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 experience technology

The Future of Hospitality: Giving Guests Control Over Their Stay

How the tech-forward brand, YOTEL, is crafting a first-class guest experience

Lodging Leaders recently published a podcast showcasing the innovative YOTEL brand, its ambitious plans to grow and scale, and its tech-forward approach to guest service. The podcast features YOTEL CEO Hubert Viriot and INTELITY Chief Technology Officer Christoper Grey, who weighed in on INTELITY’s partnership with the brand and how YOTEL is leading the future of tech in the hospitality sector. Here’s a quick recap…

In April, INTELITY and YOTEL announced that they’d partnered to develop and launch a custom brand app for YOTEL’s expansive portfolio of properties. This next-generation app, scheduled to launch early 2020, is designed to give guests complete control over their experience with the brand- before, during, and after their stay. “We want customers to download the app, retrieve their reservation, decide when they want to check-in and check-out, download their [mobile] keys, control in-room amenities…control their entire stay through their own smartphone,” said YOTEL CEO Hubert Viriot.

“YOTEL is one of my favorite customers as a technologist because they’re extremely tech-forward,” said Christopher Grey INTELITY CTO. “That [tech-forward thinking] gives us a lot of latitudes as we work together as partners for ways that we can use technology to better the guest experience.”

Technology is at the center of YOTEL. The hotel brand was one of the first to introduce free broadband internet across its properties and an early adopter of kiosk check-in. Viriot said he has always “considered tech a key element of [the brand’s] DNA and a brand differentiator compared to traditional hotels.”

“That’s one of the reasons YOTEL selected INTELITY and brought us into this engagement,” said Grey. “They know how tech-forward they are and they know they have to meet the needs of their guests… we’re helping them get to their next milestone.” YOTEL continues to look to tech to facilitate and elevate the guest experience as it prepares to launch its new brand app.

The new mobile app will feature mobile check-in and mobile key functionalities, provide guests with a direct digital connection to hotel staff, allow guests to place dining orders and control room environment, and give guests access to information about the hotel and surrounding area.

By automating aspects of the check-in process and providing immediately accessible information about the hotel, local area, and, in some cases, the airport, the mobile app streamlines operations so that staff can spend less time focused on tedious tasks and more time elevating guest service. As Lodging Leaders’ founder and host, Jonathan Albano pointed out, “The ultimate goal [of the app] is to give guests control of their stay and give YOTEL employees the opportunity to focus on guest service. The interaction between YOTEL crew members and the customers should be less transactional and more social.”

As the brand prepares to launch the app, they’re focused on training their staff to use and leverage the new tech to enhance the guest experience and improve satisfaction. Grey emphasizes the importance of staff understanding and adopting the tech, “It’s not good enough just to have the technology if the staff doesn’t know how to use it or if they use it poorly…If you don’t have staff adoption and your guests are trying to use it, then that creates a nightmare for everybody.”

How YOTEL is Driving the Future of Hospitality with Mobile App

An example that Grey called out is the free form chat function, which will exist in YOTEL’s new brand app. “Modern guests don’t want to fill out a specific request. They just want to open a chat window and say ‘I need more towels’…and that message has to go somewhere…somebody has to see the message, they have to be able to respond to it, track it, and be alerted if it hasn’t been addressed in a certain amount of time. Those are all the staff concerns from the other side of the equation that the INTELITY platform does a great job in handling.”

By properly training staff to optimize their tech, streamlining processes through automation, and placing the guests in complete control of their stay, YOTEL is pushing hospitality into the future.

To stay up to date with the latest industry news and for more information on INTELITY, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter. To listen to the full podcast, please visit the Lodging Leaders website.

“Alexa, Connect Me to My Guests.”

Why Hoteliers Should Be Using Voice Technology to Engage Their Guests

Imagine going on vacation and having a personal assistant at your beck and call. With the rising adoption of voice technology in America, where usage among adults increased from 43 percent in 2017 to 53 percent in 2018, this is becoming more and more possible.

The hospitality industry is gradually adopting voice technology, too. Virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa have crossed over to the hotel business, making guest rooms smarter and more advanced than ever. But aside from the futuristic feel of the technology, perhaps its biggest benefit is enhancing the customer experience by offering hands-free assistance and personalization.

Hands-free assistance
When asked what they would like voice assistants to be capable of, guests’ top response was adjusting in-room settings and climate. Voice-activated hotel rooms can give your guests the ability to adjust room temperature, lighting, and ambiance to their liking through simple commands. This feature is already made available by Alexa and streamlines your guests’ experience in their guest room.

Unlike doing a manual web search, voice assistants also provide instant answers. For example, a quick voice search can give guests information about the local area or recommendations for dining options. What this does is provide a better travel experience, which guests can easily attribute to their hotel stay.

Personalization
According to MarTech Today, 81% of consumers “want brands to understand them better.” In other words, there is a need for personalization when thinking about customer experience as a whole. Voice technology naturally adds a level of personalization that doesn’t exist with other virtual tools, because requests are spoken rather than input into a device. This extra layer of personalization, combined with voice technology’s ease of use, leads to greater guest engagement and higher levels of satisfaction.

Personalization makes consumers feel special and more importantly, increases their brand loyalty. Moreover, voice technology can tailor the guest experience specifically to your guests’ needs. If they leave happy and are well taken care of, there’s a higher chance your guests will return and recommend the hotel to their friends, family and work colleagues.

To learn more about how voice technology can improve guest engagement at your property, schedule a demo with the experts at INTELITY.