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.

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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.

Crafting a Smart Guest Experience with Hospitality Technology

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

What Does a Smart Guest Experience Look Like?

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

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

How do You Create a Smart Guest Experience?

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

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

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

Implementing a Smart Guest Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mobile Check-In

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

Mobile Key

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

Voice

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

In-Room Tablets

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

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

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

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

Develop the Best Hotel App for You & Your Guests

How can you create a mobile hotel app that meets all your needs?

So you’ve finally decided to take that big step. You’ve decided to proceed with developing a mobile hotel app for your hospitality brand or group in order to take advantage of the many benefits of mobile guest engagement.

The next step is determining how to ensure that you’re going to develop the best hotel app for your organization and your guests. Here are some tips to help you create the best mobile app for a hotel or hospitality business.

Choose the Right Hotel App Developer

It’s hard to stress enough how much the right partner can make a difference in the process of developing a hotel app. If there was a book titled “How to Develop a Hotel App,” this point would probably be chapter one.

Most hoteliers are not app developers and have limited knowledge of the requirements. Therefore, it’s important to surround yourself with experts who know what they’re doing, and who have hopefully gone through the steps before.

Developing a mobile app for hospitality can be entirely different than creating an app for any other industry. Find a third-party hotel app developer or build an internal team that can address your specific needs and answer your questions to give you the confidence you need that you’re creating the best hotel app possible.

Get Input from Multiple Departments

To make the best mobile hotel app, you’ve got to involve the whole team: Sales & Marketing, Hotel IT, Operations, etc. The best hotel apps serve multiple purposes for every aspect of a hospitality business. You aren’t investing money in hospitality app development to end up with something that will just sit in the app stores with your logo on it.

Set meetings to discuss the app development in advance and to gather feedback, set goals and define roles. Who will be responsible for managing what aspects of the development process? For example, who will gather all of the images necessary? Who will upload digital menu content? Who will proofread the copy?

Being extremely organized and getting all hands on deck is a major part of ensuring maximum engagement with all members of hotel management and staff.

Give Yourself Room to Grow

You’ve read all the latest hospitality technology trend headlines, and you want it all. Despite the stars in your eyes, you need to think logically about the scope of the project, your immediate needs, your timeline, and your resources. Have an honest conversation with the team developing your hotel app and get the details on these points.

Oftentimes, a lot more effort goes into certain hotel app features than you would expect. Hotel system integrations are required for specific functionality, such as hotel mobile key to allow guests to use smartphones to open hotel room doors, and these can be time-consuming because of the necessity to coordinate activity between multiple third-party hospitality technology vendors.

Also, keep in mind that your own internal team will be responsible for providing much of the content for the app because they’ll know best what the app should say and which visuals should be used. You will have to manage the entire app development process because no one knows what you want better than you do.

Make sure that even if you’re not going to launch your mobile hospitality app with every single bell and whistle you’ve fantasized about, you’ll be able to scale up as time goes on. You want an app that you can update and expand in the future as you come to learn and understand mobile technology for hotels more completely.

Think Dollar Signs

Mobile hotel apps can be a great source of additional revenue. Generating revenue through hotel technology is of great interest to most hoteliers, and it’s obvious you’d like to think you’ll be able to generate ROI from a hotel app.

But just how do you generate revenue through a hotel app?

There are numerous ways actually, and you have to decide which are best for your hospitality business.

Allowing mobile hotel reservation booking is a primary way to increase revenue with a hotel app. InterContinental Hotels reported increases in mobile room bookings of 1000 percent following the launch of the hotel brand app. Other possible tactics include:

  • Direct marketing and advertising via mobile
  • Allowing mobile in-room dining orders
  • Enabling reservation booking at spas and restaurants

To learn more about how you can create the best mobile app for your hotel, contact us to schedule a demo with a member of our team.

Mobile Hotel App vs. Mobile Web: A Hospitality Industry Debate

Is a Mobile Hotel App or Mobile Website More Beneficial for Hotel Marketing and Guest Engagement?

One of the most crucial responsibilities for a marketing team is to invest in hotel websites and ensure that sites are mobile optimized. More recently, hotel marketers have also had to consider the importance of a hotel’s mobile app. With a set marketing budget, how is it determined where the emphasis should be in today’s digital landscape? This can be a difficult call to make with technology and user behavior both changing so fast.

The main point that resonates with marketers about creating an optimized and responsive website can be simply summarized. A website should serve as the hardest working sales and marketing employee. It works 24/7 to address the questions that prospects and clients have about a brand. This lends significant value to this channel, with potential for major return on investment.

The discussion about whether to create an app for a hotel or brand is a bit more complex. “Because guests want one” does not seem to be a compelling enough answer for such an investment. So as a marketing professional, if given a choice, why would one invest in a mobile app vs. relying solely on a mobile-optimized website?

FLEXIBILITY

One reason is for flexibility, which is essentially giving guests what they want. Guests are on their smartphones and by offering features such as mobile check-in, check-out, in-room dining orders, direct staff messaging, mobile key room entry, and more innovative mobile capabilities, the guest experience can be elevated. These also work together to increase staff efficiency and opportunity for revenue.

LOYALTY

For hospitality brands, there is also a unique opportunity to encourage hotel loyalty program member acquisition. Eleanor Powers, insight director at business intelligence firm L2, said, “Some brands are promoting features such as keyless room entry through their loyalty programs, requiring guests to become loyalty members in order to access.”

ENGAGEMENT

What appeals to both small and larger brands collectively is customer stickiness. More and more, mobile hotel apps are being used to facilitate communication and service between customers and brands, and now “[mobile users’] engagement with brands is likewise migrating to apps, with 68% of mobile users engaging with brands via apps,” per a post by Fliplet.

Having a guest engage through a brand or hotel app can extend the experience they are able to have while physically on the property, also providing a fun new opportunity for marketers and hoteliers to interact through a new direct, digital channel.

In addition, it’s been stated that “apps running reliably on devices are reported to lead to increases in productivity of between 20% and 40%, creating extra time that can be used to generate additional business and revenue. Apps are also extremely effective at handling and manipulating complex data, producing charts and reports. Mobile sites, on the other hand, are generally slower to load and harder to optimize, particularly when it comes to complex data, which can inhibit productivity and make workflows slower.”

To learn more about Intelity’s solutions for both web and mobile to improve guest satisfaction and increase hotel revenue opportunities, take a look at our suite of guest-facing solutions.

3 Reasons To Download New Hotel Tech App by INTELITY

Our team is excited to be attending HITEC for another year, and this year the event is taking place in New Orleans, one of the most soulful cities in the U.S. In preparation for the trade show, we’ve unveiled a new hotel app, but this one is especially for hoteliers and those interested in hotel technology. Here are 3 reasons to add this app to your smartphone before you head to New Orleans on June 20.

Regular Updates on Hotel Guest Technology News

There are a ton of news updates and announcements coming out right now. This app will provide some of the highlights for your convenience, all in one location. Stay informed about our newest products and features such as Mobile Key, which you can also try out with your own smartphone in our booth by downloading this App.

Mix Business and Pleasure in New Orleans

HITEC isn’t just about demos and business meetings. It’s a great opportunity to stop by various social events, such as the annual party thrown by Samsung. We’ll announce some of the top social events so you can add them to your schedule.

You can also do a bit of sightseeing or souvenir shopping throughout New Orleans with our virtual mobile concierge suggestions on the best city attractions. Built-in maps also provide you with directions on how to get from your hotel to the Convention Center, the airport, or other locations, such as restaurants.

Speaking of restaurants, we’ve partnered with a number of local restaurants to provide our App users with exclusive discounts. By showing the app at any of these partners, you’ll receive a discount on your meal.

Daily Giveaways (And Not Just Regular Tchotchkes)

We’re giving out more than just pens and flash drives in our booth this year. You could leave with a number of cool prizes, co-sponsored by our partners, Guestware and ASSA ABLOY Hospitality. We’ll be sending some lucky HITEC attendees home with a GoPro video camera, Samsung touchscreen tablet, or a cruise getaway.

Download new Hotel Tech App to register today, and you’ll get an extra entry in this drawing if you bring a business card to our booth, #1345, from June 21-23 during exhibition hours.

For more information on our app, schedule a one-on-one meeting with a member of our team to learn more about our innovative solutions to enhance your guest service and engagement.