A Blog by INTELITY

At Your Service

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

guest satisfaction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Hotels Should Prioritize Technology in 2019 Budgets

High tech has become the norm, and it may be growing faster in the global hotel industry than almost anywhere else. As you finalize your property’s 2019 budget, make sure you’ve considered this high-tech trend and have allocated the right amount of spending for the hospitality technology that will best serve your property, your staff, and your guests.

The New York Times quotes Scott Dobroski, who works in corporate communications for Glassdoor, as saying, “All companies are becoming technology companies to some degree, and this is especially true in the hospitality industry.”

And guests are taking notice. Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Customer Engagement Technology Study found that 65 percent of guests said they would pay more and are more likely to return to a hotel that provides the technology they consider essential. Another study shows that 44 percent of travelers are more likely to book a smart hotel and 69 percent prefer to opt-in to smart-room features.

For 2019, this includes mobile check-in that allows guests check-in and out from a smart device, the ability to communicate with hotel staff through messaging, and access to high-tech features in guestrooms. Twenty-first-century guests expect to have access to the same sort of seamless technology in their hotel room that they have at home. They want to find easy-to-use, lightning fast Wi-Fi with Internet speeds that are as fast as at home—or faster. They want to be able to stream content from their phone right to the TV, and they want to be able to make requests without having to pick up the phone.

why hotels should prioritize technology in 2019 budget

Other critical areas to prioritize in your technology budget are booking engines, digital concierge services, mobile key, and beacons.

But let’s not forget about staff-facing hospitality technology. It’s invaluable having a mobile platform that allows staff members to respond to guests in real time, even when they are away from the computer. This type of platform also provides metrics on task management and request fulfillment timelines. Not only does this automated technology help streamline operational efficiencies, but it also frees up staff time to allow your team to focus on guests and create an exceptional guest experience.

With AAA’s newly revised Approval Requirements and Diamond Rating Guidelines, it’s important to incorporate technologies that connect guests and lodging operators so they can “interact on an increa­­singly personalized basis.” To qualify for one of the higher AAA Diamond Ratings in 2019 you need to make sure your budget allows for the appropriate technologies.

  • A 3-Diamond rating requires a hotel to have mobile technology that supports check-in and check-out.
  • A 4-Diamond rating requires that as well as remote guest-service access through mobile devices.
  • A 5-Diamond rating requires all that and mobile key access to guest rooms and advanced connectivity across all guest interactions.

Prioritizing tech spending in your 2019 budget will help you to remain competitive within the industry. According to Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Lodging Technology Study, 71 percent of companies that consider themselves technology innovators plan to increase their IT budgets, and 40 percent that considered themselves “laggards” plan to do so.

Ask yourself: Are you communicating with guests from the moment they book their room? Do you have guest engagement and communication throughout the entire guest journey – before, during, and after their stay – and is that helping you earn guests’ loyalty for the long-term?

As for your staff, does your hotel provide tools that ensure five-star service and experiences? And do your digital systems integrate with the other important property management solutions you use?

INTELITY’s enterprise-level hospitality technology platform provides a one-stop shop that offers 20 of the 24 mobile functions that guests revealed wanting the most in that HT 2018 CETS report,” says INTELITY Founder David Adelson. The INTELITY platform also easily integrates with more than 100 other applications you might already be using – or wanting to add to your 2019 operations.

Make sure to think carefully about where you’re at with technology as you finalize your 2019 budget. The worst thing you can do is to fall behind the industry’s tech curve. Guests may stop coming, and it may become difficult or impossible to regain your relevance.

It’s Budget Season… Are You Ready?

Studies show mobile solutions from INTELITY are high on guests’ wish lists for 2019

According to Hospitality Technology’s 2018 Customer Engagement Technology Study, 65% of guests say they are willing to pay higher rates and are more likely to return to a hotel that offers access to the technology they deem important. Guests’ technology demands for 2019 include having a hotel mobile app with a variety of features, the ability to check-in and out from a mobile device, and high-tech features available in guestrooms. However, travelers aren’t the only people demanding better hotel technology.

When AAA revised its Approval Requirements and Diamond Rating Guidelines in April of this year, it put connective technologies front and center so that guests and lodging operators could “interact on an increasingly personalized basis.” So, for a hotel to achieve a higher AAA Diamond Rating in 2019, it will need to budget for more engaging technologies…

budget for hospitality technology in 2019

  • A 3-Diamond rating will require a hotel to feature mobile technology that supports check-in/out
  • A 4-Diamond rating will require mobile check-in/out PLUS remote guest-service access through mobile devices
  • A 5-Diamond rating requires all the previously mentioned features PLUS mobile key access and advanced connectivity across all guest interactions

As hoteliers prepare their 2019 budgets, various studies in consumer travel behaviors are substantiating the need to incorporate mobile guest experience solutions.

“As the summer winds down and the 2019 budget season ramps up, hoteliers need to bring technology to the forefront of their capital plans,” said David Adelson, INTELITY founder. “Owners and operators need to ask themselves these important pre-budget planning questions: ‘Is our relationship with guests as strong as it could be? Are we digitally engaging with everyone from the moment they make a reservation? Are we increasing guest engagement and communication at all stages of the guest journey? Are we developing guest loyalty for long-term benefits? Are we empowering staff with tools to ensure five-star service and experiences? And, are we investing in digital systems that will integrate with other key property solutions?’

“If the answer is ‘no’ to any of the above, then it’s time to call INTELITY,” Adelson said. “We provide a one-stop-shop to the engagement solutions that guests are demanding the most. In fact, INTELITY provides 20 out of the 24 mobile functions that guests revealed wanting the most in the HT 2018 CETS report.”

The INTELITY platform gives guests fingertip connectivity to the hotel along every step of their journey, from the moment reservations are made until long after travelers check out inclusive of App, Mobile Web, Text, Social and In-App chat. By giving guests direct digital access to request things like room service, housekeeping or wake-up calls, hoteliers are revolutionizing and personalizing the guest experience. Budgeting for these solutions is an investment in guest loyalty and satisfaction. The result is a healthy financial future for owners.

budget for hospitality technology in 2019

INTELITY can:

  • Place tablets in rooms, including hardware, software, and installation
  • Eliminate more than $12,000 in annual in-room printing costs
  • Increase average monthly IRD revenue by at least 6%
  • Open two-way guest communication with 85% average usage
  • Provide daily business intelligence on operational efficiency

As technology continues to dictate travelers’ expectations and demands, INTELITY stands ready to equip hoteliers with the tools they need to deliver on those experiences.

Millennials Aren’t the Only Guests Hotels Should Be Focusing On

Baby Boomer Travel On The Rise

Although Millennials continue to dominate the hospitality industry, staying atop of trends and hotelier’s minds, there is another demographic that has come into the limelight. By 2025, seniors will account for 11% of the world’s population, and industry research finds that Baby Boomers spend a whopping $157 billion on trips every year.

Since the Baby Boomer generation is so large, their impact on the hospitality industry definitely should not go unnoticed.

With Technology, Baby Boomer Travel On The Rise

Technology has arguably made travel an easier prospect for everyone – Baby Boomers included – from the ease of booking travel to the ease of researching and comparing trips, to staying connected on the go. In fact, 84% of Baby Boomers book their travel online.

Millennials aren’t the only guests hotels should be focusing on. Generations play a major role in shaping traveler research habits and priorities – and research shows that technology is a prevalent demand in each generation.

While vacation is a perfect time to unplug and get away, that does not necessarily apply to the entirety of a trip. With 59% of younger Baby Boomers (aged 51-59) and 46% of older Baby Boomers (aged 60-69) owning smartphones (according to Pew Research), it comes as no surprise that 55% of Boomers say having their smartphone is essential while traveling.

baby boomer travel trends

What does this mean for your hotel?

Here’s how your hotel can attract and optimize their experience for this generation:

  • Most Boomers are looking for a laid back and relaxing trip to give them the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, so creating fun-focused offers can keep your Baby Boomer guests happy.
  • By offering seamless, easy-to-use booking experiences, hoteliers can make sure they capture Baby Boomers. Hoteliers can also make sure that the Baby Boomer guest continues to have a seamless experience before they arrive by offering pre-arrival guest requests.
  • 41% of Baby Boomers will book online at the hotel website and most Baby Boomers are a part of at least one loyalty program. By having a loyalty program, you can improve guest retention. Baby Boomers also appreciate loyalty programs because they often provide added incentives for booking again, with rewards increasing linearly with more purchases.
  • Create an experience tailored to them by giving Baby Boomers control over their entire experience. With INTELITY’s in-room tablets, it makes it easy for Baby Boomers to have access to room controls or order room service via their in-room tablet.

99% of baby boomers will take at least one trip leisure trip a year. Between traveling 5 or more times per year (with at least 1 international trip), spending upwards of $157 billion on travel, and controlling more than 70% of disposable in the United States by 2017, Baby Boomer travel will continue to make an impact on travel and tourism.

Your hotel can yield significant returned by optimizing guest experiences for each generation. By understanding what travel statistics reveal about Baby Boomer behavior, you have a better tool to create customized marketing messages and guest experiences.

How to Make Your Guests Feel At Home During the Holidays

Your hotel can be a part of your guest’s happiness by taking just a little extra effort to make your guests feel at home during the holidays

Hoteliers must do whatever it takes to get travelers’ attention during such a busy time of year for travel. Your hotel can be a part of your guest’s happiness by sprucing up your hotel with festive decorations and by having special offers. But sometimes, it takes just a little extra effort to make your guests feel at home during the holiday season.

Here are some tips on how your hotel can stand out from the rest:

Consider the Details

Being a good hotel is all about those few, important details that let your guests know you are happy they are there and that you want them to be comfortable. INTELITY’s In-Room Tablets can be used to create a more personalized guest experience. The guest’s name will be featured on the dashboard and the landing page holds a collection of selections, including newspapers and magazines so that your guests do not miss anything while they are out of town.

Your hotel can have a personalized video introduction appear on the in-room tablet, letting your guest know that you appreciate them for choosing your hotel during this holiday season.

Courtsey of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Create a Festive Environment

Your hotel can provide a space for some of the same traditions that your guests do during the holiday season while simultaneously getting a boost in revenue.

Leading up to the holiday season, Boston Harbor Hotel ran a pop-up whiskey bar special to boost revenue. Push notifications were sent out to guests via the hotel room tablets stating, “Tell your friends you are going to be late to dinner,” along with the bar’s hours. Within an hour, the hotel recorded revenue intake of over $700.

Prepare Early to Make Your Guests Feel At Home During the Holidays

By using your mobile guest app, you can check in with your guests before they arrive for their stay and see if there is anything that they might need or if they have questions. You can help your guests take care of last-minute holiday shopping needs or make dinner plans. During the holiday season, most shops and restaurants have special holiday hours. Be ready to answer questions like: “How late will the stores be open on Christmas Eve?” or, “Which restaurants are open for brunch on New Year’s Day?”

By anticipating any potential needs beforehand, your hotel can be better prepared for your guest’s arrival.

Have Fun

Embassy Suites Denver Southeast hid an Elf on a Shelf doll around the hotel common areas during the 2013 holiday season. They asked guests to take a picture of the doll when they saw him around the hotel and post it on the hotel’s Facebook page. The hotel marketed this campaign through Facebook, flyers at the front desk, table toppers in the dining room and organically gained 21 new fans through the short campaign. The Elf on a Shelf post also increased their reach to 2,669 people!

Know Your Area

The holidays often inspire a barrage of special events. Know what is going on around your hotel and assign someone to research all local events to provide guests with a complete list of activities available during their stay using the hotel’s mobile guest app. Remember, during the holiday season most shops and restaurants have special holiday hours. Being able to keep up with current events makes your hotel seem more alive and organic.

As travelers gear up to hit the road this season, the tips outlined here will your ensure your hotel is ready to provide a memorable holiday experience. Your hotel will present a personality of cheer, which will allow guests who are excitedly preparing for the holidays, to identify with your brand and feel more at home.

‘Tis the season to get those rooms booked!

The New Standard of Luxury – 6 Trends Were Falling In Love With for Uber High Tech Hotels

As the tech boom continues to roll out, the hotel industry has gotten into the game as well, offering the best for guests in the latest gadgets, services, and conveniences. Hoteliers are able to play up the luxury aspects of technology while doing away with inconveniences customers have gotten used to over time. While updating an old school business model, hotels are finding ways to create more efficient operations through new tech innovations.

Curious as to what you’ll find in a hotel of the future? Check out some here:

hospitality technology trends - mobile key

Direct to Room – Mobile Key & Mobile Check-in

Smartphones have the potential to do away with one of the biggest pain points of staying in a hotel: Remembering their hotel key. Guests having access to their hotel room key through the use of their smartphone allows them to go straight to their room once they arrive at the hotel – no more waiting in a long line at a kiosk to pick up their key after a long plane or car ride to your hotel. At Park Hotel, in Valkenburg, guests are able to securely access their hotel room, check-in ahead of time and notify the hotel of their arrival time – making late check-in manageable for hotels and allowing guests to feel right at home once they walk in.

hospitality technology trends- tv casting

Streaming Their Own Device

The key is to integrate technology in the hotel experience as naturally as it is integrated into our everyday lives. With INTELITY Casting, a casting solution for hotels, guests can have the freedom to stream content from their own device or log into their personal Netflix and Hulu for the duration of their stay. No longer will guests be barraged with the in-house channels or have to pick from limited on-demand video options

Robotic Service

At the Aloft hotel in Cupertino, California, guests who request a toothbrush or razor from the front desk will find Botlr, a short servant-on-wheels, delivering it to their door. 22% of hotels in Hospitality Technology’s 2016 Study said robots have real potential in the hospitality industry. Relay robotic concierge from Savioke was named first runner-up “Most Innovative Hospitality Technology” at HTNG’s 2016 TechOvation Awards. Relay autonomously delivers amenities to guest rooms, and the technology is already being used at select Aloft Hotels.

hospitality technology trends- robot

(image via savioke.com)

hospitality technology trends- mobile messaging

Messaging

Hotels are using more technology to enable a higher level of service. When it comes to reaching their guest, sometimes it’s just as easy as saying “Send us a text.” Guests can easily use their phone – using SMS or Facebook Messenger – to request items, services and ask questions seamlessly. With more and more hotels looking for ways to create a more personalized experience for their guests, this is just one way for them to drive two-way communication.

hospitality technology trends - interactive displays

Interactive Displays

According to Hospitality Technology, interactive walls received 36% of respondents votes for futuristic technology most likely to take hold. The Renaissance New York Midtown Hotel will feature gesture-controlled, interactive digital displays in public spaces. Using a variety of technology including motion detectors, projectors, and 3d cameras, the firm created a “living” wall that interacts with guests and responds to their movement.