging services can serve as a convenient bridge to hotel guests. An increasing number of guests carry a personal mobile device and are enthusiastic to use these or complimentary hotel touchscreen kiosks or in-room tablets for active digital engagement with hotel staff.

Mobile guest apps can embed such features as digital comment cards. They can also provide insight into guest behavior and preferences that can be leveraged to increase hotel guest satisfaction and loyalty. This is critical for appealing to modern travelers, who place value on personalized guest experiences.

More travelers (39%) prefer to stay in hotels that know about them and their preferences compared with hotels that don’t (21%). Guests want to know that their hotel is attentively listening to them in order to create a more positive, engaged experience. Thirty-six percent of Millennials and 37% of travelers age 35 to 54 are willing to share personal information in return for valuable benefits such as personal touches in their room.

Investing in the right hospitality technology systems can help hotel management better connect with guests in order to actively improve the guest experience. By doing so, the hospitality industry will find that it is able to better establish hotel guest loyalty in the future.

To learn more about how you can use hospitality technology to create guest loyalty, schedule a demo with a member of our team.

Asking for the Moon: Hotel Guest Expectations are Growing

How would you feel if your hotel was literally on the moon?

If you enjoy watching Mad Men, perhaps you’ve seen the episode where the main character Don Draper takes on Hilton as a client. “I want a Hilton on the moon,” says ‘Connie’ Hilton when discussing direction for a brand marketing campaign. Whether he’s being metaphoric or not, the episode isn’t completely based on fiction.

In the 1950s and 60s, the Lunar Hilton was the subject of a long-running marketing campaign by Hilton. It was to be the first hotel constructed on the moon, where guests would be able to enjoy a really interstellar view.

“I firmly believe that we are going to have hotels in outer space,” Barron Hilton once said.

And it looks like he isn’t alone in his vision.

A new survey of Americans between the ages of 18 and 67 found that 35% believed outer space travel would be a reality within the next 15 years.

Other interesting insight provided by the survey into our outlook on travel in 2030:

  • 61% said hotels will offer 24/7 virtual concierge services
  • 58% believe smartwatches and mobile payments will become popular
  • 47% feel that personalized mobile travel guides will be available

Judging from these figures, mobile continues to factor heavily on the priority lists of modern travelers. Surprisingly, most of the items on this wish list are already available, including around-the-clock virtual concierge service, mobile payments, and personalized travel guides on mobile. Now it’s up to the hospitality industry to forge ahead in its implementation of cutting-edge innovation to provide travelers with access to these technologies on a widespread basis.

There are no limits when it comes to dreaming up the next big thing that will have an impact on the way we live or travel, the way our hotel guest room looks, the way we serve travelers looking to explore.

If you want more information and research about the future of the hospitality and travel industries, take a look at some of the solutions our company provides on current and future ways to shoot for the moon when it comes to meeting, or even surpassing, travelers’ imaginations.

Executive Insight: 4 Ways Digital Solutions Can Improve Your Operations

EXECUTIVE INSIGHT

This post provides insight directly from a member of our executive committee, CEO & President David Adelson.

I read something this week that really caught my eye and made me pause. A quarter of all hoteliers still currently use pen-and-paper (or manual) methods to manage operations, while nearly 2 in 10 have no structured hotel management system outlined at all, according to a new study by Software Advice.

Although many hotels and brands have begun to embrace technology, mainly to improve relationships with guests, these eye-opening statistics reveal there is still a way to go before hospitality begins to catch up with many other industries.

Here are four ways that the right digital tools can drastically improve an organization’s operations.

Do More with Less

With technology, you can better manage resources to ensure that you’re using what you have to full potential. You’ll be able to monitor guest rooms, inventory and staff more effectively in order to eliminate unnecessary costs.

Increased Productivity and Efficiency

Automating basic processes reduces the need for your management and staff to waste time completing tedious tasks, such as data re-entry, that can be both exhausting and demoralizing. By spending less time on such things, they can instead focus on engaging with your guests and working on projects that will provide greater benefit to your organization.

And by keeping employees feeling fulfilled and satisfied, you actually save money, as losing an employee can cost a business between $10,000 and $30,000.

Reduced Opportunity for Errors

Have you ever had to do something repetitive and accidentally made a mistake because you got distracted or bored? Businesses reportedly lose up to $600 billion each year due to distractions in the workplace. Using digital systems for this kind of work, such as data management, can minimize the number of human errors and reduce time spent on do-overs or corrections.

Get to Know Your Business Better

These days, data is gold, and technology is opening doors when it comes to gaining actionable intelligence about customers and staff. Digital systems can provide a bevy of information instantaneously, using only a fraction of the resources it would have taken in the past to gather the same amount of data.

This information offers a window into learning more about your customers and your operations, and can then applied to make forecasts for your business future and create proactive strategies to respond to these expectations.

As technology becomes more advanced, we’ll see the things it’s able to help us accomplish expand. Hoteliers, make sure you stay aware of what’s available and invest in taking advantage of new innovation to avoid getting left behind.