A New Update on COVID-19

A Blog by INTELITY

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

Guest Experience

3 Digital Guest Communication Strategies to Implement when Practicing Social Distancing

There’s no way around it – the hotel industry, and the travel sector in general, are facing unprecedented times. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has effectively halted both business and leisure travel, dramatically reducing occupancy rates around the world.

At INTELITY, we understand the vital role that hospitality technology plays in increasing guest satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, this same technology can be used to open up multiple communication channels between guests and staff at a time when social distancing is becoming the new normal. Effective digital guest communication is especially important in light of current events — not only will it allow properties to best ensure the safety of guests and staff while providing timely updates regarding an ever-changing situation, but it also provides opportunities for hoteliers to mitigate the long-term effects of the outbreak on the bottom line.

Strategy 1: Pre-Arrival Communications

Hotels that are still operating during the outbreak should implement clear communication plans for inbound guests. By sending a pre-arrival email to guests, hotels can ensure guest safety by clearly communicating the actionable steps being taken in public spaces and guest rooms to minimize the potential of viral transmission, including detailed cleaning protocols, hand sanitizer locations, staff health guidelines, and dining service changes.

Additionally, the pre-arrival email can be used to communicate any updates to cancellation/rescheduling policies. Guests’ travel plans are no doubt being severely impacted, and proactively messaging these policies can help assuage guest concerns while also reducing inbound call volume.

Finally, properties that offer mobile check-in can use the pre-arrival email as an opportunity to link to their guest mobile app. Mobile check-in technology allows guests to skip the front desk upon arrival and go straight to their rooms using a mobile key, which takes on even greater importance in the context of social distancing.

Strategy 2: Leveraging In-Room Tablets

In-room tablets provide another digital communication touchpoint between guests and staff. Guests can use tablets to submit service requests, order in-room dining, access property information, consume entertainment content, and much more. By allowing guests to communicate their needs through a tablet rather than a face-to-face interaction, potential transmission touchpoints can be reduced without a loss in service quality or timeliness.

In-room tablets can also be used to push personalized offers and promotions to guests. Given that guests may feel uncomfortable or unable to dine in on-property restaurants, offering a “virtual” happy hour or similar offer may still allow the property to capture lost revenue in a safe, guest-centered way.

Of course, tablets can also be a channel for sharing critical information around safety precautions, local updates, and more. The ability to manage tablet displays through a centralized content management system ensures that guests can receive relevant updates in real time.

Strategy 3: SMS Messaging

Increasingly, hoteliers are implementing SMS messaging into their guest messaging strategies. Similarly to tablets, SMS messaging can be used as a frictionless way for guests to request services, dining, and more, using a platform they are already familiar with. SMS messaging platforms are often scalable and can be either deployed to an entire database or be individualized to the guest, adding an extra layer of personalization to the interaction without putting guests or staff at risk. It also provides for timely two-way communication, which is critical in a fast-developing health situation.

By opening up a widely-used two-way communication channel, SMS messaging further empowers guests to do their part in ensuring public health safety. Guests who aren’t feeling well or who may otherwise require health assistance can communicate as such without needing to leave their rooms or potentially infecting guest room phones, minimizing transmission opportunities.

The hospitality industry has already been shifting to a more digitally-connected experience, and the coronavirus outbreak will likely accelerate the adoption pace for hoteliers looking to implement more robust multi-channel communication strategies. To learn more how to implement digital guest communication tools and best practices, schedule a demo with the INTELITY team today.

Using the Right Technology to Connect Casino Hotel Guests to the Gaming Floor

By Benjamin Keller, INTELITY Senior Vice President of Sales, West

As travelers become more reliant on mobile technology, it is increasingly important to make sure the right tools are in place for staff to effectively connect with guests before, during, and after their stay. Enhancing your operations with the right technology options not only improves the way that guests experience the property overall, but it also introduces opportunities to make the check-in process more efficient, allow staff to better respond to guest requests, and entice guests to the casino floor with special offers and promotions.

Today’s core customers are 45 to 75 years old, and are increasingly using their mobile devices to play online casino games, check their point balances, “card in,” and even connect to their favorite gaming machines on the floor. Because these customers are already familiar with mobile technology in the casino context, introducing hospitality functionality into the mobile experience can be a welcome addition for a more seamless connection. Casinos are unique in that many customers return to “stay and play.”

“Stay and play” guests represent the perfect use case for implementing advanced technology into hotel operations. As repeat guests become familiar with having access to the freedom mobile technology offers, they will show preference to properties offering mobile solutions. It goes without saying that guests who stay at a casino resort are often very interested in spending time gaming, so by streamlining the check-in process with mobile check-in, management teams not only reduce long check-in lines and front desk friction but can also increase the amount of time their guests spend on the casino floor.

As a result, casino-resorts often have a high rate of mobile check-in. For example, INTELITY customer Angel of the Winds Casino Resort has seen a high percentage of its guests checking in on their smartphones using the hotel’s guest app.

Angel of the Winds Assistant General Manager Jeff Wheatley said that incorporating the INTELITY platform throughout their property has helped them create a seamless, highly-connected guest experience. “It’s important that casino-hotels provide guests with a friction-free experience that allows them to move effortlessly between their hotel room and the casino floor. Incorporating INTELITY’s hospitality platform has helped us create this connection. We’ve seen our guests, especially the repeat visitors, quickly adapt to using our mobile guest app and mobile key solutions to expedite the check-in and check-out process and access their rooms.”

INTELITY’s mobile and in-room platform components can easily be integrated with existing loyalty programs and used to streamline a casino resort’s entire guest experience. In addition to providing guests with a digital connection to staff, mobile apps and in-room technology can also be used by management teams to serve guests customized, targeted offers and promotions that encourage them to visit the casino floor or engage further with the property.

The INTELITY platform includes in-room tablets and customizable mobile apps containing robust guest-facing functionality, as well as a back-office dashboard that enables casinos to capture detailed performance data and streamline staff operations. In addition, the INTELITY solution integrates with over 150 software and hardware systems, including PMS, POS, in-room controls, spa management, and loyalty programs. INTELITY is in use by major casino properties, including Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Angel of the Winds Casino Resort, and more.

Benjamin Keller and his team will be present at NIGA 2020. To schedule a time to meet with him at NIGA, click here to schedule a meeting or visit us at booth #806 during the tradeshow.

Using Technology to Increase Guest Satisfaction and Loyalty

Hospitality technology solutions are playing an increasing role in improving guest satisfaction, and subsequently, guest loyalty. Investing in experience and management technologies is an effective way of providing an exceptional experience before, during, and after a guest arrives at their destination. By improving guest satisfaction and loyalty, technology also plays a critical role in driving optimized profitability by reducing acquisition costs and increasing repeat bookings.

Pre-Arrival: Stand Out from the Competition

Before booking a reservation with your property, many prospective guests are evaluating where to stay based on the available technology. According to Software Advice and their research on guest preferences, “A combined 60 percent of respondents are ‘more likely’ to choose a hotel that allows guests to check in and open doors with a smartphone than a hotel that doesn’t.” That number is a clear indicator that offering technology solutions can set you apart from the competition before guests even arrive.

On Property: Personalize the Guest Experience

Once guests arrive, technology remains important for creating a positive experience and developing that coveted loyalty. According to Comcast Business, “Technology is a critical component in delivering exceptional guest experiences in hotels, conference centers, and other hospitality locations.” With an understanding of your guests’ preferences, such as desired room temperature and extra towel requests, offering personalized touches not only streamlines hotel operations, but also creates a unique and valuable stay for guests.

Providing a personalized experience with technology extends to hotel offerings. With custom messaging through in-room tablets and mobile apps, guests can receive targeted messages to encourage further participation in individualized options, both on and off property. These might include a night out at a restaurant for guests who indicated they are celebrating a special occasion or a discount on spa services for guests who reserved their rooms as part of a wedding block. Guests aren’t receiving an impersonal email after they’ve checked out; they’re receiving real-time invitations that are relevant to their stated preferences. This personalization leads to a better guest experience as well as an increase in topline revenue.

According to data from Gallup research, the most significant prediction of organic growth is customer engagement, defined as an emotional connection with your brand. Staying somewhere for a night and only interacting upon check-in is a vastly different experience than a number of positive interactions throughout a stay. According to a Gallup Poll, “Guests who are fully engaged spend 46 percent more per year than actively disengaged guests and represent an average 23 percent premium in terms of share of wallet and revenue compared to an average customer.”

Post-Stay: Keep Connected to Your Guests

A guest’s impression of their stay is not solely determined by on-property interactions. How and when you choose to communicate with a guest after they’ve left your property can also have an impact on their likelihood of returning. With loyalty-related bookings making up more than 50 percent of all bookings for the first time in 2019, staying engaged with guests is critical for acquiring bookings at the lowest cost.

If your property has a guest-facing mobile app, you have a direct line of communication to guests even when they’re not on your property. By sending timely promotions and offers, you can ensure that your property is top-of-mind for guests over your competition while creating relevant value for your audience.

Technology is a deciding factor for where guests stay as well as an effective driver for engagement and revenue, which means hoteliers cannot afford to limit the solutions they offer. Investments made in technology will continue to pay dividends in guest experience, loyalty, and the bottom line.

To learn more about the INTELITY platform and our client results, contact INTELITY to schedule a demo with our team.

From Boutiques to Big Brands: How to Make Smart Choices When Investing in Hospitality Technology

3 Key Factors to Keep in Mind When Making Your Next Tech Investment

According to the latest report from Hospitality Technology, 54% of hoteliers are planning to increase their technology budgets this year. Whether you’re responsible for managing a single boutique hotel or a large chain of branded properties, it is impossible to ignore the increasing role technology is playing in the hospitality space. From seamless mobile check-in offerings to digital access to services, amenities and hotel staff, it’s easy to see why guests find increased value from tech-enabled interactions. Meeting expectations in this area is often rewarded with higher guest satisfaction and loyalty.

While the advantages of offering a digital-first hospitality experience are clear, it can be difficult to navigate the sea of options on the market. Here are just a few strategies you can apply when looking to make smart choices that optimize your return on investment.

Look for Ease of Use

If you’re deciding which investments to make next, consider the importance of selecting a known platform that will make implementation a breeze. In a recent survey, 1 in 4 small independent hotels cited complexity as the biggest challenge for adopting new technology, and 1 in 3 indicated ease of use as the priority when choosing what tech to purchase. Regardless of the hotel or chain size, investing in any upgrades only to have them fall flat during implementation can be frustrating.

Embrace Mobile Technology 

Cost is also a key factor in making coveted technology upgrades, but there’s good news for hotels of all sizes. According to Scotland-based hospitality firm Criton, guests’ mobile devices are “recognized as an essential tool for delivering and improving their travel experience.” More than 60% of respondents report using a hotel’s app, and 74% state they would use this option if their favorite hotel offered it.

“Increasingly, today’s travelers are downloading apps that help them get around and stay connected with their hotel,” Criton founder/CEO Julie Grieve said in a statement. “That level of tech awareness or even dependency also raises expectations for information, guest services such as check-in, digital key and offers and incentives to reward their loyalty.”

Hold Out for a Multi-Point Platform

While it may be tempting to select the most popular one-point solutions and try to fit them all together, you could be setting yourself up for a tech stack nightmare. To ensure technology investments are worth their space in the budget, start with a platform that offers comprehensive solutions and exceptional support. Complexity doesn’t have to be an issue, and ease of use should be the expectation. Both components will lead to greater adoption and ultimately, value.

To keep initial costs down, consider the possibility of using guest’s smartphones with a branded hotel app. Not only does research show the devices are readily available, but it also confirms guests are interested in the option. A branded app can provide a lower entry point financially while engaging guests and increasing loyalty. With the branded app solution, you’re also reaching guests long after they’re gone, increasing the opportunities for a repeat stay.

To learn more about the INTELITY platform and how a branded app can benefit your property, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter or schedule a demo with our team.

The Mobile Connection Your Guests Crave

How to Implement Mobile Technology to Improve Guest Experience, Optimize Business Operations, and Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

Technology continues to play a crucial role in meeting the expectations of mobile-first travelers. According to a recent study conducted by American Express and Ebiquity, the top three expectations from travelers are:

  1. Excellent service
  2. Timely delivery of that service
  3. Personalized connections and experiences

These areas of focus should be top priorities for hotel operators of all sizes and scope looking to stay ahead of the competition.

Mobile technology is often used to deliver upgraded service offerings, including mobile check-in, mobile key, and in-app messaging, but investing in those solutions can be costly and not all solutions are created equally. Improving the guest experience remains a balancing act with real-world budget constraints. Before implementing a mobile solution at your property, it’s essential to consider its capabilities to determine if the investment is worthwhile. This not only includes expected improvements to the guest experience but also to business operations.

Streamlined Processes

With over 92% of guests carrying a smartphone (and 40% with an existing hotel app installed), implementing solutions such as mobile check-in, mobile key, and messaging through a branded mobile app just makes sense. Mobile apps not only better connect your guests to your property, but they also streamline daily workflows for your staff. Completing mundane tasks like finding reservations and distributing room keys does not necessarily elevate or enhance the guest experience, but quality social interactions between hotel staff and guests do. The right tech allows hotel operators to automate repetitive tasks, which lets staff focus on providing guests with more personalized attention and assistance. This streamlined model continues past check-in for requests such as in-room dining, extra towels, or reservations at the spa.

Increased Loyalty

Mobile technology offers guests access to great brand experiences in real-time, which helps increase guest loyalty. A recent Oracle study found that “when it comes to immediate benefits versus accumulating points as part of a loyalty program, 78 percent of guests preferred immediate benefits.” This means an immediate, personalized offer will engage guests and drive brand loyalty.

Guests today have high expectations for seamless and personalized service. With the right technology, hoteliers can deliver all of that and more, while also gaining workflow efficiencies and driving guest loyalty.

To learn more about the mobile solutions INTELITY offers, sign-up for our bi-weekly newsletter or schedule a demo with a member of our team.

The Importance of International Adaptability

Connecting Hoteliers to Guests at a Global Scale

This article was originally published on Hospitality Technology on November 25, 2019.

The Pew Research Center recently reported that over 5 billion people worldwide now have mobile devices, and many people travel with up to three devices. In addition, the availability of 4G or better cell networks has increased at a global scale with 4G availability at approximately 80 percent across most countries.

The increase in cellular usage and availability has led to the need for the hospitality sector to meet the rising tide of digital-first travelers via the channels they’re most comfortable with—their mobile devices. We have already seen the airline industry adopt this type of mobile technology to great success and the ride-share industry was built using mobile, self-service technology as its foundation. Yet, the hospitality industry has been slow to embrace this technology, which has allowed entry for tech-leading competitors like Airbnb and VRBO.

The modern traveler wants to be able to book their flights to anywhere around the globe, check-in, access their boarding pass, track their luggage, catch a ride from the airport to their hotel, check-in to their room and order room service—all from their phone. The flow of information across international borders, currencies, languages, and even customs should feel seamless and completely natural.

While both airlines and ride-sharing companies have seen considerable success in utilizing mobile technology to the tune of billions of dollars in consumer and shareholder upside, why has the hospitality industry been slow to adopt mobile-first technologies at scale? Cost and ease of use are often key deterrents, along with high turnover rates that require training new staff and implementing new tech into an existing, often complex, tech stack. This list of barriers to entry gets longer when you add international brands and properties into the mix, as they also have to adhere to different regulations (such as GDPR) and various local currencies and taxes. Hospitality tech platforms need to be flexible and able to adapt to the industry’s wide range of needs.

Today’s mobile solutions and cloud-based platforms models make hospitality tech more accessible and affordable, reducing the barriers that hotels have historically faced. Mobile apps provide hotels with an instant connection to guests via the channel they’re already engaged on and create an opportunity to house many functionalities in a single location. Cloud-based platforms tend to be more flexible, customizable, and extremely easy to maintain compared to on-premise systems, which allows properties of all sizes to offer connected services and a guest experience modern travelers expect.

INTELITY offers customizable mobile app solutions designed to accommodate the needs of both smaller boutique properties and large enterprise brands across the globe. Mobile apps cross international borders by giving hoteliers a branded channel where they can connect with their guests before, during, and after their stay. Through INTELITY’s mobile solutions, hoteliers can offer mobile check-in and mobile key functionalities, as well as mobile dining, messaging, and access to existing loyalty programs, booking engines and more.

In addition to customizable enterprise mobile apps, the INTELITY platform offers cloud-based solutions that provide a seamless digital connection between hotel guests and staff. The solutions are multilingual, supporting all Western and character-based languages, including simplified Chinese, Spanish, French, Hebrew, and more. Guests anywhere can use INTELITY’s solutions to easily order everything from in-room dining to housekeeping requests in their own language. Language support not only makes it easier and more convenient for guests to interact with staff, but it also increases revenue opportunities for the property by leveraging promotional and marketing opportunities in guests’ native languages.

Multiple languages are also offered within the staff-facing solutions of the platform, allowing hotel staff to process guest requests, daily tasks, work orders, and more in the language of their choice. The INTELITY platform also supports local currencies and taxes and offers flexibility within its workflow management tools, giving hoteliers the ability to adapt the platform to their specific operations no matter where they are located.

The INTELITY platform is currently in use on six continents and in over 40 countries. We have gone to great lengths to ensure our platform is flexible and easy to implement into a brand or property’s existing tech stack. INTELITY’s platform currently integrates with more than 120 software and hardware providers, including PMS, POS, ticketing, and spa management systems that are popular in various across the globe.

To learn more about the international adaptability of the INTELITY platform, please visit our website or email demos@intelity.com.

3 Ways Your Hotel Can Benefit from a Mobile App

Given the worldwide increase in smartphone usage, it should come as no surprise that nearly two-thirds of travelers rely on mobile apps during trips. OTAs, rideshare companies, and airlines have embraced this trend and created seamless mobile experiences for travelers. For hotels, offering a mobile app can not only meet travelers’ technology-focused expectations but can also greatly benefit the property and its staff.

Here are three ways in which your hotel, casino, or resort can benefit from offering a mobile app experience to guests:

Streamline the check-in experience

A mobile app can dramatically streamline the check-in process and reduce the amount of time spent at the front desk. Implementing mobile check-in and mobile key solutions into your app not only increases guest satisfaction, but it also reduces front desk friction and frees up time for staff to focus on providing more personalized guest service.

By putting the power of check-in (and check-out) into guests’ hands, hoteliers can manage room inventory more effectively. By allowing guests to initiate the check-in process via their mobile app before stepping foot onto your property, room assignments and availability can be better forecasted to ensure that each guest receives their selected room preference. Inventory can also be updated in real-time as customers check out using your mobile app, allowing for more timely updates compared to physically checking rooms for occupancy.

Perhaps the most immediate benefit of implementing mobile check-in is the cost savings from plastic room key reduction. Given that the life of an average key card is just 2.5 days, digitizing your keys can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Assuming that, on average, a single room uses 292 cards per year (two cards issued per day divided by the 2.5-day lifespan of a card), a single 100-room property could save upwards of $14,600 annually in key card costs alone (assuming a $0.50 cost per card).

Create new guest communication channels

Once your mobile app is downloaded, you have a direct line of communication with your target audience before, during, and after their stay. While the guest is staying at your property, they will be able to submit service requests, receive timely notifications and messages, and submit feedback in real-time. Over 60% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a staff member — a mobile app helps to meet this expectation.

When a guest is able to submit a service request (dining, housekeeping, concierge, etc.) through their mobile app rather than over the phone or in person, a more efficient operational process is enabled. Service requests can be routed directly to the relevant department through your integrated PMS, ensuring that requests are always accurate and timely. In addition, the hotel staff can initiate communication with guests by sending relevant information through the app’s push notification feature. This keeps guests informed and happy, and can create new opportunities for ancillary revenue in the form of property-specific promotions and upselling opportunities.

Enable guest feedback and service recovery

benefits of mobile apps for hotels

One issue plaguing the hospitality industry is a lack of real-time insight into the guest experience. A mobile app allows you to capture this critical feedback by implementing surveys upon the completion of service requests. Capturing feedback from guests before they leave your property provides opportunities for real-time customer satisfaction monitoring as well as instant service recovery by proactively resolving any potential issues.

Through your app, you can also encourage guests to leave reviews on third-party sites and OTAs by sending timely push notifications and easy-to-fill forms. Capturing your audience’s attention upon a positive service experience can both prevent bad reviews and induce positive reviews. 76% of travelers say they would be willing to pay more for a hotel with higher TripAdvisor review scores; improving your third-party reviews allows you to increase your average daily rate (ADR) without sacrificing occupancy.

To learn more about how your property can benefit from introducing a guest-facing mobile app, sign up for INTELITY’s bi-weekly newsletter or contact demos@intelity.com.

Apps for Hotel Management: How to Put the Guest First

This article was originally published on Hotel Tech Report on November 20, 2019.

Guests are increasingly interested in communicating with a hotel before, during, and after their stay via mobile apps for hotel management. They’re seeking an easy avenue to check-in remotely, explore amenities, and learn more about the property and surrounding neighborhood. Hotel apps are one way hotels have successfully met this growing guest expectation.

Intelligently integrating a hotel app within the guest experience allows your property to open a clear line of communication with guests. It’s a platform through which guests can access hotel information such as room services and amenities, check-in remotely, place service requests, book a spa service, and more. Mobile hotel apps increase guest engagement and provide a new channel for upselling ancillary services, ultimately improving the guest experience when deployed correctly.

Mobile app providers like INTELITY are leading the way in providing a thoughtful, tech-enabled guest experience. Here’s what you need to know about guest mobile apps to offer a great experience at your property.

Why use mobile apps for hotel management?

Today’s guest is mobile-first, meaning hotels must find a way to provide five-star service optimized for any device. The ability to book and edit reservations, order room service, learn about amenities and check-in remotely are all features that guests expect to manage through a hotel app. Some hotels have taken it a step further to add features that engage and surprise their guests further.

The core benefits that any hotel app must provide are the ability to increase revenue with ancillary offers; real-time marketing through targeted promotions sent through the app; and the capture of data to build guest loyalty through a tailored experience. Apps like INTELITY can do much more than provide these foundational benefits.

Great hotel apps centralize a guest’s digital experience through streamlined communication and messaging. An app should integrate with your guest messaging service and PMS to provide mobile check-in and facilitate other guest requests. The ability to skip the front desk reduces wait times and lobby traffic by 20%, which makes guests happier and frees up staff. Through INTELITY, guests enjoy easy and convenient access to staff via mobile messaging, and staff are more readily available to assist via the back-end dashboard.

Guest mobile apps reduce barriers between guests and the right on-site teams to resolve any issues as they arise and ensure requests get answered quickly. INTELITY’s guest messaging connects guests directly with operations teams through SMS, as well as in-app messaging services, like Facebook Messenger. All messages get routed through the INTELITY platform to make sure there are no missed connections. Whether it’s a request for late checkout, room service, or for extra towels, an app should be able to route these communications to the right team within your property.

And, most compellingly, the right hotel app can unlock new ways to increase guest spend. Send relevant offers through the app to capitalize on guest preferences. A great example is the James Hotels app, James Pocket Assistant. The app helps guests discover and access amenities and special offers on-site. Menus and other content are updated quickly depending on what’s happening at the hotel and guest preferences.

The changing market of hotel apps

This year, the hotel app market saw three big changes: the growth of internet of things hospitality, more personalization, and the introduction of artificial intelligence in the app experience.
IoT has taken the tech world by storm, and hotel apps are not exempt, Mobile apps now allow guests to customize their in-room experience. Lucy, the smartphone app of Virgin Hotels, has multiple features that allow guests to interact with the room. Lucy gives guests the power to adjust the room temperature, stream personal content to their room’s TV, and turn their smartphone into a remote.

Personalization options continue with the ability to map data across multiple guest touchpoints. Hotel apps can utilize smart learning mechanisms to personalize guests’ needs throughout their stay.

It’s important that any hotel app platform you decide to implement has an easy to use content management system so that you can make regular updates without contacting your vendor.  INTELITY’s content management solution, for example, enables your team to update availability across food and beverage operations on-the-fly. Management can sync changes immediately across all channels: web app, in-room tablet, and mobile app, as well as send through discounts and promos in real-time.

And, lastly, artificial intelligence will be able to dissect and analyze guest interactions, behaviors, context and language to intelligently respond and provide a more personalized method of communication. Voice activation has become more common in consumer’s homes, and hotel rooms are likely to follow suit. Voice technology offers access to instant information about your hotel and the surrounding area, as well as answers to common questions that create a backlog at the front desk.

Next year, we predict more apps to enter the market, making it vital that hotel owners consider how their app will add unique value to the guest experience. The market will consolidate, as we’ve already seen with major players like Aimbridge and Interstate merging. And, the use of mobile keys will continue to drive app adoption – Hilton guests downloaded 7.6 million mobile keys through the app in 2018.

What should hoteliers look for in an app vendor?

An app needs to provide a holistic experience at the guest’s fingertips. Here are some of the key features your app must include:

  • Mobile check-in: offer a frictionless way to skip the front desk while driving more revenue.
  • Mobile key: keyless entry leads to an average increase of 7% in guest satisfaction scores.
  • Guest messaging: SMS, Facebook Messenger, or and in-app messages to connect guests directly with your staff
  • Room service ordering: automate service request delivery, track order status, track request fulfillment time, and generate data
  • Loyalty program integrations: encourage increased engagement within your app between stays
  • Local services and content: recommend local services and POIs to market your location and help guests maximize their stay
  • Requests and ticket management: guests can make bookings with the concierge, arrange transportation or request more towels right from your hotel app
  • Room automation: control the lights, TV, AC and drapes right from your phone

Broadly, your app must integrate with your PMS, IoT provider, and service optimization software. Your property management system should be equipped relay guest info to and from the app easily and allow for guests to check-in from their phone. Integrate the app capabilities with in-room technology to control features (lights, thermostat, etc.). And make sure you control traffic with a service optimization provider that can communicate guest requests efficiently and seamlessly to your staff.

Questions to ask hotel app providers

There are more app vendors entering the market each day. Learn more about what each provider offers and make sure they can answer these three questions:

  1. Do you build that can integrate with my hotel brand app? Hotel brands need access to a complete SDK to make app functionality live within their branded app.
  2. Does your app include mobile key? Mobile key is one of the most in-demand features of a hotel app. Make sure the app integrates with many industry-wide lock vendors and hardware partners to provide a seamless experience.
  3. Does your app integrate with my existing loyalty program? Integrate your loyalty program to drive higher ROI by encouraging loyalty members to download the application. Serve more targeted offerings to increase revenue uptake and remove friction between guests and their desired on-property services.

Find out what other hoteliers are saying about mobile apps and learn more about pricing in Hotel Tech Report’s 2020 Hotel App Buyers Guide.

HX 2019 Recap: The Technology That Leads to an Excellent Guest Experience and Yields Return of Time

While at The Hotel Experience Expo in New York City, INTELITY CEO Robert Stevenson participated in a panel on “Measuring Funding and ROI of Your Technology Investment” alongside ALICE President & Co-Founder Alex Shashou, and Expedia Senior Director of Market Management Deb Surden. Moderated by AAHOA Secretary Neal Patel, the panel focused on how technology has transformed the hospitality industry and the all-important question of how to measure the ROI of tech investments.

The Impact of Tech in Hospitality 

The general consensus amongst the panelists is that without a doubt, over the past few years, technology has transformed the hospitality industry and the travel industry as a whole. All the panelists agreed that hospitality technology has helped even the playing field between branded and unbranded properties and that the focus of tech, from both the guest and staff perspective, is to deliver a great guest experience. Shashou noted that the value prop of a hotel is to provide great service to its guests and that is best achieved through the proper implementation and optimized use of technology.

Put Your Guests in Control of Their Stay

Shashou and Surden both pointed out that technology has empowered people to own their travel experiences and has placed the modern traveler in complete control of managing their trip. Stevenson added that guests expect this same experience when staying at a hotel. This expectation has increased the demand for self-service solutions, like mobile check-in and mobile key, that allow guests to bypass the front desk and better manage their experience with a hotel property or brand.

Personalized Experiences are Key

The panelists also discussed the increase in the adoption of guest experience tech, like mobile apps and in-room tablets. Surden pointed out that modern guests want a personalized guest room experience, which guest-facing technology helps provide. Shashou added that in-room tablets and other forms of guest experience tech should be the standard at four and five-star properties, a reversal on past statements where he indicated guest-facing tech was not worth the investment. Stevenson also noted that guest experience technology is increasingly adaptable and can help support staff and back-office software by automating and expediting tasks and guest requests.

Tech Should Augment Staff, Not Replace Them

The biggest takeaway from the panel is that hospitality tech is not meant to replace hotel staff, but rather optimize their performance by taking over mundane and monotonous tasks. Using technology to automate various tasks and maximize response time frees up staff time, so they can focus more on creating social interactions with guests rather than transactional ones. In turn, these social interactions are more valuable to the guest and help elevate their experience at a property.

The Gift of Time

The return of time is the most valuable return on investment that technology provides. By optimizing operational flows and streamlining guest and staff interactions, technology gives time back to both staff and guests. This means team members can oversee and manage processes rather than complete each individual task themselves, therefore becoming exponentially more efficient. It also means hotel staff is empowered to focus on creating more quality interactions with guests, investing in further training, or supporting fellow team members. Freeing up time for guests leads to a better overall experience and a higher rate of guest satisfaction.

Do you want to learn more about how you can enhance your guest experience with hospitality technology? Subscribe to INTELITY’s bi-weekly newsletter for industry updates or schedule a demo with a member of our team.

Using Retail Psychology in Hospitality to Increase Revenue and Delight Your Guests

How Hoteliers Can Leverage Technology to Drive Incremental Revenue 

If you’re reading this, chances are you have a calendar of upcoming events and happenings that you’re juggling. This means your staff needs easy ways to send offers and promotions directly to guests. According to a new survey published by Kelton Research and SheerID, 84% of Americans say exclusive offers make them more likely to shop, which is good news if you can deliver relevant messages to your hotel and casino guests.

This positive research indicates guests react in real-time. The same survey shows that consumers who will use an exclusive invitation will use it quickly. 41% said it would likely make them seek out something to buy, just to use the offer. Utilizing push and SMS messaging to guests with these promotions becomes a powerful way to increase revenue, whether they’re tailored to individuals or groups.

Below are some great ways you can delight guests with special offers that drive revenue.

In-Room Dining

If your property has a high-volume IRD business, you need to seamlessly connect and track the full dining loop-from order placed, to order delivered-and everything in between. Guests need to access menus where they can immediately place (or schedule) their orders. Those orders need to route directly to the kitchen. You should know precisely how long the transaction took, and the bill should land automatically on your guest folio.

Humans are visual creatures, so feature high-quality photos of your menu items; this will increase engagement and check-size (in some cases, up to 30%). Automated up-selling also guarantees your guests get a consistent experience, and you don’t miss opportunities (think: would you like some fries with that shake). You cannot replace human interaction, but let your staff focus on what matters – timely and friendly delivery.

how to use retail psychology in hospitality to drive revenue

The best approach to manage in-room dining this way is by implementing in-room tablets in your guest rooms. In addition to dining menus, tablets ensure your guests have up-to-the-minute information about hotel amenities and offerings. Guests can quickly request hotel services, communicate directly with staff, or book a spa appointment from the comfort of their room.

Retail 

Do you have beautiful artwork throughout your hotel for purchase? Or, perhaps guests can take home some of the amenities they enjoyed during their stay, like spa and hair care products, or a luxurious robe and slippers set. Without technology, it can be difficult to highlight these offerings, but with the use of in-room tablets or a custom mobile app, guests can easily browse items and make selections. Integrated technology allows those exclusive offers guests love to occur seamlessly. For example, guests who dine in a certain restaurant filled with art may receive an invitation to purchase their own piece. Guests who visit the spa receive an opportunity to purchase spa products at a discount. Adding the purchase to a guests’ folio means shopping occurs with one-click. And instead of waiting a few days for delivery, a beautifully presented package can be brought in person by staff, creating an exceptional guest experience.

Reviews and Loyalty 

Although providing personalized opportunities and an exceptional guest stay is paramount, generating reviews and brand loyalty should be the result. Once a guest leaves your property, it can be difficult to reach them for comments. And yet, consumers are counting on those reviews more often than not when choosing their next hotel.

Make it easy for happy guests to leave happy reviews, as soon as possible. Guests can receive a simple prompt through a hotel app, which continues to engage them and grow loyalty, and allows you to capture valuable information about their experience. The right technology empowers you to engage with guests throughout their stay so if something goes wrong, you’re able to listen and resolve the concerns, rather than wait for a nasty review to go viral. All of those actions increase the guest experience and, ultimately, loyalty.

Using retail psychology and technology in tandem to send out exclusive offers and promotions creates new opportunities for you to simultaneously drive incremental revenue and delight your guests. Find out how the INTELITY platform can help you achieve these goals by scheduling a demo today!

G2E Panel Recap: Using Technology to Extend the Casino Floor and Increase Revenue

A recent highlight of INTELITY’s attendance at the 2019 Global Gaming Expo was the panel discussion on “Using Technology to Extend the Casino Floor and Increase Revenue,” moderated by INTELITY SVP of Sales Benjamin Keller. Richard Rader, CTO of Seven Feathers Casino Resort, and Jeff Wheatley, Assistant General Manager of Angel of the Winds Casino Resort spoke with Keller about how they have successfully implemented technology throughout their properties.

Using In-Room Guest Marketing to Increase Revenue

A primary topic covered in the hour-long session was regarding guest marketing and how technology enables casino properties to better target guests while on property. Both panelists discussed the success they’ve seen in implementing in-room technology to drive guests to revenue-generating activities like the casino floor and dining through timely, personalized promotions.

Wheatley noted that “in-room tablets are huge for us because they allow us to advertise to a captive audience,” while Rader added that “selling guest-facing ads helps us subsidize our WiFi and infrastructure costs.” Not only do in-room tablets provide direct revenue and cost-saving opportunities for casino hotels, but they also enhance the overall guest experience. “We get a lot of positive guest feedback [regarding our in-room tablets] even when we don’t solicit it,” said Wheatley.

Enhancing the Guest Experience with Mobile Technology

Another technology investment that both panelists discussed extensively was guest-facing mobile apps. Rader pointed out that the decision to invest in a mobile app should be made only after understanding your existing guest behavior and use cases. Given that his property’s guest population has a relatively high average age, his investment in mobile technology is evaluated around how guests respond to the tech: “We look at our business and use cases and build our technology around that… well implemented technology doesn’t need hundreds of pages of documentation. It needs to be intuitive.”

Both panelists noted the clear return on investment with their mobile check-in and mobile key solutions. Regarding mobile check-in, Wheatley said “[our guests] have become accustomed to ‘we want it and we want it now.’ Once we’ve set that guest expectation, we have to fulfill it.” Today’s guests increasingly rely on mobile technology and expect immediate access while traveling, and checking into their hotel room is no exception. Integrating mobile check-in into a casino hotel’s guest flow means guests can spend less time in line and more time on the casino floor.

Successful Tech Implementation Requires Staff Training

To wrap the session, the panelists talked about the challenges of training staff members on how to successfully use technology. Wheatley touched on the importance of making sure that his staff members know how to use and manage any new technology investment, and how that is a critical component for a successful implementation. By focusing on staff training, he mentioned that he is able to effectively control costs across his organization: “Our biggest expense by far is labor costs; we’re always looking at how to become more efficient.” Mobile technology that is implemented well also creates a more efficient workflow for staff. By automating manual processes and simple tasks, casino hotels can improve their staff efficiency without sacrificing the guest experience.

Overall, the engaging panel discussion provided clear opportunities for casino hotels to successfully implement technology solutions throughout their properties. To learn more about how INTELITY drives revenue and reduces costs for casino hotels around the world, contact the INTELITY team to request a demo today.

“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.

How Do I Connect With Connected Guests?

What to do when your guests are more engaged with their phones than your staff

Today’s guests are more connected than ever; they use their mobile devices to research, book, and even get to their destination. The modern guest also relies heavily on the internet, social review networks, and apps throughout their travels. In recent years, the travel industry has shifted to focus on better serving the connection needs of digital-first travelers.

Airlines were quick to adopt technology and ride-share businesses like Uber and Lyft implemented technology that is designed to streamline and simplify. While these airlines and car services once required staff interaction to function, consumers are now using online and app solutions to search, book, pay for, and review a trip. From the almost fully-automated check-in process at the airport to the seamless rideshare exchange, staff involvement acts as a complement to streamline customer experience-until guests reach their hotel.

Consumers who are empowered in other sectors of the travel industry often find themselves waiting in line at a hotel to check-in and receive room keys. At many properties, most service requests still require a visit or call to the front desk, including spa or dining reservations and room service, which often results in the guest being placed on hold or having to wait for confirmation. Yet studies show that 66% of guests have a better experience when they can use self-service technology to receive information and complete tasks, and an impressive 70% prefer to use technology to get what they want faster.

In today’s competitive market, creating a frictionless experience is one of the keys to client satisfaction and loyalty. Here are four ways you can use automation to better serve your connected guests.

Mobile Apps

Having your own branded app empowers your guests to control their experience before, during, and after their stay. Mobile check-in and mobile key features can be incorporated into your app, giving guests the ability to bypass the front desk and head straight to their room. Apps can also create revenue-generating and up-selling opportunities like room upgrades, the addition of dessert to an in-room dining check, and much more.

In-Room Tablets

Interactive in-room tablets can replace printed compendiums, alarm clocks, and other “clutter,” which offers more cost savings. What once took a phone call or a visit to the front desk is now at your guests’ fingertips, including ordering room service, requesting additional items from housekeeping, booking reservations at onsite restaurants, spas and more.

In-Room Casting

This TV-package alternative reduces the need to scroll through endless commercials found on real-time TV and local news stations (which often are irrelevant to your guests) and places the guests in charge of their entertainment by providing access to their favorite streaming service. With Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and more, endless entertainment is in the hands of your guests. At the same time, pay-per-view and satellite subscription expenses can be eliminated.

Guest Messaging

Real-time messaging is an effective way for guests to provide feedback and communicate seamlessly with your staff both on and off-property. Even escalated concerns are quickly addressed, reducing guest frustration and potentially negative reviews after a stay.

As the prevalence of technology increases in the industry, hoteliers are right to consider ways to stay ahead of the competition. Creating a seamless experience, from check-in to check-out, is the best way to exceed the expectation, elevate the guest experience, and provide the service the connected traveler craves.

To learn more about how to better serve the connected traveler and stay up-to-date on the latest industry news, sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter or schedule a demo with our team.

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 In-Room Tablets to Increase Retail Revenue

If you haven’t made a digital retail store readily available to your guests, you’re leaving money on the table. Don’t underestimate the possibilities of retail to generate incremental revenue for your property. 96 percent of all Americans have purchased goods online – 80 percent within the last month. E-commerce accounted for about $2.3 trillion in sales in 2017, and it’s projected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021.

We had this in mind when we designed INTELITY’s retail app, which is included on our in-room tablets and our mobile guest app. Hotels, casinos, and other properties use it to create a customized, digital storefront that offers items from the gift shop or spa as well as other personalized merchandise. It can even be used to sell art pieces on display at your property, high-end cosmetics used in your spa, or in-room furnishings such as pillows and bedding used in your guestrooms.

Guests who are already using the in-room tablet or mobile app to order room service, request services, and control the TV can now see your property’s specially selected items nicely presented for purchase, as well. It is easy for them to add items to their cart, complete the purchase, and view and select tracking and shipping information.

On the property’s side, it is straightforward for staff to add and manage inventory, set availability, hide or reveal items as appropriate, and use promotions and push messages to create awareness. Orders go through INTELITY Staff, which makes it easy to ship an item to the guest’s home or deliver it to the room. Charges automatically go onto the guest’s folio.

Our retail app is just one more good reason to equip your guest rooms with in-room tablets. In-room tablets can be used to promote upgrades and upsell opportunities, including special offers, discounts, a room upgrade or spa treatments. These are offers that guests might be more inclined to accept from the calm and privacy of their room that they otherwise may forgo or not know about.

In addition to guests learning more about your facilities and offerings, and ordering room service around the clock – hotels with customized apps report a 41 percent increase in room service revenue – they can also control the room environment and the TV, make reservations on-site and off property, engage with entertainment and news apps, submit other service requests, and make purchases.

For more information on how you can increase your revenue through e-commerce, contact INTELITY to schedule a demo with a member of our team.

Extending the Reach of Your Casino Floor to Your Guest Rooms

How to Use In-Room Tablets to Engage Guests in Their Rooms

In-room tablets can be game-changers, so to speak, for casino resorts. In addition to guests being able to use in-room tablets for all the more familiar uses—such as requesting services, making reservations, and communicating directly with staff, as they would at any hotel—casino hotels have the added advantage of a fresh, new way to promote gaming, and special events directly to guests while they are most captive.

Operators can easily use in-room tablets to send special offers, targeted promotions, and casino floor updates in real-time when their guests are most engaged. Depending on where the property is located, some guests can even use in-room technology to gamble right from their room as some casino hotels now offer sports and other types of betting through in-room tablets or a mobile app.

One way they do this is by adding popular gaming apps to the in-room tablets and information and tips on how to play some of the more popular casino floor games. At some casino hotels, guests can also use tablets to get real-time keno and bingo results in their room, as well as to see who won daily drawings and receive real-time jackpot notifications. Using in-room technology in this manner means guests don’t have to worry about missing out on the excitement of the casino floor while in their rooms.

extending the reach of your casino floor with in-room tablets

Today’s core casino customers are generally between 55 and 75 years old and increasingly comfortable using digital devices, including in-room tablets and mobile apps, which makes adding gaming to digital devices a logical, and smart, next step. Also, once they arrive in their room and find the mobile app and in-room tablet integrated with the property’s loyalty program, they are apt to take advantage of customized and targeted promotions and other offers that encourage them to visit the casino floor.

Ultimately, casino guests are eager to spend their time gaming — not standing in lines — so a streamlined mobile check-in process means more time they can spend on the casino floor, or using the custom-branded in-room tablet for gaming while they are in their room.

INTELITY® is the provider of the most robust guest engagement and staff management platform in hospitality. The platform features multiple customizable solutions designed to help operations optimize staff efficiencies, increase revenue opportunities, and further delight their guests.

A variety of casino properties, from the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas to smaller tribal casino properties, like Angel of the Winds and Black Oak Casino, now use the INTELITY platform, and 7 Cedars also plans to implement the INTELITY platform at its new hotel scheduled to open in the summer of 2020. To learn more about how you can extend the reach of your casino floor with hospitality technology, schedule a demo with INTELITY today.

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.

Why Your Hotel Should Include Mobile Check-In

Give your guests the self-service check-in experience they expect

Today’s travelers prefer to use self-service technology to streamline their travels. It’s no surprise that guests are more satisfied with hotels that are mobile-friendly, according to a recent study by J.D. Power and Associates. Another study conducted recently by Oracle shows that 90 percent of hotel executives believe that the guest experience could be improved by giving guests the ability to use mobile devices to manage the check-in and check-out processes.

Travelers are now reliant upon their mobile devices to check-in for a flight, catch a ride, and order from their favorite restaurants. They want to have this same convenience when checking into their hotel. Rather than waiting in line at the front desk, today’s travelers want a simple process that allows them to go directly to their room.

benefits of mobile check-in and why guests want it

A study from Software Advice shows that 60 percent of guests will choose a hotel that allows them to check-in and access their guestroom with their mobile device over one that doesn’t. Another study by J.D. Power indicates that guests who can take advantage of mobile check-in/out have higher levels of satisfaction than those using traditional plastic room keys that are easily lost.

Providing mobile check-in services not only benefits your guests, but it is also good for your daily operations. It streamlines your check-in process, reduces front desk friction, and allows front desk employees to spend more time assisting guests, which leads to more personalized guest service. Providing a streamlined, easy check-in process not only enhances the guest experience but it also frees up staff time to focus on delivering the next level of service.

There are additional forward-looking functions that can be implemented along with mobile check-in to further streamline the check-in process. Incorporating features like mobile ID authentication and mobile payment allows guests to have a completely digital,  “Uber-like,” experience with your property and give them the opportunity to engage through the channel they’re more comfortable with.

Being able to scan and verify a guest’s ID remotely means you have all the information you need to confirm a reservation or process payment and eliminates the risk of incorrect manual keystroke entries. These features can also assist in bridging language barriers between your hotel staff and foreign travelers and providing those travelers with the same easy check-in process your other guests’ experience.

Incorporating mobile key functionality at your property is the next step in creating a completely mobile check-in process. Using a smartphone to unlock the guest room door is quick, easy, and efficient. By offering keyless entry at your property, you eliminate the need for guests to spend time at the front desk picking up their room key, which can be lost or fail and require them to backtrack to the front desk.

Offering a streamlined mobile check-in process immediately gives your guests the ease and convenience they’ve come to expect from other sectors of the travel industry and automatically elevates their experience at your property.

Interested in learning more about how you can give guests access to the self-service options they crave, eliminate their time at the front desk, and enhance your guest experience with mobile technology? Contact the hospitality technology experts at INTELITY® to schedule a demo of our multi-point platform.

4 Ways Hoteliers Can Use Tech to Streamline Daily Operations and Elevate Guest Experience

Providing an exceptional guest experience is paramount to any hotelier, but the modern traveler’s desire for a highly personalized digital interaction has created a challenge. Implementing a tech platform that streamlines daily operations, staff workflows, and offers expanded communication tools will lead to elevated guest service, and free up staff time so they can focus on crafting those exact experiences guests crave.

Here are four ways technology can be used to increase operational efficiency:

1. Streamline Daily Workflows

Incorporating a service optimization solution, such as a ticketing system, can go a long way in streamlining your staff’s daily activities and decreasing service delivery times. Using a ticketing system gives management and operations teams the ability to track, organize, and manage daily tasks and guest requests for more efficient management.

INTELITY’s newly enhanced ticketing system was crafted with hospitality operations teams in mind. Features like preventative maintenance, service recovery, and work order checklists give staff the ability to organize, track, and manage workflows and tasks while giving management teams a comprehensive view of all activity on property. The ticketing system also includes real-time escalations and notifications, so that service delivery times are reduced and the guest experience is elevated.

2. Access Real-Time Content Updates

Gone are the days where you have to spend countless hours reviewing and editing printing proofs only to update the content and go through the same process all over again a few months down the road. Using technology like mobile apps and in-room tablets, hoteliers can replace printed collateral and in-room compendiums with digital content hosted through those platforms.

At INTELITY, we’ve created a robust back-office solution that includes a comprehensive content management system that gives operations teams the ability to easily make real-time updates to their digital content across property.

3. Make Better Business Decisions

Hoteliers can use the data generated by their tech stack to make smarter business decisions and streamline their revenue dispersion. In-room tablets can lead to data that indicates which spa services are most popular at specific times, which in-room dining menu items are most popular during certain months, which items are requested most frequently from housekeeping, and much more. By using this type of data, management teams can gain further insight into what their guests want and how to best meet those needs.

INTELITY’s platform features robust business intelligence analytics to give hoteliers a complete view of activity across their property and provide rich insight into guest preference.

4. Personalize Your Guest Service

Today’s guests are looking for highly personalized service that is tailored to their unique preferences. Technology has made it easier to provide this type of custom service at scale. Using the data generated by guests’ reservations, stated preferences, and interactions with in-room devices, like in-room tablets and mobile apps, hoteliers can elevate their guest service and meet their guests’ expectations.

INTELITY’s back-end dashboard gives hoteliers snapshot of guests’ preferences and expectations in a single location. This unique feature provides operations teams with the information they need to craft the hyper-personalized experiences the modern traveler craves.

4 Ways INTELITY Staff Better Engages Your Employees

In an age when travelers expect instant service and immediate access to information, hoteliers must embrace technology that streamlines staff management and automates daily workflows so they can provide the best possible experience for their guests.

Staff management and service optimization tools provide solutions to common pain points. This type of technology seamlessly connects staff and guests, streamlines operational workflows, gives management teams the ability to monitor and track task status in real time, schedules and tracks preventative maintenance, and provides a dashboard of data-rich analytics that can guide and advise better business decisions. Giving employees the ability to streamline day-to-day operations and optimize their efficiency means they’ll be able to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time providing guests with elevated service.

INTELITY has created a robust staff management solution, INTELITY Staff, that can help you better engage your staff, streamline your operations, and increase your efficiencies across property. Using technology that engages your staff, streamlines their daily workflow, and integrates seamlessly into the other software systems has endless benefits. You’ll experience lower turnover, increased staff satisfaction, and improved guest service.

Here are some of the unique benefits INTELITY Staff offers hoteliers:

Guest-to-Staff and Staff-to-Staff Communication

INTELITY’s staff-facing tools allow employees to communicate better not only amongst themselves but also with guests. When it’s easier for staff and guests to converse, there is a better understanding of what guests want and less risk of human error in fulfilling requests.

INTELITY’s staff management platform also includes built-in escalation notifications to help with service recovery and enables properties to gather real-time feedback on guest satisfaction. The platform even monitors all in-room tablets from one centralized hub, performing automated software installations and upgrades and restarting them remotely, so devices are always up-to-date without disrupting your guests’ stay.

Cross-Department Workflow Management

The INTELITY Staff ticketing solution means you’ll never have to worry about a lost service request, work order, or in-room dining request. Because INTELITY Staff features a central location where management and staff can manage, track, and dispatch task-based work, and because both desktop and mobile versions sync their data, operations teams across property have access to real-time updates and notifications.

Properties can manage work orders, service recovery, preventative maintenance, service requests, and dining orders through INTELITY Staff’s comprehensive ticketing solution, which also integrates with other leading hospitality ticketing systems.

Generating In-Room Dining Revenue

Staff can use INTELITY’s food and beverage solutions to better manage in-room dining orders, reduce the risk of human error that comes with manual order-taking, and create additional revenue generating opportunities by utilizing built-in upselling and cross-selling features. Staff can also route and track orders while providing guests with status updates, as well as track order fulfillment times and sales revenue.

Digital Content Management  (CMS)

Hotels control all their own content through INTELITY Staff’s content management solution, a welcome upgrade from reviewing printing proofs and paying associated printing costs. It makes for simple control of your content and quick, easy updates. The software also lets you control services, permissions, user roles, and your image and video library.

Overall, significant data is available on usage, dining revenue, marketing, performance, and other efficiencies. This information is gathered and monitored in a customizable dashboard and helps a property deliver an exceptional guest experience and make better business decisions.

Engage Your Employees with INTELITY Staff

Implementing and establishing a successful digital culture begins with giving your employees the tools they need to succeed by training them on the technologies implemented at your property. Ensuring your employees are digitally literate and able to use the tools provided to them sets your staff and your property up for success.

To learn more about how INTELITY Staff can help engage your employees or to experience the platform for yourself, schedule a demo with a member of our team today!

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For additional information about our Mobile & In-Room Dining features, download the PDF one-sheet after filling out this short form.

Download the One-Sheet

For additional information about our Mobile Check-In solution, download the PDF one-sheet after filling out this short form.