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.

hotel technology

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.

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 Staff features Guest360™, which 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.

To learn more about how you can streamline daily operations and elevate guest service at your property, stop by the INTELITY booth at HITEC Minneapolis or schedule a demo of the INTELITY hospitality technology platform!

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!

How Hotels Are Using Technology to Gain a Competitive Advantage

Contributed by Kacey Bradley

The world of business is inherently competitive. Every industry has companies trying to rise to the top, which means impressing consumers by learning what they want and finding ways to make those things happen seamlessly. Businesses that invest in delivering on consumer expectations typically see an increase in brand loyalty, which leads to an increase in revenue.

This characteristic is especially true of the hospitality industry. When guests stay at a hotel, they’re looking for a place where they feel comfortable, safe, and have access to the conveniences they’re accustomed to in their daily lives, and hotels are in a race to perfect this.

Technology has become a key component in giving one hotel an edge over another, especially with the increasing popularity of a digital-first approach among travelers. By implementing the right tech, hotels can impress guests, streamline operations, and generate more revenue. It’s critical for hoteliers to stay current with technological advancements, so they can keep pace with expectations.

Mobile devices are the easiest and best way to reach guests- the average hotel guest checks in with at least three mobile devices. Today’s travelers depend on them to provide information and easy access to essential features in their lives. Using mobile technology allows hoteliers to meet their guests where they’re already engaged.

Here are five types of technology that can give a property a competitive advantage:

1. A Branded App

Mobile apps are the perfect solution for engaging guests before, during, and after their stay, especially when integrated with a property’s existing loyalty program. Mobile app technology can also be beneficial in gaining insight into guest satisfaction and guest preferences, which can be used to improve the quality or types of services offered.

An app can track the most common types of guest requests, dining metrics and which menu items are the most popular, and how often they’re using the app to communicate with hotel staff. Management teams can use this information as a framework for making better business decisions and taking guest service to the next level.

2. Mobile Check-In

Mobile check-in is highly sought after by today’s self-service driven travelers. Giving your guests the ability to bypass the front desk not only enhances the guest experience, but it also frees up staff, allowing them to spend more time providing personalized guest service. Offering mobile check-in also incentivizes guests to download your property’s mobile app, which creates a further opportunity for upselling, pre-arrival communication, and to generally craft exceptional experiences.

3. Mobile Key

Major brands, like Hilton and Marriott, have already implemented a form of keyless entry into their hotels and its quickly becoming the leading hotel technology trend. Implementing mobile key technology provides guests the convenience of reducing time at the front desk and prevents guests from ever losing or forgetting their room key. Mobile key technology also saves hotels money on printing costs and increases efficiencies because staff don’t have to spend time printing keycards or replacing lost room keys.

4. In-Room Tablets

In-room tablets provide guests with easy access to hotel information and the ability to place service requests, order room service, control the in-room environment, and communicate with hotel staff. These digital compendiums can also be used to create upselling opportunities and promote upgrades and other special offers targeted to a guest’s preferences.

5. Voice-Controlled Rooms

Another popular technology hotels are embracing is voice. Guests can use this technology to turn on lights, control the TV, adjust the thermostat, and more. Voice technology can also be used to submit guest requests, make reservations, and provide guests with information about the local area. While voice technology may not be as necessary as some of the mobile technologies available, it plays a large role in enhancing the guest experience.

Staying ahead of the competition and remaining relevant is important in an industry as competitive as the hospitality industry. Successfully implementing the right technologies is an easy way to distinguish yourself from your competitors and cater to today’s tech-savvy travelers. Hospitality technology can change how guests experience a hotel and lead to repeat guests, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth referrals.

To learn more about how you can use hospitality technology to gain a competitive advantage, contact the experts at INTELITY to schedule a demo.

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

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

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

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

Mobile Check-In

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

Mobile Key

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

Voice

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

In-Room Tablets

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

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

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

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

Why Technology in the Hotel Industry is a ‘Must Have,’ Not an Extra

You will fall behind in your bookings if you fall behind in your technology, here’s why…

Technology is no longer just a nice “extra.” In the travel industry, using and providing the right kinds of technology has become an absolute necessity, so much so that AAA has revised its Approval Requirements and Dining Rating Guidelines in April 2018. The new requirements state that a hotel must incorporate advanced hospitality technology into their day-to-day operations.

In order to qualify for a 3-Diamond rating, a hotel must offer guests the ability to check-in and -out using mobile technology. A 4-Diamond rating will require a hotel to feature technology that allows guests to access guest-services through mobile devices AND the ability to check-in/out with mobile technology. For a 5-Diamond rating, a hotel must offer the previously mentioned hospitality technology as well as mobile key technology and advanced connectivity across guest interactions.

These new ratings now score hotels based on their ability to connect with their guests through advanced hospitality technology that goes beyond offering free Wi-Fi or USB ports. AAA now looks for hotels to offer content-rich mobile apps, mobile key technology, and self-check-in capabilities.

AAA Diamond ratings aside, guests themselves are demanding access to technology like mobile check-in/out and are more inclined to stay at locations that offer these options. The guest experience has always been the foundation of success in the hospitality industry, but in today’s review-driven society creating and maintaining guest satisfaction is paramount. Guests are looking for a seamless and personal experience that allows them to control every aspect of their stay and they’re looking for on-demand results.

Incorporating integrated connective technology into daily operations has become an important part of the guest experience. According to a 2017 Oracle Hospitality report, nearly 2/3rds of U.S. hotel guests consider technology “very or extremely important” to the guest experience and 80 percent of leisure travelers value the ability to use their mobile devices to request service from their hotels and/or message the hotel staff.

Guests not only want increased access to advanced hospitality technology, but they also want access to fully-integrated, content-rich, connective technology that provides them control over integral features of their hotel stay. Offering features like mobile check-in/out, mobile key access, and the ability to book activities outside the hotel or make reservations at local restaurants is no longer a nice “extra” for guests, it’s a must-have.

This is a massive shift for the travel industry and hotels must rethink their traditional approach, otherwise, these hyper-connected digital consumers will choose to stay elsewhere. Incorporating connective in-room technology and mobile check-in/out may also help increase hotels’ revenue and decrease their expenses by reducing printing costs and providing data on what guests favor on the in-room dining menu and other services.

Give your guests the option to check in online and use their phones to unlock their room door because many prefer to avoid the front desk altogether. Once in the room, guests should be able to stream their favorite entertainment to the TV and use their devices to request amenities, book reservations, and otherwise communicate with hotel staff.

Make sure you are offering the hospitality technology today’s travelers demand, or they will go elsewhere to find it.

How Does In-Room Technology Change the Guest Experience

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

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

Think Uber, For Hotels

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

Good Hospitality Never Goes Out of Style

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

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

in-room technology changing guest experience

Technology Can Change Operations Too

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

Briefly:

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

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

How Can Voice Activated Rooms Improve Guest Satisfaction

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

Saving time for your guests

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

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

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

how voice activated rooms can improve guest satisfaction

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

how voice activated rooms can improve guest satisfaction

Personalization on a whole new level

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

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

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

It can drive your hotel above the competition

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

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

how voice activated rooms can improve guest satisfaction

How to Get Your Hotel Guest To Download Your Mobile App

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

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

Unico Hotel Rivera Maya

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

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

Conrad Hotels & Resorts

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

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

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

Couples Resorts

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

 

Mobilize the Guest Journey with Messaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mobilize the guest journey with messaging

Your Hotel Can Still Have the ‘Human Touch’

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

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

mobilize the guest journey with messaging -1

Drive service costs down and ROI up

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

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

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

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

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

6 Marketing Tips to Become a “Social” Hotel

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

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

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

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

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

TAKE TIME TO LISTEN THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

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

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

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

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

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ENGAGEMENT IS CRITICAL

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

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

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ASK FOR ONLINE REVIEWS

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

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

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

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

CATER TO THE ‘EXPERIENCE SEEKING’ GUEST

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

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

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

USE SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS TO BOOST YOUR BRAND

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

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

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

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Consider a Marketing Strategy that Focuses on Guest-Curated Content

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

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

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:

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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.

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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.

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(image via savioke.com)

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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.

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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.

Is This The End Of The Hotel App?

Is it too late for the hotel app to catch on among travelers or is there still hope for hospitality to use mobile for innovation?

There’s an app for that! The phrase became popular after Apple introduced the App Store in 2008 (the same year Intelity went to market), signaling the start of the golden age of apps. Years later, hotel apps have finally become a major focus for investment among the hospitality industry. But has the hospitality industry waited too long to embrace the mobile hotel app?

There has been recent speculation about the role that apps will play in the future.

There are more mobile devices than humans on the planet.

App downloads have steadily decreased in recent years. Nearly half of smartphone users reportedly don’t download any new apps at all.

But mobile technology itself is more popular than ever. There are more mobile devices than humans on the planet, and the number of devices is growing more quickly than our population. Not to mention, the average smartphone user checks their phone incessantly throughout the day – an average of 85 times per day in fact.

In reality, apps are NOT dead. Mobile users are still spending a lot of time within apps, and not only on their smartphones. Apps are also popular on many other devices, even TVs.

What has died is an easy opportunity for app developers or brands looking for a mobile connection with consumers. With about 4 million different apps available, mobile users are selective with the limited real estate in memory on their devices. Most use an average of only 26 apps in total. In fact, 70 percent of all app usage is spread among only the top 200 apps.

“You’ll still interface with wearables/robotics and features using apps.”

Current interest has shifted to chatbots as a means to open two-way communication between brands in industries like hospitality and customers, enhancing the significance of hotel apps.

One industry commentator observes, “Apps become ever more important in a smartphone-centric wearables/robotics/voice-controlled/artificial intelligence-dominated world. You’ll still interface with those wearables/robotics and features using apps.”

When Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the incorporation of bots into popular video and text messaging app Skype, he said, “Intelligence is infused into all of your apps.”

Hotel apps must have obvious value. They must be worth the time it takes to download and engage with them. They should provide a fluid, thoughtful experience that serves the best interests of the end-user by providing them with convenience, benefits, and a voice that is heard by the brand they want to interact with.

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

New Report: Guests Demand Investment in Hotel Technology

Guests don’t just want the usual benefits during their stay. They have begun to actively voice a desire for investment in hotel technology that supports a high-tech, high-touch hotel experience.

Knowing what today’s hotel guests want is not a guessing game at this point. They’re clearly saying, “We want more hotel technology!” Don’t believe it? A recent survey of travelers by Oracle and Phocuswright revealed that two-thirds said investment in hotel technology that enhances the guest experience is “very or extremely important.”

This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who’s been keeping an eye on travel trends over the past decade.

64% of Hotel Guests: Investment in Hotel Technology is “Very or Extremely Important”

Technology plays a heavy role in the travel experience from beginning to end.

For instance, travelers rely heavily on using various mobile devices for research and trip planning. Online searches provide a ton of valuable information, and social media and online reviews are now considered the first go-to for most people looking for authentic feedback about not only hotels but details about destinations as a whole. After a stay, half of all guests post about their hotel stay experience on social media as well.

And, of course, the utility of technology, and mobile technology, in particular, extends to during the hotel stay as well.

Nine in 10 business travelers and 8 in 10 leisure travelers value use of smartphones to request hotel services or communicate with staff.

Other key findings from the report about the ways guests want to use smartphones to interact with hotels:

  • A third of guests are interested in using a complimentary hotel tablet provided in guest rooms
  • Forty-one percent of guests want a message to their smartphone when their guest room is ready
  • About 21 percent of guests want the ability to stream content onto the in-room TV

Hotel guests are leaning toward more independence as opposed to the traditional hotel experience where the staff is very visible throughout the entire stay. Guest preference is for staff to maintain a constant digital presence, where they can be conveniently contacted if needed or serve as a virtual concierge with suggestions and information to help guests make the most of their time at a destination.

More than 60 percent of guests currently go to sources other than a hotel concierge for suggestions about how to improve the guest experience, but surveys such as these reveal that hotels could reach and serve more hotel guests if they expanded to include a virtual concierge and digital guest services for better communication and messaging with guests.

Hotel Technology at Boston Harbor Hotel

Read about this hotel technology love story in the heart of Boston at the iconic Boston Harbor Hotel.

Arching majestically over the Rowes Wharf, the Boston Harbor Hotel is renowned for impeccable service and personalized attention to hotel guests that rivals any other luxury accommodation in the city.

The property boasts a number of different awards in recognition of the high priority placed on guest satisfaction TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Winner, Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, U.S. News & World Report Best Hotels in the USA, etc). It’s also got the distinguishing credentials of both five stars and four diamonds.

In other words, it’s the embodiment of a love letter to its guests.

Stephen Johnston, Managing Director and General Manager, says, “We listen to our guests a lot. We’ve very engaged as a Five-Star hotel.”

It was an interest in maintaining this high level of guest engagement, and even deepening the connection, that led Boston Harbor Hotel to invest in new hotel technology through a partnership with industry innovator INTELITY. What better way to woo both new and returning travelers who wound up in the hotel’s lobby than with modern touches that facilitate communication, service, and engagement?

“When INTELITY was first sold to me, I liked it because we didn’t have much technology in the hotel, but we knew it was time to introduce some,” Stephen says.

And following the release of a customized hotel app, in addition to the installation of hotel in-room tablets in each of the guest rooms, the Boston Harbor Hotel has already noticed dramatic improvements.

Increased in-room dining revenue, reduced operational costs, and positive guest feedback was only the start of the benefits realized.

Read more about how we helped foster hotel technology love among staff and guests at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Forbes Five-Star Hotels List Dominated by Hotel Technology

The Forbes Travel Guide Star Award Winners list is out, and Five-Star hotels appear to fully embrace hotel technology for exceptional guest service.

We’re thrilled to congratulate all of the global hospitality industry for an incredible showing in the Forbes Travel Guide 2017 Star Awards. What’s amazing is how many of the recognized hotels have fully embraced hotel technology.

For example, out of this year’s 175 Forbes Five-Star hotels, about one out of four are Intelity partners and utilize some form of guest engagement hotel technology, whether it is mobile hotel apps or in-room tablets in hotel rooms. Out of the 22 first-time Five-Star hotels making an appearance on this list, 18 percent are our hotel technology partners.

1 in 4 of the 2017 Forbes Five-Star Hotels is an INTELITY hotel technology partner.

INTELITY has hotel partners in the four United States with the largest number of Five-Star hotels (California, New York, Florida, Massachusetts) and the four international cities with the largest number as well (Macau, Paris, London, Hong Kong).

Only 11 global properties won Five-Star Awards in all three categories for Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa, and one of those, The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, is one of our celebrated hotel partners.

“This year’s Star-Rated properties — the largest and most global group in the company’s history — achieved an impeccable standard of excellence in hospitality, underscoring our overall mission of positively contributing to the international tourism industry as well as the individual hotel experience,” said Gerard J. Inzerillo, Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Travel Guide, in an official press release.

“We are excited to recognize the 2017 Star Rating recipients, an exceptional collection of hotels, restaurants, and spas with a strong culture of service.”

Training and Engaging Your Millennial Hotel Staff

Millennials will not just be the next largest demographic of hotel guests that the hospitality industry serves. They will also be the largest demographic employed in hotels.

There are a number of reasons that Millennials are hot on the radar of today’s hoteliers when it comes to marketing and general guest relation strategy.

  • Millennial travel spend will reach $1.4 trillion< annually by 2020.
  • Millennials travel more than other demographics (4.2 times per year for leisure, 4.7 times per year for work).
  • Marriott estimates 50 percent of its guests will be Millennials by 2020.

Beyond just catering to Millennial hotel guests, hoteliers will also have to create the kind of workplace that will appeal to this demographic.

Hospitality accounts for one out of 11 jobs in the world, making it the largest employer in the world. And Millennials are already joining the hospitality workforce, not to mention the fact they will be the industry’s future leaders and decision makers.

Turnover among Millennial employees results in total costs of $30.5 billion annually.

Hilton Worldwide CEO Christopher Nassetta said that one of the industry’s greatest priorities moving forward should be embracing Millennial hotel workers and aiding to ease unemployment among the 71 million global adults under 29 years old, who account for more than half of the world’s population.

Nassetta said, “These young travelers add so much value to our business [but also face] serious and unprecedented challenges, namely the worst youth unemployment crisis in modern history.”

Creating a workplace that engages Millennials is a key consideration for hoteliers moving forward, especially as turnover among Millennial employees results in total costs of $30.5 billion annually. Here are 3 points of insight on engaging your Millennial hotel employees:

  • Flexibility: Having flexible options is a top priority for Millennial employees, with 66 percent saying they would like more adjustable schedules and hours. It’s so important in fact that nearly half of Millennials would prefer flexibility to more pay.
  • Innovation: In the same way that hotel technology and apps are used in guest rooms and as part of the guest experience to engage tech-savvy hotel guests, it can be a crucial tool in bridging the gap between “old” and “new” hospitality. A survey showed that 93 percent of Millennials value technology as one of the most important aspects of the workplace. Guest-facing technology has not been the only focus on innovation. Millennial hotel staff can benefit from cutting-edge enterprise hospitality software that increases productivity, automate tedious processes, and provide useful analytics to improve performance.

“We all want to do more meaningful work in less or with the same amount of time. Technology enables us to optimize how we spend our days,” said Jeff Vijungco, vice president, Global Talent at Adobe.

“Companies can have the most amazing perks but if you’re not able to produce work efficiently with the help of great people and technology, then massage rooms and roaming ‘cookie cart’ are meaningless.”

  • Transparency: Open communication is necessary to integrate Millennial hotel staff. Almost 85 percent said they appreciate honest feedback and open communication policy. Currently, 23 percent of Millennial employees don’t feel they have a manager who effectively communicates. By strengthening connections between your staff of all ages, you can improve performance and retention rates across the board.

Forward-thinking hoteliers will begin to strategize around updating employee policies and the workplace environment to fully engage Millennial hotel staff. Speaking to hoteliers, Nassetta added, “We have an amazing opportunity to use our engine of opportunity to make hospitality a top career choice of the future.”

Read more about how Millennials are shaping hotels and the hospitality industry in general.

For more information on how hotel technology can benefit your staff and operations, schedule a free consultation with our industry experts.

Courtesy of 15Five.com:

 

using technology to engage your millennial hotel staff