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

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.

Is Your Hotel Ready for a Guest Experience Upgrade?

4 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Guest Experience Platform for Your Property

The MIT Sloan Management Review said it best, “Doing business digitally isn’t an ‘add technology and stir’ proposition.”  When choosing a hospitality technology platform to streamline your operations and bridge the connection between your guests and staff, it’s important to keep your end goal in mind.

You’ll need to consider where you want to be in several years and select the right tech that will help you future-proof your hotel. Selecting piecemeal one-point solutions at random or because they are the newest thing on the market can negatively impact the overall performance of your tech and become a burden for your IT staff to manage. Choosing and implementing solutions that integrate seamlessly with your existing tech is an essential part of the process.

To help you navigate through the sea of solutions out there, here are some questions to help you through the process:

Does it improve your guest experience and increase guest loyalty?

Your biggest goal, whether you are discussing back-of-house or guest-facing technology, should always be to improve the guest experience. The better the experience, the more likely guests will become loyal to your brand. Customer loyalty equates to an increase in revenue, both due to repeat guests and from guests sharing their positive experiences with their friends and social networks. According to a recent study performed by Brand Keys, a 7 percent increase in loyalty can boost lifetime profits per customer by as much as 85 percent, and a 3 percent increase in loyalty can lead to a 10 percent cost reduction.

Does it help you easily communicate with your guests?

Leverage solutions that streamline your guests’ experience with your property and make it easy for them to contact and communicate with your staff before, during, and after their stay. According to Travelport, 51 percent of travelers expect to communicate via text or messenger. Mobile and in-room technology give guests an easy way to make requests, place orders, make reservations or access information about your property, all without picking up a phone. It’s an elevated level of convenience and an opportunity for staff to manage requests effectively, delivering a better experience overall.

does your guest experience platform need an upgrade?

Can you access data that you can actually use?

Use data to make your staff more efficient and provide better guest service. Using the data generated by your tech platforms, you and your staff can make smarter business decisions, improve overall efficiency, and better manage your workflow and schedules. Use your data to anticipate guest needs, personalize experiences and exceed expectations!

Does it create a complete digital experience?

Your guests are booking online, using rideshares like Uber & Lyft, and getting through the airport with digital boarding passes. You need to give them the same experience when they get to your property. Give them access to check themselves in remotely, open their door using their mobile key, control their in-room environment, and easily stream content from their own Netflix account, all through one end-to-end platform. Not only will your guests consider yours a sophisticated property, but creating this kind of “tech ambiance” will appeal to digital natives and build more brand loyalty.

The right tech platform helps hoteliers to provide consistent, excellent service, which in turn creates brand loyalty amongst your guests. When satisfied customers become loyal and repeat visitors, it can drive increased revenue for your property. Bottom line: Delight your customers, and they will return!

With over 120 integrations across PMS, POS, room controls, locks and content providers, there is no other platform more built for seamless integration and implementation. To find out how to upgrade your guest experience today, Schedule a demo, sign up for our newsletter, or email us at demos@intelity.com.

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

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

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

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

Mobile Check-In

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

Mobile Key

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

Voice

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

In-Room Tablets

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

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

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

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

How to Use Personalization to Increase Guest Loyalty

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

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

Create a Seamless Connection

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

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

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

Understand One Size Does Not Fit All

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

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

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

How Does In-Room Technology Change the Guest Experience

Hospitality can often have several definitions, but one main theme that stays consistent is catering to your guests’ real needs and desires. As technology is becoming more central to guests’ lives, their needs have changed. Hotels that adapt their guest experience to technology the fastest will be able to reap the benefits from this trend.

Here are some ways that in-room technology has changed the guest experience – for good.

Think Uber, For Hotels

8 years ago, no one thought to order a cab with the touch of their phone. Now, with Uber, it’s an expectation. 2 years ago, no one thought to pre-order fast food ahead online. Now, Starbucks. Panera. Chipotle. As the millennial generation has grown up with this technology, they will start to expect hotel services to work the same way.

Good Hospitality Never Goes Out of Style

The best technology makes your guest feel at home – whether that be placing an in-room tablet bedside so they can browse through articles, hotel information, concierge or a voice-activated solution where service is accessible with just a few voice commands. Any of these solutions means instant access to information as well as the replication of on-demand services guests are accustomed to at home.

But, removing the language barrier may be the biggest win in terms of guest comfort. No matter where guests are in the world, they will always feel at home with the ability to automatically change languages in seconds, on the solution that your guest chooses.

in-room technology changing guest experience

Technology Can Change Operations Too

Combine a staff-facing platform and guest-facing platform and you will see true value. When hotels begin to feed in an integrated back-end solution that blends in with the guest-facing solution, those efficiencies clearly show ROI.

Briefly:

  • Streamline guest requests – automated routing and integrations for guest request and order accuracy
  • Rich imagery and upsell options/features driving more sales
  • Reduce printing costs and consolidate in-room information
  • Reduce demand on the front desk and increase guest satisfaction by minimizing the time spent in lines
  • Business intelligence & analytical tools

It’s important to rebuild your operational practices and business model around your customer’s real needs and desires. Guests have changed over the last ten years with the adaption of technology. Have you?

How Can Voice Activated Rooms Improve Guest Satisfaction

Voice-activated hotels can provide a new era of customer satisfaction by saving time for guests and staff, giving guests a personalized experience, and becoming a new amenity that your hotel can market. Here, we break down the voice-activated hotel room and what it can do for your guests.

Saving time for your guests

From tablets to smartphones, people are spending more time in front of screens. The vast majority of Americans, 95 percent, now own a cellphone of some kind (Pew) Nearly 75% of Americans own a desktop or laptop, and 42 percent use voice assistants. (Pew). We can communicate with people on the other side of the world, look up the answer to a question in less than 30 seconds and stream entertainment almost flawlessly. While this is amazing as far as convenience goes, it’s leading to growing impatience in our society. We want things instantly.

A voice-activated hotel room is one way to save your guests the time they value so much.

On average, once a guest reaches their hotel room, they spend the first few minutes adjusting the temperature, figuring out the lighting, fiddling with the shower taps, and playing with the TV.

how voice activated rooms can improve guest satisfaction

In voice-activated hotel rooms, guests can walk in and set everything just the way they want it right away. They can adjust the temperature and turn on the lights, find out the weather for the day just by speaking. This leaves them with more time to enjoy their stay. Couple that with the convenience of not having to figure out a new world of switches, and you’ve got a happy customer.

how voice activated rooms can improve guest satisfaction

Personalization on a whole new level

To truly differentiate a brand, hotels must develop a strong service culture that makes a guest feel special and appreciated, in order for them to come back. With voice-activated hotel rooms, you have a powerful partner in helping them feel more at home in their rooms.

Having Alexas in the room lets hotels personalize the room experience with music, having the ability to request more towels rather than having to call down the front desk.

It’ll make the guests feel more welcome, more comfortable, and more impressed in their rooms. Which means that they’ll feel more like coming back next time they’re in town.

It can drive your hotel above the competition

Like several technologies, voice-activated rooms will probably become the norm way sooner than we may think. But for the now, it’s relatively exclusive — and things that are exclusive have lots of allure. Since they won’t find the feature elsewhere, future guests are going to want to stay in your hotel to experience it. That goes double for the type of guest looking for a luxury stay.

Plus, a good hotel room makes guests feel special and is a huge determinant of whether or not they enjoy their trip. So when they go home and tell everyone about their vacation, they’ll surely tell them about the fantastic hotel they stayed in and how the room was voice-activated. And when it comes to hotel marketing, we all know that a word of mouth review can do more than any digital ad or TV commercial.

how voice activated rooms can improve guest satisfaction

How to Get Your Hotel Guest To Download Your Mobile App

A hotel app has great potential to aid in cultivating satisfied, loyal guests if hotels can figure out how to embrace innovation and prove to guests that the app is designed with their best interest at heart. Features such as direct messaging, mobile check-in, and mobile hotel room key are a step in this direction, but it’s up to hoteliers to become more forward thinking in taking advantage of the opportunity that mobile presents to create a much-needed refreshment in the guest experience.

Once your hotel has determined that you will create a mobile app, and go through the process of developing and fine-tuning it, it’s now time to promote. Below are three INTELITY Hotel Partners who thought outside the box for gaining usage of their mobile app and created excitement for their guests.

Unico Hotel Rivera Maya

Unico created a list to post on their website of 10 things you didn’t know you could do on their app. They personalized it to their hotel’s unique amenities, such as read about the Kimbai art pieces in the lobby, pointing out features within the app including sending a digital posted card to loved ones and even upselling their spa services, such as booking a Volcanic Stone Massage.

Unico was able to highlight the exclusive amenities offered to their hotel while giving their guest a reason to check out the mobile app. As well their homepage also features the app, telling guests to make the most of their stay and to download the UNICO 20°87° Experience app.

Conrad Hotels & Resorts

Conrad Hotels & Resorts looked to use their mobile app Conrad Concierge within the Hilton Honors app to reach guests directly and immediately, without being unobtrusive. They were the first service-enabled hotel brand app made available in 2012 and surpassed 180,000 users in the first two years.

Their main goal was to increase sign-ups for the Hilton Honors loyalty program and provide mobile concierge services to guests. They used access to a suite of mobile features to serve as an incentive to get guests to download the app. To promote the app, they used several marketing techniques so that it would be a consistent message and reminder throughout their guests’ stay.

Conrad created a landing page announcing Conrad Concierge and defining its benefits for hotel guests.

Couples Resorts

Couples Resorts chose to announce the creation of their app along with their partnership with INTELITY in an informative press release. Their app focuses on amplifying the on-property experience to delight guests and provide additional support once they have booked a reservation with one of the brand’s resorts. Press releases often include images, videos and other multimedia which means they were able to convey their message in an interesting way. As well, the press release was distributed to millions of people around the world instantly through email and social media, expanding public knowledge about Couple’s new offering. Through the press release, Couples was able to create a buzz for the soon-to-be-released mobile app.

 

Mobilize the Guest Journey with Messaging

3 compelling reasons to choose Mobile Messaging over other service channels.

Welcome to the next era of customer service. Let’s start by taking a look at these statistics:

  • 97% of Americans use mobile text messaging at least once a day.
  • Texting takes up 14.1% of cell phone users’ time. (Nielsen)
  • 90% of all text messages are read in under 3 minutes. (Connect Mogul)
  • 80% of people are currently using texting for business. (eWeek)
  • One in five consumers is just as likely to prefer a text message from a business to a phone call. (ICMI)

Today’s guests have come to expect personalized service wherever they are, exactly when they want it — and fast. While mobile messaging will not be your only service channel, here are three compelling reasons to choose it over other service channels.

24/7 service – Give Guests the Convenience of Messaging Without Sacrificing Luxury Service

Guests want personal attention, even on a business trip or a short weekend vacation. Mobile messaging lets your guests have the convenience of the technology, without compromising the staff’s standard of luxury. A guest can use their preferred method of communication – like SMS or Facebook Messenger – to connect with the front desk at any time and receive an amazing service experience.

For instance, your guest has checked-in early but would like to play a round of golf before his room is ready. He can text you as he finished up on the golf course so you know he is ready to check in his room.

mobilize the guest journey with messaging

Your Hotel Can Still Have the ‘Human Touch’

Be there for your guests the way a good friend is – with mobile messaging. At the time of check out, let each of your guests know that can have instant access to someone at your hotel with SMS. Your hotel can do this in a variety of ways:

  • At the time of check-in, give the guest a business card along with their room key letting them know the designated number to text. Add a token of personalization by having your hotel staff write the name of the guest at the top of the card.
  • Before the guest checks in, your hotel can send a “pre-arrival checklist” and list the phone number and other ways your guest can contact the hotel before and during their stay.

mobilize the guest journey with messaging -1

Drive service costs down and ROI up

By utilizing text messaging, your hotel can boost agent productivity with a solution that lets staff manage multiple text conversations at once – with all the context and intelligence they need to resolve cases and deliver a luxury customer experience, every time.

For example, your guest sees a light bulb is burnt out in the bathroom. He can simply text a picture of the item and let your staff know of the maintenance issue.

INTELITY’s Messaging solution is a central portal that combines text and messaging platforms into one interface that hotel staff can use to respond to guests in real-time. The Messaging solution, with the help of INTELITY Staff, can be used to open tickets for guests and create a more efficient workflow.

mobilize the guest journey with messaging -2

With INTELITY’s Messaging solution, now any hotel can deliver a connected guest service experience at scale. Messaging allows hotels to adapt quickly and easily to guest’s ever-changing needs, within the award-winning INTELITY Staff platform. Finally, your hotel can deliver an amazing and effortless service experience that fits your brand and bottom line.

Conversational service is here. Stay ahead of today’s guests and start engaging them in the channel and messaging apps they prefer.

6 Marketing Tips to Become a “Social” Hotel

Is your hotel looking to take your social media marketing to the next level? Hotels that consistently connect with their guests via social media have been found to increase awareness of their hotel and build stronger bonds with their guests, leading to a likelihood of higher mobile app adoption rates and long-term success.

In the modern travel industry, there has been a culture of sharing reviews and experiences online. Recently, EyeforTravel found that 70% of travelers update their Facebook with photos and text posts while on vacation. This percentage goes up to 97% for Millennials, according to Internet Marketing Inc.

Personal recommendations, through these shared travel experiences, have become the most trusted form of ‘advertising’, because, at the end of the day, people trust people – not brands, according to research by Neilson.

Hotels can smartly use social media to capitalize on these trends in order to see an increase in bookings, a return in clientele and encourage growth in their hotel.

Here are six social media marketing tips that hotels can start utilizing now:

TAKE TIME TO LISTEN THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

When you consider your marketing strategy and evaluate your choices for addition to technology and new strategies, make sure you have a firm foundation with which to build on. Social media can provide a window into knowing what guests want – and be very useful for improving marketing, operations, and management.

Local Measure, who examined content via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for two months in 2017 looked at 300 hotels were popular places for guests social chatter. Here were the results:

  1. Restaurant/meals – 11,700 posts
  2. Drinks/ The Bar – 6,400 posts
  3. View from the guest room – 4,000 posts
  4. Key room features/condition of the room – 3,000 posts
  5. The pool/swimming – 2,800 posts.

Clearly, dining and bar areas are popular locations to ensure a social media-friendly experience. Enhancing aesthetic features such as backdrops and soft lighting, without sacrificing other parts of the guest experience will lead to overall guest satisfaction and loyalty – and provide the perfect Instagram or Snapchat photo opportunity.

6 Marketing Tips to Become a “Social” Hotel - 1

ENGAGEMENT IS CRITICAL

Engagement is essential for becoming a ‘social’ hotel. By engaging online, hoteliers can offer greater personalization and lead guests toward those incredible customer service experiences that have come to define luxury hotel guest service. Here’s how you can engage socially:

  • If the guest does engage on social media while on property, make them feel extra special by engaging back
  • Use collateral to recommend hashtags for your location then keep your social media team on the ball by looking out for guests that engage with that property
  • Thank guests for any posts and keep an informal friendly tone that is in line with your brand

6 Marketing Tips to Become a “Social” Hotel -2

ASK FOR ONLINE REVIEWS

It is clear that reviews are critical both in influencing guests during their path to purchase and inspiring loyalty for returning guests. Asking people for online reviews and making it easy for them to fill out, will likely increase the opportunities for positive reviews of your property.

INTELITY’s Mobile App and Messaging solutions can serve as a convenient bridge for conversations with hotel guests. An increasing number of guests carry a personal mobile device and are enthusiastic to use their mobile device for active digital engagement with hotel staff.

Specifically, INTELITY’s Mobile App comes with built-in features, such as digital comment cards or the ability to send a push notification or text message which you could use to request guest feedback after they have checked out.

Guest responses can provide insight into their behavior and preferences and can be leveraged to increase overall hotel guest satisfaction and loyalty. This is can be critical for appealing to modern travelers, who place more value on personalized guest experiences.

CATER TO THE ‘EXPERIENCE SEEKING’ GUEST

Guests are becoming “experience seekers.” They are actively looking for something new and different that might be photo or Facebook-worthy. Ask yourself what kind of guest experience you want to provide, then think outside-the-box to come up with strategies and technologies to implement at your hotel.

We admire Conrad Hotels’ desire to continue to be innovative in their approach to content marketing, as well as, a useful service for its guest through the Conrad 1/3/5 campaign. This campaign was built with local travel itineraries for 1-, 3- and 5-hour time frames in destinations from all around the world. For your own private tour, visit StayInspired.com.

Conrad 1/3/5 or the StayInspired campaign has inspired trust in the Conrad brand by becoming an invaluable resource for travelers and guests. As a member of the hospitality field, carefully consider your hotel’s location and what you think will improve or enhance your guests’ experience.

USE SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS TO BOOST YOUR BRAND

One thing that guests are more loyal to than social media itself are the influencers that they subscribe to in their daily lives. Influencer marketing is currently one of the fastest growing customer acquisition methods out there today.

Influencer marketing is a powerful way to connect with larger audiences with the added touch of a trusted voice – which is especially valuable for lifestyle and boutique hotels aiming to define and build their identity. One main factor that needs to be considered in choosing an influencer for your hotel is the influencer’s audience demographic. The audience you want to choose should match both the hotel’s distinct personality and target market.

Influencers don’t always have to be social media celebrities. They can simply be users with a significant following who are representative of your target market, such as a social-savvy corporate traveler. Followers will be more likely to relate to these down-to-earth personalities, which could lead to higher bookings and better social brand loyalty to your hotel.

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Consider a Marketing Strategy that Focuses on Guest-Curated Content

A solid social media strategy should also include more than your hotel’s professionally photographed images. You can amplify a sense of trust in your brand by promoting content created by your guests. Help your guests and potential guests find the things they are interested in, whether it be a local area attraction or event, and show those interested in your hotel that you are the go-to for all things in your area.

Re-share a recent guest’s Instagram photo where they discuss how amazing the hotel decor is, how delicious their complimentary breakfast was, or how they cannot get over how good the view from their hotel room is. Make sure to thank your guest for their lovely comments for that personal touch. When reposting, use direct quotes if possible then tag and give photo credit to the Instagram user. Through social media, consumers are more likely to notice things like guest iPhone photos over professional photography.

Look Ahead: Hotel Technology in 2018

Were you able to keep track of all of the innovations in hospitality technology that have been released over the past year?

If you did, give yourself a round of applause. Last year, there were more announcements regarding hotel technology development than we, here at INTELITY, have witnessed in a very long time.

INTELITY expects the industry to grow leaps and bounds in 2018 for guest engagement technology based on current hotel technology trends. More guests embraced technology in 2017 and they have now come to even expect and demand technology to be an integral part of their travel experiences.

“Today’s guests expect to be able to use their smartphones to do almost everything,” said George Corbin, senior vice president of digital, Marriott International. “They’re more mobile than ever and consider technology to be a central part of their lifestyle.”

Hotels constantly trying to improve their guests’ experience are now putting their money towards tech – by spending as much as 6% on of total revenue on technology, according to Hospitality Technology’s 2017 Lodging Technology Study. We should start to see some amazing technological updates become apart of the norm for guest experience in the coming years.

Here are our 2018 technology bets:

CONNECT | Mobile Messaging

Texting is the most widely and frequently done activity on a smartphone, with 97% of Americans texting at least once a day according to Pew Internet. Hotels are realizing the importance of messaging to build loyalty, increase guest engagement, and enhance the overall guest experience. Hotels now want to be where their guest is – in the palm of their hand.

We see hotels investing more time and resources into messaging guests – via SMS, branded apps or through social media messengers. Over the next few months, we expect to see more hotels offering guests the ability to text or message their staff directly, whether that be through their own proprietary apps, the use of third-party technologies, or through established messaging channels like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

Last year, INTELITY released its Messaging Solution, a unified messaging portal that provides hotels with a way to communicate with their guests through SMS and Facebook Messenger. 

hospitality technology trends - mobile messaging

CONNECT | Mobile Key

Today, a growing number of hotels worldwide are already meeting guests’ expectations and demands using Mobile Key, a solution in the INTELITY Guest platform. Mobile Key works within the Mobile App solution and enables mobile check-in and mobile check-out, and keyless entry functionalities that today’s hoteliers are looking for and today’s guests are asking for.

hospitality technology trends - mobile key

Presented through a mobile app, guests can book a hotel, skip traditional front-desk check-in by checking-in remotely, and use the Bluetooth capabilities of their smartphone to unlock their hotel room door. 3 out of 4 consumers surveyed in the 2017 Customer Engagement Technology Study say they would like to use innovative and new technologies to interact with hotels and that it would positively impact their overall experience.

Hoteliers budgeting for a hypermobile, personalized engagement strategy in 2018 will find that Mobile Key equips them with the avenue to meet their guests’ expectations and demands while satisfying their staff needs.

ENGAGE | Voice Request

eMarketer projects that by 2019, there will be 52.8 million smart speaker users in the U.S. As homes become smarter, so will hotels. Hotels will start adopting this technology to allow guests to use voice commands to control room lights, room temperature, submit guest service requests and more. Many hotels are already taking the leap to include this technology in rooms: According to Bloomberg, Marriott International is testing iPads running Apple’s Siri and Amazon Echo’s in its Aloft hotel in Boston; Wynn Las Vegas plans to outfit more than 4,700 rooms with Amazon’s, artificially intelligent, voice-activated assistant, Alexa.

hospitality technology trends - voice technology

SERVICE | Enhanced Staff Software

Technology can play a huge part in maintaining a higher level of organization and accountability. The benefits of using software to help hotel staff run the hotel will become a huge asset in maintaining a seamless guest experience. By using INTELITY’s mobile version of INTELITY Staff, hotels can increase efficiency and improve their ability to track and deliver services to guest anywhere on their property, as well as, allowing guests to make requests that go directly to the appropriate department and staff member. Technology will become so standard that we wonder how hotels survived before.

hospitality technology trends - mobile staff software

It’s safe to say all these technologies will take the travel experience to a new level and give excitement to guests, driving loyalty, repeat business, and increased revenue.